Two women from Long Island who realized their dream of opening a holistic concept hair salon in South Florida have yet another success story to tell.
The hairstylists of the Natural Trend Setters salon, owned by sisters Simone and Trudy Hylton, have again placed first in the World Natural Hair, Health and Beauty Show’s lock competition. The April competition took place in Atlanta.
The salon had already won a National Best Creative Lock Stylist award in 2002.
Bob Johnson, co-founder and producer of the show that featured 14 lock stylists from as far as London and Africa, said, “Our lock competition, Loc-mania, calls on the industry’s best to present the beauty and versatility of lock styling. Trend Setters presented exactly that. They won this year’s competition based on their overall presentation, and their lock styles were creative, unique and flawless.”
Although this is the second win for the Natural Trend Setters team, who operate salons in Fort Lauderdale, Delray Beach and Miami, this particular win was significant because it was the first time in four years that they had entered.
“What I think gave us an edge was that even though it was a lock competition, I did a presentation to show that black beauty cannot be boxed into a box by showing relaxed hair, natural hair and locked hair,” said Simone Hylton, whose salon specializes in natural hair and promotes the use of natural products.
Founded in 1997, the World Natural Hair, Health & Beauty Show is a convention for international stylists to show off various styles of natural hair.
The show brings together the best in the industry of natural hair and skin care, and includes competitions for natural hair, braiding, barbering and weaving while featuring a world-class natural hair fashion show.
A hairstylist at Natural Trend Setters named Princess has worked as a lock specialist there for five years, and was a model for the latest hair show.
“We were tired of the same styles of locks being shown year after year. That’s what motivated us to win,’’ Princess said. “We wanted to stand out, so we researched everything because all straight hair styles, like ponytails and bangs, can be incorporated in locks.’’
The salon was also recognized as one of the top 10 hair salons in the nation in 2004 by Salon Today magazine, and has even won a Hair Grammy.
Numerous celebrity clients have graced the salon as happy customers, including the Ying-Yang Twins, Lauryn Hill, Yolanda Adams and the Marley family, to name a few.
India Mills, a longtime customer and hair show model, said, “I’ve been coming to the salon for 10 years and have been modeling for them at hair shows since then.”
In response to the salon’s first-place win, Mills said, “I’m not surprised. Simone is a very unique individual and if you have a vision and articulate it to her, she can express exactly what you want through the hairstyle.”
Such noteworthy successes have propelled the Hylton sisters to host their own hair show expo. The show, now in its tenth year, will be held in September, and will showcase the salon’s holistic concept. It will also focus on issues of wellness and beauty.
“We’ll promote it in the way you eat, the products you use on your skin, down to the way you wear your hair,’’ Simone said. “We want to prove that the holistic way of living is better.’’
Photo by Khary Bruyning: Model India Mills shows off a style from the salon.