Tamika Gibson is a recognized beauty influencer and educator, beautifying the world one wig at a time. Born and raised in Flint Michigan, Tamika Gibson thought she was going to be a school teacher. While studying elementary education at Western Michigan University, Tamika looked around the classroom one day and realized that while the other students were excited about becoming school teachers, she was not. At this point Tamika took a detour. Despite some family members’ desires, Tamika made the difficult decision of leaving school.
Tamika joined the military where she served as a Sergeant in the U.S. Army and slayed her fellow soldiers with wraps, waves, and wigs. She actually credits the military with preparing her to be the successful entrepreneur that she is today. We’ve all had the experience of showing up to the salon for our appointment only to find out that our stylist is “on the way,” or that she’ll “be right back.” Deep down we know that means we’ll be waiting for forty minutes to an hour, and we put up with it because she does amazing work (once she shows). Well, you wouldn’t have to play the waiting game with Tamika. She says that the discipline and punctuality required by the military have become habits that have set her apart in the beauty industry, and helped her maintain and grow a lucrative business that has allowed her to retire (from styling) at the age of forty.
While Tamika has retired from styling hair on a day to day basis, she is still very much involved in the beauty business. She is a highly sought after instructor of the next generation of stylists and entrepreneurs. In her classes she makes it a point to teach students about the importance of financial planning as well as the best techniques for installing frontals. She makes sure that her students understand that the beauty business can be very financially rewarding if you plan accordingly and approach it as a profession…not a side hustle. Unlike a regular 9-5 that may come with benefits, established pension plans, and 401K’s, Tamika teaches that beauticians themselves are responsible for creating their own plan for future financial freedom.
As an instructor, Tamika also stresses to her students the importance of promoting healthy hair as opposed to just being able to create dope styles. If the hair style is going to snatch the client’s edges and leave them with tension alopecia…it’s a no go. In fact, Tamika no longer does sew in weaves (and she wishes women would just stop wearing them). She recommends that women stick to wigs so that they can maintain and care for their natural hair with regular washing and conditioning. When asked about some of the horror stories that I’ve seen of women who have lost significant portions of their hair due to their styling choices Tamika said, “I think many stylists are afraid to tell their clients the truth [afraid to say no] because they’re afraid of losing a them. But I tell my students if you don’t tell them the truth, at the end of the day you’re going to lose them anyway.”
The Hair Diagram
Tamika’s moniker is The Hair Diagram because it’s her goal to give students a step by step plan from A to Z that will guide them to success. In her online courses as well as her live classes that she teaches all over the world, she gives a diagram of how to be successful in the hair care industry. Tamika is also an innovator. She’s created a new lace wig product line called Bold Hold that is safer than the glues and other adhesives that were once used for wigs. She recently returned from traveling throughout Europe teaching stylists how to use the product and getting product placement in stores in France, Germany, and the Netherlands. When she’s not teaching or traveling to expand the reach of her Bold Hold product line, Tamika is working with celebrity clients like Faith Evans, KeKe Wyatt, and Savannah James (wife of Lebron James). She has also worked on film sets creating and installing units for on screen talent.
Tamika’s Pro Tips
For young stylists out there who aspire to join the ranks of the top talents in the beauty business, Tamika advises that you shouldn’t seek overnight success. She encourages getting as much experience as possible and she also says, “get in contact with a reputable financial advisor or coach AND PAY YOUR TAXES!” Some of the things that Tamika finds most rewarding about her career is the joy that she sees in her students’ faces and when she receives calls from her former students telling her that they’re doing so well that they’ve been able to quit their second job.
Going forward, Tamika plans to continue instructing and influencing the next generation of stylists and hair care professionals, as well as promoting her lace wig product both here and abroad. You can learn more about Tamika, the Bold Hold product line and her online education program at www.thehairdiagram.com.
By Nicci Page