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Meet LeAna McKnight of Stylist Lee Hair Studio in West Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to LeAna McKnight.

Thanks for sharing your story with us LeAna. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
The beginning is always funny because you never start where you plan. For me it started in High School, I attended a Career Academy Magnet School in New Orleans, LA. I chose to take Cosmetology as a Vocational since all my friends were taking Nursing, guiltily thinking that it would be extremely easy. Boy, was I wrong! I never knew learning Cosmetology was full of science, Anatomy, Chemistry, Biology, & Science of Hair. It was tough but very intriguing. After graduating high school and completing my cosmetology course I still wasn’t completely convinced this was the career for me since I always wanted to be an Orthodontist.

Now living in Houston, TX after several semesters in College and paying out of pocket I realized very quickly I needed a plan b. Expressing the stresses to my mother and her advising that I try doing hair for a while to get me through college, “I said why not” not realizing that my name would grow to be something BIGGER.

Starting off as a Shampoo Apprentice, to working at Major Chain salon, Booth, to now managing my own salon studio is surreal. My Brand in Houston took off so much people was calling me from all over to do their hair and traveling from all over from places like Europe, Ghana, Thailand, and Australia, it was crazy, I never knew hair was that big of a deal! Now that my eyes were open and I was once again intrigued to what this career as a Hairstylist had to offer, it’s now time to take the Stylist Lee Brand to Hollywood to see if it really has what it takes. Now residing in West Hollywood, Ca the doors has opened just a little, but I have had the pleasure of working with some great people like Kerry Washington, Candice Glover, Cocoa Brown, Dawn Richard, Rebecca Crews, Zuri Hill to name a few. I’ve’ done album releases, Movies, AD Spreads, Magazine Shoot, Grammy red carpet, Fox TCA & hoping for more to come.

So, far things are looking up.

Has it been a smooth road?
Definitely NOT easy by far. The Competition is heavy and with social media on the rise it’s even harder. Staying relevant and keeping up with the trends is work. Currently, I am not signed with an agent so with that being said I have to rely on others to pass my name around in the industry and sometimes that can be stuff because now you’re playing the wait game. In this industry, you have to stay busy and staying up on marketing and thinking of new ideas to promote yourself. I remember coming across one big hairstylist in the game and I won’t say who, but they told me that there wasn’t enough room for a hairstylist like myself, it hurt, but I kept going. You will encounter people like that but you have to keep it pushing and stay motivated and believe in your work.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Stylist Lee Hair Studio is a private salon suite located in the heart of Hollywood! I specialize in all ethnicity of hair from silky straight, to curly, and kinky, precision cutting, natural hair care, coloring, extension & weaving services, and chemical services. Although I’m best known for my Extension Installs & My Awesome Virgin Hair, preferably my lace frontal installs and lace closures. My clients also LOVE the Pure Raw Virgin Indian Hair that I offer which can be ordered online at www.stylistlee.com. I always believe in the care and health of hair; I teach my clients that beauty is brought from within then out, which means to take care of the foundation first.

What sets me apart from others, is that I actually CARE about my clients that sit in my chair. When I’m working I’m not just styling and slapping something in your head, I actually want to learn your hair, your habits, and teach you the proper upkeep for your everyday life. Receiving a flawless hairstyle in the process is just a plus but the education & knowledge is what you pay for.

I’m most proud of being known and glorified as the most Professional Black Owned Hairstylist that my clients have ever been to. I enjoy that they enjoy me and my service. I’m more proud of the smiles that leave my studio every time and knowing that I had a part in that.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Los Angeles is an awesome place to jumpstart your career, especially for those in the beauty industry. If you’re deciding to move to L.A to start your new career, just know that there is never going to be enough money that you can save, just take a leap of faith. The best thing you can do for yourself when taking the leap of moving to L.A to become that Famous Hairstylist/Makeup artist is be spiritually in tuned and one with God, you will need to stay grounded (Stay prayed up) and believe in yourself and your craft. Know your worth. Also, be open for further education and attending seminars in your industry so you can be the best at what you do.

The city is great, nothing to improve. I wish traffic was better.

Pricing:

  • $85- up Relaxer styles
  • $90- up Silk Press for Natural hair
  • $350- up Full Head Weave install
  • $400- up Lace Frontal Install
  • $100 per hour for Tape hair extensions
  • $125 per hour Micro links application

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Getty images, Sterling Pics, Barry Druxman

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