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At Beauty and Designz Studio Lounge, the University of Oklahoma’s first Black-owned hair salon, it’s family that sets them apart.
From Kyng, the studio co-owner’s baby, bouncing around in his walker to vibrant artwork, a communal pool table, vibey tunes, and couches that invite customers to relax, this is more than a barbershop – it’s a family reunion.
Opened in December 2021 with “designz” for any and all, co-owner Natasha Coleman told the OU Daily the logo on the door represents how it provides services to kings and queens of every gender, color, and background.
Beauty and Designz Studio Lounge is one of the few salons in Norman that can do ethnic hair, and Coleman said they plan to eventually sell products for ethnic hair at the salon.
“The students really inspire us because they come in and they (say), ‘We finally got somewhere on campus to go get our hair done, we don’t have to go to the city.’ … It feels good to see that they feel good about us being here, and everybody is so grateful for that,” Coleman said.
Offering a one-stop-shop for expert braiding, barbering, color, cut and styling, facial and spa amenities, Coleman has the experience, tools, and staff to serve anyone in need of a glow-up or fresh cut.
But can they do hair?
Coleman has worked on hair since she was 16. She met her first business partner at Supercuts after transitioning in and out of the cosmetology business years after beauty school. Creatively uninspired at Supercuts, the two attempted opening a salon, but due to renovation issues, they had to branch off on their own.
It was while working at New Black Wall Street, a hair salon and barbershop in Oklahoma City, that Coleman met her current business partner and co-owner Tracey Holman.
Like Biggie and Faith, when a former client and OU alumna approached Coleman with an opportunity to open a salon on OU’s campus, she decided to give the salon business one more chance, establishing Beauty and Designz.
“We are just not here to work,” Coleman said. “We’re here to come together. We support each other. Listen to each other. If anyone needs help, we are here to help, and of course, (we are always) bringing the children here (because) bringing our kids here shows them that you can do this even when you have kids, because we are all one.”
A salon for ethnic hair AND all others
Studio manager Ebony McCloud said working at the studio and lounge means a lot to her, especially because being a stylist on OU’s campus allows her to fulfill her dream of doing hair for athletes.
This has been a dream of McCloud’s since she was 11 years old watching sports on TV. Instead of keeping up with the game, she was always admiring the players’ hair.
“One day I went to work, and I remember sitting here doing (an athlete’s) hair, and I shed a tear because we were talking … and I was like ‘Oh my goodness, I’m so excited to be here. I’m so happy to be here y’all. I get to go live my dream,’” McCloud said.
Beauty and Designz starts and ends with love.
Xavier Brewer, a senior defensive analyst for OU’s football team and one of Holman’s regular clients, said he was excited to have a barbershop like Beauty and Designz so close to campus and his place of work, especially since it is open and inviting.
“It’s all love. We talk life (and) all life experiences,” Brewer said. “You can learn and grow from anyone, if you’re open to it, and I think this (is the) type of environment you want to be in if you’re looking forward to a family feel.”
“We want to leave an impact on here,” says Coleman.
The most important thing Coleman wants for her business is inclusivity for OU students, Norman High School students, residents, and customers from surrounding cities.
“We also want everybody to know that we just don’t focus on the Black students or the ethnic students,” Coleman said. “We style everybody, and not only the students on campus but outside the neighborhood as well. We want everybody to feel welcome coming here.”