The hair and makeup industry is booming, and celebrity hairstylist and MUA Ja’Nece Bradford are leading the wolfpack. The HBCU grad started rocking lace fronts 17 years ago and says she leaned on her skills to transition her career.
“I was frustrated with my job. I was an investigator for the treasury department, and I just felt like I couldn’t do that for the next forty-something years and retire and then start living my life. So, I reverted to my childhood, and what made me happy was hair and makeup. When I started, makeup was still a hobby. I was navigating a new, scary space, but I enjoyed the journey.”
Bradford’s talent extends far beyond hair and makeup. As a businesswoman, she’s established herself as a contender in her industry working on projects involving Bishop T.D. Jakes, Kamala Harris, and many more. The multi-hyphenated beauty savant added author to her title with the release of her first book, 'In Pursuit of A Dream.'
Camille’s Corner caught up with Bradford, who candidly discussed her favorite Camille Rose Blends, her journey in the beauty industry, and tips for Rosettes ready to embark on their entrepreneurial paths.
Camille’s Corner: How did you get started?
Bradford: I am a hair and makeup artist. I have been doing this for over eight to nine years, but I have been doing lace wigs for 17 years. I started wearing them 17 years ago, and that’s how I started. I have a lot of experience in the lace-wig industry. I work for several new stations, from MSNBC to NBC to PBS and GTN, CGTN.”
Camille’s Corner: What tips can you give women to maintain healthy hair while wearing their lace-front wigs?
Bradford: Everyone has their way of doing things and their journeys. Regarding myself and what works for my clients, you must keep your hair hydrated and only manipulate your hair occasionally. When it comes to protecting your edges, I see many people putting stocking caps and hair sprays; for my clients and me, that’s a no because a lack cap that’s nylon can cause friction and rub up against your edges. My tip is to do away with the nylon caps.
Camille’s Corner: What are your favorite Camille Rose products and why?
Bradford: One of my anchor's hairstylist introduced me to the brand, and I fell in love. Products like the Coconut Water Hydrating Elixir and just a little water freshen up the curls, and you don’t have to wait for them to dry. It gives you that curly, bouncy feel without sitting underneath a hair dryer or using a diffuser. I also like Curl Maker, and I use that when I take more time to wash and deep condition a wig.
Camille’s Corner: Tell us about your journey and what you learned.
Bradford: I realized I had to take accountability for myself and stop blaming others for things I could control. I had to sit down and prepare myself for what I was asking God to deliver. Once I prepared myself, all the doors opened and never closed in my face again.
Camille’s Corner: Tell us about your day-to-day life as a professional MUA and hairstylist.
Bradford: My everyday routine doesn’t look the same. My normal job is at NBC. I deal with one primetime anchor, and my daily routine looks like checking in with her assistant, learning the schedule, and ensuring her hair is taken care of when she is wearing wigs. The other stations are solely makeup.
Camille’s Corner: What advice would you give other Rosettes who aspire to similar careers?
Bradford: I would encourage others to research and prepare themselves for what they’re asking. While you shouldn’t be afraid to reach out to people that are doing what you want to do, reach out to people that are aligned with what you want. If you want to do bridal hair and makeup, don’t reach out to someone who is doing television because they are two different industries. You have to know precisely what you are going after and what you desire. Not saying that you can’t navigate different spaces, but you have to be the master of one space at a time.
Camille’s Corner: What legacy do you want to leave behind?
Bradford: I want to leave a legacy that I never gave up on anything that I said I wanted to do. I want clothes to understand that they also can do the same thing but they have to get out of their own way.