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Conversations with the Inspiring Nadia Vassell

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nadia Vassell.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My story began at an early age growing up in a rural part of Montego Bay, Jamaica. I can remember my first time doing someone’s hair, and it was out on a cool weekend day on the verandah (porch) adding braids to the hair of a close family friend.

I would say that my abilities are innate. However, I am a keen learner from watching and observing and that’s pretty much how I am today.

My father owned a small grocery store in the community, and at times I would manage the shop for him while he was away. Ever since then, I knew I wanted to one day be my own boss.

I am the proud owner of The Nadia Vassell Salon here in New York City. I also launched a professional haircare line called Hair Freaq. I also launched a luxury hair extensions company a few years back, parted ways with my Business partner and dissolved that company. I then re-launched the company on my own and still offer that service to my clients.

I started out as an assistant in a hair salon and quickly worked my way up to becoming a celebrity hairstylist. I have worked with the likes of Rihanna, Ashanti, Tika Sumpter, Lil Mama, Chrisette Michelle, just to name a few. I have been a hair expert on The Dr.Oz Show, which was one  of the highlights of my career.

My work has been featured in various beauty magazines and beauty blogs.

Simply, I got to where I am today by believing in myself, working hard and  trusting the process.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way? What is your advice to someone just starting their on their journey?
Being an entrepreneur is both rewarding and challenging. The thing that I struggle with the most is attracting top talent to my salon, hair stylists with whom I can trust doing my clients’ hair. I also struggle with the possibility of growth. I would love one day to launch a 2nd, a 3rd, or even a 4th Nadia Vassell Salon location. Dealing with the unknown is also a challenge as a business owner; there are highs and there are lows. Not knowing if the business will be around for years to come or how profitable it will be.

 My advice to a young person just starting their journey:

1. Believe in yourself.
2. Compete with no one. There is room for everyone.
3. Invest in yourself by taking classes to develop your craft.
4. Give back to your community.
5. Do it for love.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into Nadia Vassell Salon story. Tell us more about the business.
I am a celebrity hairstylist and owner of The Nadia Vassell Salon located in one of the hippest neighborhoods in New York City. I began mastering my hairstyling craft about 15 years ago in Brooklyn, New York. I am most know for my masterful hair weaving methods and other unique styles that have attracted the attention of many celebrities like Rihanna, rapper and America’s Best Dance Crew judge Lil’ Mama, Chrisette Michelle, actress Tika Sumpter, and Ashanti. I have built an extensive portfolio of video and print work and have been featured in major publications including Essence, Black Sophisticate, XXL Eye Candy, Heart and Soul, Smooth, and Uptown Magazine.

 There are so many highlights of my career that I am proud, my proudest moments are:

1.    Initiating the first steps in 2010 to opening my own hair salon
2.    Having a loyal client base
3.    Being asked to be a guest expert on The Dr. Oz show to talk about my area of expertise. To see me, a little girl from Jamaica, talking and people listening to what I have to say, there is no greater feeling.
4.    Joining Chrisette Michelle on tour in Iraq.

 What sets us apart from others:

1. We focus on providing our clients with quality rather than quantity.
2. Not being afraid to tell clients NO, especially when we know that a particular request will not work for them or fit into their lifestyle.
3. Offering a multichannel booking process online and on Social Media platforms. Because we have these systems in place, we maintain that one on one engagement tailored to our clients’ wants and needs.
4. Providing masterful weave installations.

Do you have a lesson or advice you’d like to share with young women just starting out?
My advice to a young person just starting their journey:

1. Believe in yourself.
2. Compete with no one. There is room for everyone.
3. Invest in yourself by taking classes to develop your craft
4. Give back to your community.
5. Do it for love.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 110 Suffolk Street, New York New York
  • Website:
  • Phone: 212-3881200
  • Email:
  • Instagram: nadiavassellsalon
  • Facebook: nadiavassellsalon
  • Twitter: nadiavsalon

Image Credit:
Photographer: Keith Major

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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