We had the good fortune of connecting with Gracie Howard and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gracie, why did you pursue a creative career?
Growing up I really struggled in school. Math and science and even reading were all very difficult for me. I never thought much of what I wanted to do when I would get older. (I was just hoping for something with not much math, science or reading!)
I never thought about doing hair once when I was little. Sure I would cut my Bratz doll’s hair but I wouldn’t put much thought into it. The first time I got my hair colored was in sixth grade. The salon environment felt different, but in a good way! It was cool to see a lot of products and see an actual process! Of course being in sixth grade I thought waiting took forever, but it’s always worth it!
So I kept getting my hair hair colored throughout middle and high school! I really liked the vibes of salons! It always looked like hairstylists had a good time being at the salon!
During junior year, the universe decided to bring a cosmetology school rep. to tell students about the school! She was set in front of the cafeteria so it was perfect for me to just talk to her real quick! I asked what goes on in cosmetology school and everything she was saying really excited me! Just doing hair and being creative was all I needed to hear!
Skip to my first journey into hair school in August of 2018. I graduated high school in Frisco and started hair school a couple months later! Like all students being in a school, it got challenging and frustrating. There were days where I wanted to drop out and just do something else, but I couldn’t do that. I just had to keep pushing because I determined that hairdressing is going to be my long term career right now!
After nine long months I graduated cosmetology school and started working at my first salon!
A lot of hairdressers start differently! Some go straight into an apprenticeship, or some apprentice under a single stylist, or they can go to a salon that offers stylist positions! I went through an apprenticeship at my first salon and then I moved on to another salon to be on the floor.
Working as an apprentice really helps get into how a salon works. Depending on where you go, it may not be the funnest thing ever, but it is worth it in the end.
When I went to my second salon, I was excited and super pumped to be able to build a clientele! I was at my new place for a few weeks and covid happened.
We got back to work in June and I couldn’t ask for more! It was just my co worker and I! We were running our salon, bringing confident and beautiful people in and out of our chair!
I gained a great clientele who are willing to follow me when/if I move salons, which warms my heart! It’s an amazing feeling! I did move to Denton and I am now on commission! I love what I do!
My goal for anyone who sits in my chair is to make them feel confident and beautiful in who they are. Hair has such a huge impact on our everyday lives. Having a bad hair day happens so often and it can lead to lower self esteem. I want to help people feel more confident in who they are no matter what.
I am a safe place for my beautiful LGBTQIA+ friends! I want to help and encourage people who are transitioning or have transitioned and make them feel confident in who they are.
This career has taught me a lot. It taught me how to see things differently and that’s perfect for me because I love perspective. I want to see others perspectives on life! Doing hair helps me connect with people. Everyday I’m still learning new things about hair techniques, products, clients, etc. and I love it! My career keeps me involved in the trends and hair industry.
I started from getting my hair done and feeling good to doing other people’s hair and making them feel good and confident and beautiful!
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My first job was a hostess in one of my favorite childhood restaurants. I gained a lot of confidence and social confidence into the real world. It helped me through cosmetology school plus added more confidence into what I want to do! Of course there were the moments where clients and I didn’t agree and I felt like just giving up, but I try to remember, I have a clientele who loves my work and what I do.
I am proud of my work as a professional and for myself. I have seen myself grow and it’s very exciting! I’ve been getting recognized from international and national brands all over the world! It’s like when your favorite celebrity likes a picture or comments! It’s exciting to see your work making it to huge online platforms!
Being in the beauty industry gives me access to see what is trending and what people are into with hairstyles. New trends start everyday and it’s super important for me to keep up with it and educate myself more on a technique of a certain haircut or color!
I’ve learned a lot since I’ve graduated high school. I’ve learned to take things one day at a time. My mom told me that and I never thought it would help in the end. I’ve learned to really focus on the present. It was tough during cosmetology school, but I still made it. I’ve faced other obstacles along the way, but I still took it one day at a time, which is the only thing someone can do. There were moments where I thought to myself “this hair stuff… is it really for me?”
I took my written exam five times. I definitely felt like I was going to crumble after the third one. To take the practical (hands on exam), you need to pass the written, which was the actual test on a computer answering various questions about sanitation, haircuts, color, etc.
Keeping positive was really difficult, but that one day I passed felt really good and we were on the right path.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If one of my friends from out of state was coming to visit the first place I would take them would be Frisco of course! I grew up there and that place is my home! I’d take them to Stonebriar, The Star, Mini Asia Town (I call it that 🙂 ).
I would then take them to Carrollton to Koreatown! My Korean adoptee friend/mentor took me there when I was a sophomore in high school and I’ve been going ever since! It’s literally my happy place!
Final stop would be Denton! I currently live here and the environment here is pretty cool. I’d have to take them to Denton Sq and my hair salon right outside the sq.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My parents were and are my biggest support system for me. They told me “whatever you want to do, we will help you,” and I would say being a hairstylist would be cool and they said “let’s do it!”
I owe a lot of thanks to my parents. Their unconditional love and support was everything I could’ve asked for. I am adopted from China, so the time, effort, money and love they gave and give me to have a home and love is the best thing I can ever have.
Instagram: gracexhoward or hairxgraciehoward
Facebook: Hair x Gracie Howard