Homecoming weaves become on-campus hustle

By Olivia Lewis

The look of the Hampton woman, just like the university, is held to a standard of excellence. Though there is no rule book for hair, like there is for clothes in the dress code, Hampton women hold their own requirements for how hair should look.

With the stylistic help of their peers, Hampton women take a serious approach to their hair during the Homecoming season.

In the weeks leading up to Hampton's Oct. 27 homecoming, tweets across campus read, "Time to put in my homecoming hair," and "It's Hair-coming season."

The school paper, the Hampton Script, even published a story entitled, "The weaves are falling."

Whether it is blown out and curled, braided underneath for a sew-in, or hidden underneath a boisterous wig, hair is an essential part of the homecoming style.

After seeing the students' determination to keep up their hair, sophomore business entrepreneurship major Julius Nash of Los Angeles found a way to make some money. Charging $45 and $50 a head he has done as many as five heads a day during the weeks leading up to homecoming.

"I'm completely booked," Nash said. "I have another one tonight at 10, in the morning at 9, another at 12, and one more before coronation at 4. I'm definitely booked, there is no more squeezing in."

In high school, Nash did hair after school and saw the need for an on-campus hair stylist once he began his freshman year at Hampton. "I would go from dorm lobby to dorm room. I made a stop at McGrew, and then I'd go to Moton, and then DuBois," Nash said. "I still do, but now I'll do it at my house in the Harbors as well."

Nash's hustle has given him a brand name on campus. After he finishes their hair, Nash asks students to tweet about their new hair and post a picture on Instagram.

So far, this brand advertising has worked. His clientele spreads throughout campus from the Ebony Fire dance team, the cheerleaders, the Terpsichorean dance team, and the everyday student.

Social media may have helped spread the word about this on-campus hustle, but it's the finished product that keeps the girls coming back for their homecoming weaves.

"Two of my friends had previously gotten their hair done by him last year, and I thought it looked really good. So I decided to save some dollars and try him," said Jasmine Pleasant, a 4th-year, 5-year MBA major from Los Angeles. "I was very satisfied with the service. He didn't take long, was prepared, and knew what he was doing."

Though Nash's service has grown to become a year-round job, he said homecoming is the busiest time of the year. "I never sleep, like ever. I pull all-nighters," Nash said. "Because, yeah, it pays bills. That's money towards my tuition."

With a lack of sleep and squeezing in as many girls as possible for homecoming, Nash said it's more than worth it: "It's always rewarding at the end to see the look on the girls' faces and they're thinking, 'Oh my gosh, I'm beautiful.'"

The writer is a senior in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

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