Shalah Henigman

Shalah Henigman, @this_girls_curls

American Barber and Beauty Academy, Reading, Penn.

Shalah experiences beauty not just as an aesthetic but as a tool for social change, including the role of the professional in changing how society views natural hair. “I’ve been natural for 10 years and while I looked to YouTube and blogs for advice, much of the content wasn’t helpful,” she says. Shalah defines beauty as “being comfortable in your own skin” as opposed to conforming with a definition imposed by society. And she poses a good question. “If something is literally growing out of me, what would make me not want to present my own natural self,” she says in her application video. Celebrating her acceptance into beauty school, Shalah aims to complete her program and meet a need in the marketplace – helping people nourish their hair – ultimately allowing their personal beauty to shine. Watch her application video here.

Mia Barrett

Mia Naomi Barrett

Paul Mitchell, the School Honolulu, Hawaii

Naomi looks forward to disrupting traditional approaches to what society has deemed beautiful. “What would happen if we changed how we measure beauty?” is the question Naomi poses in her scholarship video. She answers that question by defining the measurement of a career path as value, beauty and wonderfully made.

Embracing the beauty, value and wonderfully made essence of professional beauty, Naomi aspires to being part of a community that fosters diversity and gives every person a sense of belonging. She notes, “Beauty is defined by the value of a life. If life is valued, then every size, color and ability is valued. Her wisdom is inspired by the career of Madam C.J. Walker, America’s first self-made millionaire. “What inspires me about Madam C.J. is that she didn’t’ keep her success to herself, but shared it with others,” says Naomi. Watch her scholarship video here.