Artyce Dozier Chats on Her Journey to Becoming a Celebrity Hairstylist

Artyce Dozier has published work in Magazines, and Hair/Fashion Shows. Her work has been seen on Bravo and ABC Networks. Artyce is also a celebrity stylist to National Beauty Queens. Artyce is also a national hair educator and gives monthly classes throughout the East Coast.

She has added a new subsidiary to her thriving business, “The Art of Hair Agency.” The agency provides mobile beauty services to the DC metro community. With more than a dozen hair and makeup artist under her privy, Artyce is the “go-to” for all beauty services.

I recently interviewed Ms. Dozier where she chatted more on hr journey.

The Empress Dee: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your multiple streams of entrepreneurship?

Artyce: I am a licensed cosmetologist. I have been doing hair for 17 years and I own my own salon studio suite. I just launched a class where I teach other hairstylists and beauty experts how to set their goals in order to make their dream income.

The Empress Dee: That is beautiful. I read that you had over 15 years of experience in the beauty industry, where did you get your start?

Artyce: I am a 4th generation hair stylist, my grandmother, great-aunt, and mother were all licensed. I grew up here in Maryland and in high school, I took cosmetology classes. I obtained my license to do hair before I even graduated from high school.

The Empress Dee:  So, did you decide that you wanted to do hair because you were inspired by your family or did you develop your own passion for it?

Artyce: I think that as I watched them do it, I thought…wow. I loved watching women come in with their hair kind of covered and then they would leave with “superwoman” capes and I thought…what’s going on here, they were transformed, and I love transformation.

The Empress Dee: When you are in any industry for a number of years, there are some who may get stuck in their comfort zone; doing hairstyles that they are comfortable with doing. How do you keep up with the trends?

Artyce: That is a great question. I do have a couple of styles that I like and that I do stick to, but I love education. So, I go to classes all the time. During this pandemic, I have had time to take a lot of virtual classes and there were a lot of companies that were offering free classes. I always like to stay current and I love to learn; I’m always “sharpening” my sword for hair.

The Empress Dee: That is so awesome. Do you have any advice for women who are looking to be more on top of the trends than they are, what advice do you have for them?

Artyce: I think that it is important to stay connected. Social media is a great tool to use in order to see what the latest trends are. I still collect magazines (like a little old lady) to see what the newest hair styles are. I also have a hand full of mentors that get to connect with different groups of people so that I can see what works and what does not. I also believe in the importance of staying educated yourself. Regardless of the field you are in, you should always continue to learn. I always say that you should be a forever student.

The Empress Dee: Absolutely, I definitely agree. My mother is a hairstylist and so I know that I am super picky when people are doing my hair. Do you have a hairstylist, or do you do your own hair?

Artyce: Most of the time, I do my own hair, because I am a horrible client. I am a little picky, but I do have some hairstylist friends and we will swap off services for each other.

The Empress Dee: Nice, I like that a lot. You mentioned earlier that you love the transformations, with that being said, because image is so important for women and their self-esteem, has there ever been a time when you knew that you made an impact on a woman’s life just by doing her hair?

Artyce:  There have been a few times. The cool thing about doing hair is that we get to talk about people’s deep personal issues while we are doing their hair. As Black women, we are so sensitive about our hair. So, if someone is willing to let you see them at their worst, they will tell you everything. So, I have definitely learned to have a poker face in this industry. One of the most transformational things that I have ever done, was something that I did this year with one of my friends who owns her own company; it was called “Queen V- Day” and for Veteran’s day we took a Black woman who is a veteran who has been dealing with hardship…she lost her job, just horrible stuff.

 She went shopping, she got her hair done, her makeup done; her smile was so big! All of us volunteered our services because you know, anyone could be in her same position. So just witnessing her not wanting to do this, her son surprised her, she did not know that the cameras were coming or anything. At the end of the night she was so happy and every time that I think about it, my heart just smiles…just giving. As hairdressers, we are not magicians, we are just bringing out what is already in you. Everyone is beautiful, so we are just bringing shine to the diamond that is already there.

The Empress Dee: I hear that, and I love it! With woman being in the salon, that is our time to vent and to discuss our issues. Do you ever feel overwhelmed by all of the different stories being shared and the different energies that are sitting in your chair?

Artyce:  Often (laughter) and I have just learned how to…because when I come home to my husband and daughter, I have to learn how to cut it off. I started practicing yoga a couple of years ago. I am learning about chakras; I am learning how to meditate because I used to come home with an attitude towards them and they would be like dang what did we do, and I would apologize. I am mad at my client’s husband because of something that he did to her, but it had nothing to do with anyone at home, but that energy is transferrable.

The Empress Dee: Yes, I definitely agree. I appreciate your service because I am telling you that I have tried to tell people that there are those who go to counselors; I go to my hairdresser, so I understand that it is a difficult job. Can you tell me more about the Art of Hair Agency?

Artyce: I have started to work with more celebrities; I have been working with The Housewives of Potomac, I have been doing a lot of pageants which I am super grateful for, but it can be overwhelming because I am one person. I have clients already and then I started to add-on events and traveling which was fun and after all of that, I still have to come home and be mommy. One of my friends gave me this great idea. She said why don’t you contract out those people who you are not able to service?

 So, I realized that I know a lot of people who do hair and makeup…so that is how it was born. Now, I can give opportunities to other ladies who want to have the chance to be on television or be on a stage play or to do pageant work. I am able to contract the work out to them, the people trust me because they work with me because they know that I would not send them to anyone who would do a bad job on their hair.

The Empress Dee: That is great! Was it difficult for you to find people who could provide those services?

Artyce:  People were excited to join but I think that they did not understand the level of stress in dealing with high maintenance clientele who tend to be more picky. So, it was difficult to retain women. So now I have included in the package a disclaimer that gives them a heads up as to the level of stress that they will encounter because these women will be have higher expectations for the level of services provided because they are getting ready for important events in their lives and they will be a little more stressed than our regular clientele…women who are coming from work or who are stay at home moms…the stress level will definitely be higher.

The Empress Dee: So, what are some of the things that you do to get comfortable working in such a high demand industry?

Artyce:  That is a great question! So for me, being able to work in this high demand industry, I am naturally an introvert; I would love to stay at home, read a book and watch scary movies all day. But I get to have my fun extrovert at work. So, I recommend anyone that is working in this high intensity industry, you have to practice self-care. For me, all I need is tea and a book or maybe a massage once a month. But I am learning to separate my awesome time at work from my self-care time at home.

The Empress Dee: That is beautiful, and I love that…you got it together! So nowadays there are a lot of women who are looking to go natural, in fact I know that some of my friends have but there are still those, like myself who like to keep their hair straight. So, what tips could you give us so that we can still have healthy hair using a flatiron?

Artyce:   Ok, so I recommend that you do not flatiron it every day, that is not an option. Your heat should never go over 400 if you are doing it at home. I know that some of us Black women are serious about our scarves and our wraps, shower caps, silk pillowcases and moisture, if you deep condition your hair every time that you wash it, you are putting extra protein in it and it will protect your hair from anything. Every time that you wash it put a cap on and leave it in for about 30 mins and let the natural heat of your scalp work if you are not going under the dryer. Always deep condition, moisture is going to keep the hair strong, keep the retention and keep it from breaking.

The Empress Dee: I am not sure how popular the Dominican blowouts are, but I have heard some different reviews. What are your thoughts about them, is it healthy for our hair or is it something that we should stay away from? I heard that is a lot of heat.

Artyce: It is a lot of heat! I have clients that come to me once a week who are natural, we blow dry, we silk it and then we curl it; that’s a lot of heat but they only do that once a week. If you do the Dominican blow-out, I would suggest that you do that every 2 weeks. It’s just a lot of heat!

The Empress Dee: I like that! So, I have also spoken with a lot of hairstylists and the ones that I have had, after a certain period of time, seem to get arthritis and they would have issues with their wrists (carpal tunnel) and things like that, what advice would you give to prevent those types of issues?

Artyce: I probably would not be good at saying how you can prevent it because I am a workaholic but at night when my wrists are hurting more than usual, I will go to sleep with a wrist band on. I will do a lot of ice baths on my hands; you just sit your hands in ice for like 10 minutes to help soothe them. I am starting to get into reiki, which is just energy healing. For hairdressers, our bodies are our tools, but we do have to learn our limits. I cannot go full throttle 6 days a week. So, just take some extra time to care for your hands, put your feet up, take warm showers. The older that I get, the more that I am like these Epson salt baths are not too bad (laughter).

The Empress Dee: I hear you and that is hilarious (laughing). What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment to this day?

Artyce: I have had the opportunity to meet a lot of great people. I had a child actress whose hair I did and to me growing up I thought that she was the coolest Black girl ever, I do not know if everyone would agree now but I got to do Stacey Dash’s s hair…Dionne was the only Black girl that we had in the movie Clueless. That was a big accomplishment. But honestly, the older that I get, this class that I am offering to the beauty experts, I feel like this is going to be one of my biggest accomplishments.

 Because hair school only teaches us how to pass the test, but they do not teach us how to budget, how to market, how to select your clients or how to look the part. If you want to charge $500 for a weave, then you need to look like $500 (laughter), the imaging, we need to learn how to schedule ourselves, to pay ourselves… I had to realize about 5 years ago that you need a personal and a business account. I believe that this class will be one of my biggest accomplishments because I am giving back to other women that understand the field that I am in.

The Empress Dee: Absolutely, I definitely feel that. When you first started, did you go full throttle into being a stylist or were you doing it part-time and do you think that it is possible to be a part-time stylist?

Artyce: Oh definitely but when I started, I went full throttle. I think that in this day and age and with everything that is going on in the world, you see that life is short. If you want to do hair 2 days a week and you want to travel 5 days a week…do it all. I think that we have the opportunity to do it all. I know that there is a lot of sad stuff going on in the news but as Black people we have to take advantage of…if anybody wants to hang out with us, come on then. We are the earth’s superheroes that do not get a lot of acknowledgment. So, I think that you can do part-time; I wish that I had done this part-time and figured out what else I liked. But this is the only adult job that I have ever had…I have only done hair. I am now learning about different things that I am interested in.

The Empress Dee: Well that is good, at least you know that you were able to get into it like that…I am not sure that you have the time to explore different interests but I am sure that you are making your money so that is all that matters (there is laughter by both)

Artyce: I am grateful for that. I am very grateful.

The Empress Dee: What would you say keeps you motivated?

Artyce: Honestly at this point in my life, I am just grateful. I have heard the worse stories that you can hear, and I just love seeing women…after they get their hair done and they are sitting there drinking a bottle of water or some coffee and then they leave like…ok, I can handle this and even though they pay me for what I do, I feel inspired by them and with everything that these women have gone through… Black women are some strong women!!! They are strong in good and in bad ways. I know that as a people we are so strong and that we do not want to show our sensitive side. Watching people transformed or they come back and tell me something horrible today and then a year later it’s something great…it’s like oh my gosh! That really motivates me, witnessing the women that keep going.

The Empress Dee: I can agree with that and even with what you just said, do you feel like the work that you do is spiritual? Because I went through an experience and I had been wanting to wash my hair all the time and I could not figure it out. I would be sad and think, I want to wash my hair and I have always wondered if that was a spiritual thing because like you said women they will cry and then after they get their hair done, they feel like…I’m good. Do you feel that there is some kind of spiritual connection?

Artyce: I definitely feel like there is a spiritual connection. I have clients that come in and they are praying. I watch church with one of my clients on Sunday…I do not go to her church but it’s ok. It is definitely spiritual. There is something about the water hitting your scalp, water is purifying, water is cleansing, water is baptism as you may think of it. You know that we do not want to get our hair wet, we do not want our edges messed up and if I trust you to spray me down with water, then boo, we are in this together.

The Empress Dee: Yassss, I hear you. I definitely feel you on that.  I appreciate you for allowing us to do this interview with you, thank you so much. I wish you the best of luck on your business ventures and hopefully we will have the change to reconnect again.

Artyce: Thank you for having me, I love Purposely Awakened and its platform. You were awesome.

The Empress Dee: Thank you so much and have a wonderful day.

Artyce: You too!

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Destinee (The Empress Dee) Porter is a Restorative Justice Facilitator for Sexton High School in Lansing, MI. She is also the CEO of Empress Training Inc. which, educates young African American women about their African Lineage promoting self-love, divine femininity, and the expression of knowledge and grace. In the near future she aspires to become a Life Coach and Therapist for young men and women of color.

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