By: Shea Lenniger, Contributing Editor/Writer for The Hair Society
Nadia S. Hughes, founder of Trichologist’s on a Mission (TOAM), is a truly inspiring figure in the hair loss and restoration community. Based in San Antonio, Texas, she works closely with her clients to uncover the root cause of their hair loss issues by utilizing holistic healing methods. Her organization TOAM brings together practitioners across the USA, Canada, the Caribbean, and Mexico, to educate stylists and barbers on the epidemic of hair loss. She’s achieved great success within the community by seeking out various networking opportunities, staying inspired by her clients and her career, and working to improve the lives of others. Want to know more about her secrets to success? Continue reading to learn more about Nadia and her work.
How did you get your start in the industry and what initially interested you?
My mother was a stylist and I used to help her with her work when I was 11 years old. It was fascinating to see the transformation of her clients and I wanted to help do the same thing.
How did you develop your skills to end up where you are now?
After finishing cosmetology school, I decided to take up different certifications, such as hair extensions. I mastered the craft by learning 7 different techniques. I got an offer from BABE extensions to become a bilingual educator.
How many years have you been in business?
It’s been 8 years now.
What motivates you?
What’s an interesting fact about your business most people don’t know
We service children and women after cancer with hair restoration completely free of charge.
When you’re not working, what sort of things do you do to re-charge your batteries?
I read a LOT, I love to read.
What inspires your work and what sets you apart from everyone else?
My community inspires me because there is a wave of hair loss that needs to be addressed. As a cosmetologist, it is my responsibility to help my community by bringing education and awareness on the subject. I believe my kindness sets me apart from the masses.
What has been your biggest success to date?
I love that I’m able to create a community within the trichology industry where we can share and uplift each other for the greater good.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Anything involving language barriers can be tough.
Describe your typical workday.
I usually start my day with meditation, that’s a number one priority for me. Then I check emails, ship out products, assist clients, and attend to other practitioners.
What other businesses are you inspired by or who inspires you in business?
I am inspired by the other businesses that look for the betterment of their communities, like The Wellness Way.
If you could go back to the beginning knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently?
I regret nothing that I have done thus far. Everything has taught me valuable lessons that pushed me to succeed in my community.
What’s your best advice for someone who wants to start his/her own hair loss business?
Research, research, research.
What separates your group from your competitors?
We have created a culture of persistence that leads us to the mastery of assisting those who suffer from scarring alopecia.
What did you want to be when you were a child?
I wanted to be a medical forensic doctor.
Do you have a personal or professional motto?
“We rise by lifting others.”
Who in the hair-loss community do you look up to, such as a role model or mentor?
When I came into the field, there was no community. There was no one sharing of information about the issues within the field. The community had to be created. Therefore, I had to be my own mentor.
In your opinion, what are the top three things someone should consider before starting a business in this industry?
You should ask yourself these three things:
1. Are you financially prepared?
2. Are you passionate enough?
3. Are you willing to invest your time in research and studies?
Name the biggest overall lesson you’ve learned during your professional journey so far.
Don’t be the “what if?” person. Pull the trigger when your instinct tells you.
What organizations do you belong to and of them, can you attribute any of your ongoing success to them and why?
I belong to Trichologists on a Mission (TOAM) and The Hair Society. They push me to do better every day.
Tell us about your team? What are their backgrounds, etc.?
Stephanie Watson works in PR & marketing. She has experience as an event and travel planner and in consulting as well. Serenity Abrams is an assistant educator and a natural hairstylist.
What is your management style?
I like to be laid back yet firm in the needs of the organization.
What do you see is the future for the hair loss industry?
Based on the rapid rate of hair loss, I see trichology being delivered to cosmetologists on the main stage.
How do the social, economic, environmental, technological, legal, and political environments impact your business?
Socially, it’s important to bring the right sources into the business. Economically, methods of helping hair loss are not cheap, so there’s a huge cost in research and actual procedures. Technologically, it’s important to stay abreast of advancements in the industry.
How do you market your business? What are your strategies?
I maintain an active social media presence, and I seek out conferences and vendor opportunities. My strategy is to talk to everyone to network and bring awareness about trichology and hair loss to all.
Nadia’s organization Trichologists on a Mission will be holding its annual conference in partnership with BlackDoctor.org (BDO) on April 12-19th, 2020. The Hair Society is proud to be a “Presenting Partner” sponsor of next year’s event. Attendees will hear from hair replacement specialists, cosmetologists, barbers, holistic practitioners and medical professionals who have experience in managing clients with varying degrees of hair loss and scalp disorders. Industry professionals looking to gain unique mentorship opportunities from other professionals in the hair replacement industry are invited to attend. For more information and to register for the event, visit https://trichologistsonamission.com/toam-2020-convention.
Learn more about TOAM by visiting www.trichologistsonamission.com.