Image of NAHA finalist Jamie

Meet Jaimee Harris: NAHA 2024 Texture Finalist

Jaimee Harris discusses with PBA her perspective on the significance of Black History Month within the beauty industry as a professional.

A career in beauty was a natural choice for Jaimee Harris Smith. She was born into the salon life and exposed to the beauty industry at an early age. Jaimee spent many days at her grandmother’s North Dallas salon helping with daily operations, like sweeping hair and folding towels. When attending beauty shows, she was mesmerized by the artistry and the power of beauty. For Jaimee, having visibility and a model of black owned female success, it lit a fire within that could not be diminished. It broke down the barriers and anything that could stand in the way of her pursuing dreams. Jaimee is celebrating a successful beauty career of over 30 years!

How has your cultural background influenced your approach to beauty and aesthetics in your work?

Beauty is everywhere. The aesthetics of my work is diverse and inclusive. Because of our rich hair history, it is important for me to showcase highly textured looks. I have a fascination with the unique strands of curly, coily, and afro-textured hair. Many of my looks embrace natural textures and bold shapes. I love the freedom to manipulate a variety of hair fabrics to enhance, reshape or create texture.

In what ways do you see the beauty industry evolving to be more inclusive and representative of diverse beauty standards?

I am pleased to see the expansion and rise of Texture education. This hair category has been underserved. It’s crucial that we have skilled beauty professionals and products that cater to the unique needs of curly and coily hair.  With over 60% of the world having textured hair, it is imperative that it is normalized, not considered a specialty category. 

In your opinion how can consumers better support black-owned beauty businesses and professionals?

We should intentionally seek out black-owned businesses and pros. We should become customers and repeat customers that purchase their services and products. Black-owned businesses often must work twice as hard to be successful. When we support our BOB, we are investing in the success and prosperity of our communities. It’s important that we rally behind these businesses and share with family, friends and collogues. Show them some love and promote on your social platforms.

Are there any beauty trends or practices within the industry that you feel are particularly empowering for the black community?

To an aspiring beauty professional regardless of their ethnic background I would say learn all skin tones and all hair textures. School will not teach you everything you need to know so be open to mentorship, networking and exploring ethnicities different than your own. This will be helpful when you find yourself working within diverse cultures. It will allow you to carry yourself accordingly while ensuring anyone who sits in your chair is comfortable.

What advice would you give to aspiring black beauty professionals who are just starting their careers in this industry?

The path to success requires commitment and consistency. Surround yourself with people that are cheering for you! Make your growth and development a priority. Seek opportunities that elevate your skills and help perfect your craft. Be expansive in your thinking so that you can see different possibilities. Embrace the beauty of all hair types and fabrics.  Once you determine what your passion is, go for it!