‘It’s not just about hair’ Simone Collins nourishes black hair with Divine Image Studios

In the African American community, hair is important. And with young women growing without learning personal hair care knowledge from their grandmothers or their own mothers, Simone Collins, who started her business, Divine Image Studios in 2011, aims at taking care of black hair and making her clients feel beautiful, starting from the inside.

“I have been doing hair since I was 14 years old,” she begun. Hair is a part of Mrs. Collins’s life, and she herself has been victim of poor hair treatment from family. “Being raised by my grandmother, she was just not really hair savvy. I went through a lot of hairstyles that just didn’t fit me. So between that and different things they added to my hair growing up, it caused a lot of breaking and there was a lot of tension pulling on my hair.” Her mission with her salon is to educate black women to learn about their hair. “I have a desire to give mothers and parents an opportunity to allow their kids to explore their hair, love their hair, and come up with and create different hairstyles to allow the kids to be able to go through their childhood and not worry about their hair.”

Braiding styles that Ms. Collins does for women.

Mrs. Collins values being able to work from her home so she can tend to her growing children. This is one way she avoids the many obstacles that came with running her business. “That’s why I created Divine Image Studios, because I was raised by my grandmother and I didn’t have both my parents in my life. My biggest goal was to be able to achieve being a hairstylist, but also to be at home for a while to be a part of the growth of my kids.” The entire time Mrs. Collins’s business has been in operation, it has been through her home; where she welcomes clients. “That allows me flexibility. It takes the pressure off of all of the boats. And it allows me to be able to be hands-on with my kids and to still not put pressure or strain on my husband or the kids because I am [at home].”

Mrs. Collins’s motivation comes from the thought of putting your mind to what you want to achieve. “The world has basically told us that this is how certain things are supposed to be, and I wanted to show mothers that you don’t have to go by the book. You have to do what works for you. You have to do what you have to do, what works best for your household.” With Mrs. Collins’s flexible schedule, she can make sure she’s spending time with her children as well as getting a chance to live her passion as a hairstylist. She adds more words of wisdom, sharing “don’t be afraid to mess up and don’t be afraid to readjust different things…you have to make sure that whatever works for you, you keep pushing.”

An example of a braid style Mrs. Collins offers for children.

Mrs. Collins aims to leave every person who enters her chair with a new sense of confidence that they didn’t have when they came in. “When God placed it in my heart to start Divine Image Studios, He told me that it’s about the inside out. And so my biggest goal is that when somebody sits inside of that chair, that they literally do not feel the same way that they felt when they initially got here.”

For a woman, hair is very important and a valuable part of our identities. With Mrs. Collins’s attention to the emotional and mental part of hair maintenance, she has an ability to communicate to her clients in ways that energizes them and gives them a sense of value they never had. “It’s not about hair,” she continues, “but it’s about being emotionally and mentally able to get through this journey of life and knowing that you’re beautiful and that it starts from the inside. We can glam ourselves up, we can do our hair, we can do our make up, we can do all those different things. But what are we doing on the inside to be a better person? So I take the time out to really listen to each one of my clients.”

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