An Inside Look on Nicole’s Journey to Lakota Room Salon

By: lakotaroom - Published on August 17th, 2020

This is My Story

My hair journey didn’t start off like most. I didn’t grow up knowing I wanted to do hair, I didn’t dye my friends hair in high school and I didn’t do crazy things to my own hair. I grew up a bun head!

Dance became my passion

My mom signed me up for my first dance class when I was 4. Dance was my passion! When I was 8 my mom returned from NYC with a Barbie from the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. I had no idea who the Rockettes were so my mom looked them up for me. I watched video after video. Those long leggy, powerful, strong, beautiful women were the most inspiring thing. After that moment I was sold. I knew I wanted to be a part of an inspiring, powerful, strong girl gang. That started my journey of training to become a Rockette!

My Dreams of Becoming a Rockette

Fast forward to 7 years later. My mom did some research and the Rockettes hold a summer intensive each year where you get to experience what it’s like to be a Rockette for a whole week. This was everything I had trained for and another step closer to my dream. My mom signed me up to audition for the intensive! My parents and I packed up the car and headed to Austin!

The amount of excitement and nervousness I felt made my stomach churn. I don’t remember anything about that audition. All I remember is being super hyped to go home and wait to see if I made it. I checked my mom’s email EVERYDAY to see if I got in. The day finally came and the email was in. I didn’t make it. But I refused to let this dream go. I trained harder for whenever the tryouts came back around. A year later I tried out again and I MADE IT! I was on my way to NYC! I trained every summer with the Rockettes for 4 years.

After I graduated high school I enrolled into college and was majoring in dance. I know, no surprise! I went to NYC since I was finally 18 and could audition to be a part of the Rockettes. That was one of the most overwhelming and exciting things I have done. I was 1 out of 300 women there to audition. Sadly, I was cut after the first round. However, by this time in my life I had been dancing for 15 years. I looked around at all the girls around me and I realized something I never thought was possible. I lost my passion.

Time for Change

I still LOVED dance but I didn’t enjoy it. My mental and psychical health were starting to take a toll. My mom feared I was developing an eating disorder because I was so consumed by dance and my homework load I hardly ate between classes. I remember this day vividly and this is when I knew it was time to take my final bow. It was the day I was in ballet class and I realized how I never felt good enough.. My body wasn’t as flexible as this girl, my turnout wasn’t as good as hers. I remember my instructor always told me I had weak ankles. That’s when it hit me! It was time to end the days of being torn down and never feeling like I was enough! I was done with comparisons and the snarky girls!

 My parents have always been my biggest cheerleaders when it comes to my dreams. They supported me when I told them I no longer wanted to go to school or dance anymore. But now came the question every millennial tries to avoid during family gatherings.., “what are you going to do now”? 

A Year to Search

Call me crazy but even with my crazy dance and school schedule, I was also working at Chick-fil-A. After dropping out of school and no longer dancing, I didn’t know what I wanted to do.. So I continued to work. I took about a year off from everything! But for those who know me I like to stay busy. Working at Chick-fil-A was starting to bore me. I knew I was ready to head back to school but I didn’t know what I wanted to study.

Like most people while I was doing research I ended up side tracked. I found myself on Facebook quite a bit. Let me tell you something… Facebook ads work, y’all!

I was scrolling through my feed and an ad for a cosmetology school popped up. Eh, I didn’t have a lot going on so why not do some research on this? This little spark ignited in me. I haven’t felt that since dancing! Was this my new journey?! I signed up to tour at Paul Mitchel and Aveda ASAP! I called my mom and told her what I did. She told me to send her the days and times I was going to tour because my parents wanted to tag along. So here we went again.

My New Journey into the Hair Industry

We loaded up in the car and toured these two schools! I saw both schools and I knew… THIS. WAS. IT. I found my new journey! I signed up with Aveda and my classes started in 4 weeks. 

12 months later I graduated, passed my state board test and now the time came to find a salon! I interviewed at two salons, a small little salon in the Heights, and an even smaller salon in Montrose. As things would work out I took the job in Montrose and apprenticed under a really amazing guy! He taught me so much about what it means to be a stylist. By the time my apprenticeship was coming to an end there wasn’t an available chair for me. So it was time to find another home.

Throughout my year as an apprentice, the salon in the Heights still kept in touch with me. I reached out and asked if they were hiring and sure enough they were! A year later after my first interview with them I was hired at the little salon in the Heights. Lakota Room Salon! 

In the end, my dream of wanting to join an inspiring, powerful, and strong girl gang still came true!