Shaquanda Carter, Philadelphia, Penn.
“When you find your passion, you find your purpose,” says Shaquanda, who says that a new haircut or change in hair color can be a transformative moment. “When a woman gets a new haircut, it’s revolutionary and when she changes her hair color, it’s an act that is symbolic of something important to her,” says Shaquanda. While she views beauty as a source of freedom, creativity and owning one’s truest self, she says beauty is mostly transformative. Shaquanda believes she was literally born to style hair. “The late, great Vidal Sassoon and I share a birthday so I know I was born to be a hairdresser,” she says in her application video.