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In Brandon, Black and brown students learn hair care and get pampered

Curls for Queens, a Tallahassee-based hair care organization, uplifts Black and brown students with support, education and hair care.
 
Da’zorah Pinckney, 15, shows off her hair during a Curls for Queens pop-up salon day at Brandon High on Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023.
Da’zorah Pinckney, 15, shows off her hair during a Curls for Queens pop-up salon day at Brandon High on Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Published Dec. 11, 2023|Updated Dec. 11, 2023

Blake High junior Amaya Akear remembers being bullied in third grade before she learned how to braid her own hair. “As I got older there were more people telling me ‘oh my gosh, your hair is so beautiful’ and ‘I love your skin,’ and I had to realize I’m beautiful no matter what, and that it doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks,” Akear said. “As long as I’m happy with myself.”

The 16-year-old was the youngest hairstylist with Curls for Queens during a salon day at Brandon High School for Black and brown girls on Sunday. The pop up salon served 23 girls from elementary and high schools across Hillsborough County.

Curls for Queens teaches and supports girls with curly, coily and kinky hair whose families may not be able to afford regular salon visits. Beyond partnering with schools, Curls for Queens started a salon voucher program to provide free services for girls by partnering with stylists and make-up artists and hosting workshops for parents reentering society after prison.

To learn more about Curls for Queens visit their website.

Brandon High cafeteria transforms into a Curls for Queens pop-up salon.
Brandon High cafeteria transforms into a Curls for Queens pop-up salon. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Darrielle Miles, 10, left, is styled by Lamica Wilkins of Tampa salon, Mića Braids.
Darrielle Miles, 10, left, is styled by Lamica Wilkins of Tampa salon, Mića Braids. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Darrielle Miles, 10, smiles during her hair styling service.
Darrielle Miles, 10, smiles during her hair styling service. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Hair beads are part of accessories available for hairstyles during the beauty event.
Hair beads are part of accessories available for hairstyles during the beauty event. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Ne’vaeh Stephens, 14, waits under a hair dryer.
Ne’vaeh Stephens, 14, waits under a hair dryer. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Nail polish is applied during a manicure.
Nail polish is applied during a manicure. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
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Tallahassee hairstylist Sherlanda Telusmond, center, and Kai’Ari Lloyd, 10, right, laugh after Lloyd asked Telusmond a fifth grade math question.
Tallahassee hairstylist Sherlanda Telusmond, center, and Kai’Ari Lloyd, 10, right, laugh after Lloyd asked Telusmond a fifth grade math question. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Da’zorah Pinckney, 15, relaxes while getting a massage.
Da’zorah Pinckney, 15, relaxes while getting a massage. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Brandon High senior Ta’Tyanna Webb, 17, has lip gloss applied during a makeup session.
Brandon High senior Ta’Tyanna Webb, 17, has lip gloss applied during a makeup session. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Brandon High senior Ta’Tyanna Webb, 17, right, reacts after seeing her makeup as Spade Effect makeup artist Sade Killingsworth, left, holds up a mirror.
Brandon High senior Ta’Tyanna Webb, 17, right, reacts after seeing her makeup as Spade Effect makeup artist Sade Killingsworth, left, holds up a mirror. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Brandon High senior Kya Coriette, 18, smiles while being complimented and photographed after getting stitch braids done in her hair.
Brandon High senior Kya Coriette, 18, smiles while being complimented and photographed after getting stitch braids done in her hair. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]