Vashti Dorman | Staff Writer
Last month, TRESemmé, an American hair care brand, awarded Hampton University’s own Ariana Greene a $10,000 scholarship to attend cosmetology school. Ariana Crofton, a recent 2020 HU graduate, currently owns her own business, Ariana’s Canvas, where she creates a myriad of unique hairstyles such as; box braids, faux locs and feed-in braids.
The TRESemmé Future Stylish Fund scholarship Greene received was tailored specifically for Black women to break the systematic barriers surrounding African American women and their hair in the beauty industry.
“There are many barriers that exist for future Black female stylists, but things are changing because those tough conversations are being had,” said TRESemmé Future Stylists Fund selection committee member Ursula Stephen in an interview with Essence. “And great opportunities like the TRESemmé Future Stylists Fund are helping to encourage some much-needed change.”
Before winning, Greene mentioned that she experienced a season of no’s. Then one of her peers from Hampton sent her the TRESemmé Future Stylists Fund application during the summer of 2020. Crofton took a leap of faith and applied. Crofton even took out a loan for cosmetology school but soon canceled it once she got the news that she won the scholarship.
“This experience was perfectly tailored for me,” said Grenne.
Greene started her hair journey as a child, doing her Bratz Doll’s hair, eventually learning how to do her own. While growing up, her hair journey was not easy due to the many of the bad experiences she had in hair salons. She wanted to change the reputation braiders have in the beauty industry by offering a therapeutic space for Black women to get their hair done, not only on Hampton’s campus but also in the DMV region where she resides.
“I started on accident by doing box braids for my bigs,” Greene said.
Once she did her “big’s” hair, word spread fast, and she soon became Hampton’s go-to hairstylist.
“It didn’t feel like I was the go-to hairstylist, but people created their own hype, and that helped,” she explained.
With her fast-growing business and popularity on campus, Greene realized that doing hair and managing schoolwork can be difficult. Along with balancing Ariana’s Canvas and school, she realized she had to set boundaries with friends and family.
“I didn’t have time for fun and often, could only work and go to class,” she shared.
Although she lost a lot of free time, Greene gained many meaningful relationships from doing hair on campus. Through her business, she also learned how to pay taxes and budget. Regardless of having a few struggles, she realized she couldn’t focus on the approval of other people.
Greene advises everyone who is looking to start their own business to not over plan. She shared that she started her business in 2014 on YouTube as a DIY art channel. Later on, she began Ariana’s Canvas due to the need for Black braiders on campus who understand how to take care of natural hair.
She also advises future business owners to start a business relating to their passions and look to their friend group for support.
“If they’re good friends, they’ll support you, but build your own community,’ she advises.
Greene is currently attending cosmetology school at Aspen Beauty School and is working on becoming more creative with her work. She plans to one day bridge the gap between companies and campus stylists, as well as grow her hair business.
“I want to go international and talk to other aspiring stylists,” Greene shared.
Ariana Greene is currently located in the DMV, and anybody interested in booking an appointment can do so through the link located in her Instagram bio @arianascanvas. To learn more about her TRESemmé Future Stylists Fund opportunity, follow Ariana on Instagram @anaira_99.