CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES — With all the crazy restrictions we’ve seen happening around the country, it doesn’t seem to be affecting this professional trio.
At the head of this trio is their mother and teacher.
She goes by “AshSlay” and does exactly what the name implies.
While she’s acquired a huge clientel, she recently began trending due to her two daughters, Jayonnah and Aiyonnah. Via Facebook, Ashley mentioned the following after her daughters went viral:
“I’m getting calls from all across America asking where are we located! That’s dope af! Thanks yall!”
So, Black Loop caught up with her for a few words about the notoriety she and her daughters have experienced from the natural hair community.
Would you like our readers to know your name, or would you prefer to go by AshSlay? Matter of fact, when did you develop that name? Did a client use a play on words one day, and it just stuck?
“My name is Ashley. I was going by Ashley’s Braids; then I was playing with my kids and said my name was AshSlay and Aiyonnah said ‘yeah mom cuz you slayyyyyy!’ Lol I told a few clients the story and they put it on Facebook and before I knew it, I was AshSlay.”
You’re definitely skilled at your craft, and it seems your daughters are following in your legacy. How long have you been braiding? What inspired you to make a career out of it? Too, did your daughters pick up the skill on their own, or did you help guide them into it?
“Thank you! My mom also braided hair when I was young! I started braiding at 10 and by 12, I was working on my mom’s clients’ kids. I have been braiding for 18 years. I knew I also wanted to be a stay at home mom and could braid while at home with my children.
Jayonnah started twisting at 2 and was braiding by 4 years old. I seen she was really interested so I started getting her dolls with a lot of hair. Eventually, I started helping her perfect the braids, and Aiyonnah also wanted to learn after seeing Jayonnah doing my client’s hair.”
Speaking of your daughters, do they have their own clients as well? I think I recall seeing a photo or two of their work via a few heads. Do they have a specialty yet? And what about you? What’s your forte?
“The girls do not have their own clients as of now. Braids are just something they do for fun. I let them braid down my clients braids and make a little spending money. They just enjoy braiding.
Jayonnah loves doing French braids, and Aiyonnah loves doing natural style. As for me, I just love braiding with my girls and watching the look on their faces when they’re done! They get so excited!”
What’s an average day like for you? How many clients would you say you see in a week?
“Well, I only braid Monday through Friday, and I get an average of 4 to 12 heads a day, depending on the style. As for the weekend…well that’s family time that I spend with my husband and kids.”
What are your thoughts about other states which enforce strict regulations against natural hair stylists and braiders? For instance, in Tennessee, several resident braiders have been fined, collectively, over $100,000 for licensing issues. Do you think that’s overreaching?
“I think it’s wrong! How can you send a person to school to get a license for something they don’t even teach in cosmetology school? It’s another way to get more money of if ppl.”
Before you started braiding, what was your career? When did you decide braiding was the way to go? What was the transition like for you? Likewise, how long did it take for you to reach your current clientel size?
“I always knew I wanted to be a hairdresser. I loved making ppl feel beautiful! It wasn’t about the money to me. I just loved the smile on little girls’ faces when they looked in the mirror after I was done.
When I start braiding, it was family and friends and some of their friends. About 2 years ago, I made a Facebook page for my braids. Family and friends started sharing, and my clients slowly started coming in. Before I knew it, I would have a whole month booked by the 3rd. I have friends that have been coming to me since I was 15 years old.”
Is there anything you’d like our readership to know about your present or future endeavors — whether concerning yourself or those of your daughters?
“I just want everyone to know that my girls love braiding, but as of right now, it’s a fun experience and I think they are still far too young to take appointments.
The girls will be great braiders when it’s their time. As of right now, they are focusing on school (which by the way, they are doing great).
Jayonnah wants to be a hair stylist, and Aiyonnah wants to be a gymnast. We’re going to support whatever they want to do. Until JaySlay is ready to take over, AshSlay will continue to Slay. Thanks for giving us this opportunity! You can follow the girls on:
Facebook: OnnaSlay; Instagram: Onnaslay; YouTube: OnnaSlay.”
After the interview, we thanked Ashley for her comments about her daughters and her own endeavors.
As you can see from her footage, AshSlay’s title is fitting. And since Jayonnah already wants to continue the legacy, you can bet she’ll be a braiding guru like her mother.
All in all, we’d love to know your thoughts about Ashley and her daughters’ work. If you have any comments, feel free to share them via our Facebook page.
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[Featured Photo via AshSlay / Facebook]