Anika Noni Rose’s hair transition has been a beautiful sight to see. The actress known for her one of a kind voice and talent once admitted in an ESSENCE article that she was hesitant to go natural because she thought she’d miss out on roles. As evident in her recent slay at the Emmys, however, we can attest to the fact that Miss Anika is not missing out on anything. She’s winning.
We caught up with the man behind Anika’s fly AF fade, Wayne Jolla (@Professionalcutz). Here, he talks about the convo he and Anika had about her hair during Emmy night, the other stars he gets to groom and the future of groomer.
BET: How did you get started cutting hair?
Wayne: I got started cutting hair because of my grandfather. To this day, he's the best barber I've ever seen. He wouldn't cut my hair the way I wanted at 12 years old, so I picked up the clippers and completely messed my hair up. That led to him mentoring me about his craft.
Why are you a groomer?
I'm a groomer because of my passion for the craft. I love to make people look good, which in turn makes them feel better. It's my way of spreading love.
When did you get your first celeb client?
I cut hair for film and television, so I cut lots of celebrities. The first project I worked on was Queen Sugar Season 1.
What makes the relationship between a groomer and their client so special?
Being a professional groomer, your work space is someone's personal space. So the respect, even before the love, has to be mutual. That's what makes the relationship between a groomer and their client so special.
Tell us the conversation that happened when Anika approached you about making her big chop more tailored.
After I cut Anika's hair originally, she decided she wanted it even shorter. We then agreed that a fade would not only be a great look, but also more functional in her everyday life.
Set the scene for cutting Anika’s hair for the Emmys.
When I cut Anika's hair for the Emmys, it was about 9 p.m. Thursday night. Since we were on different projects, our window was small. She met me in the hair and makeup trailer for the project I was working on. She's a genuinely good person and one of the realest people I know. So, laughter and music filled the room while I cut her hair. A couple days later, Ms. Cynthia Alvarez styled it for the Emmys.
In what ways is it different cutting a woman’s hair (especially when it’s short) than a man’s?
The difference in cutting women's hair and men's hair is the conversation [laughs]. There are many different skin types as well as hair patterns, and none of them are gender specific.
What’s been the most difficult obstacle as a groomer?
The most difficult obstacle for me, as a groomer, has been being away from my family for extended amounts of time, as well as not being able to share my successes with my grandfather.
Give three of the most rewarding aspects of being a barber/groomer.
The most rewarding aspects of my career have been the ability to impact my community by mentoring at-risk youth, the allowance of freedom through fashion and seeing a client filled with elation once they've been serviced.
Do you cut any other celebs’ hair?
I definitely cut other celebs and I'm also Kofi Siriboe's personal barber.
Name what success means to you as a groomer.
Success to me, as a professional groomer, is defined by happiness. Nothing would make me happier than being able to make people look and feel better through my craft for the rest of my days. I guess that's a question you'll have to ask when I'm 75 and still cutting!
Tell us one thing you believe will be the future of barbering/grooming.
One thing I believe will be the future of barbering is barbers actually cutting hair instead of "coloring" it in. They say the history always repeats itself.
(Photos from Left: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images, Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)