The Star (Jamaica) - - FEATURE - AN­DRÉ WIL­LIAMS Staff Re­porter

The av­enue for Sanieke ‘Salesha’ Hamil­ton to be­come a cosmetologist be­gan very early, by ac­com­pa­ny­ing her mother to the sa­lon.

While other peo­ple would dis­card the hair that was cut from customers, she would use them for a new pur­pose.

Hamil­ton, 25, told THE STAR, “From I was small I used to go to hair­dresser with mommy. I used to pick up hair and go home and put it in my dolly’s hair,” she said.

From giv­ing her dolls new hair­dos, this would later lead to a full-fledged ca­reer as her own boss in beauty and cos­met­ics.

“From I was go­ing to school I was do­ing courses. I started out at age 16 or 17,” she said.

Hamil­ton said she wasted no time in get­ting cer­ti­fied and en­rolled in one of the HEART schools.

She told THE STAR, “Right after high school I went to HEART, the one on Hope Road. I am now NCTVet-cer­ti­fied at Level 1 and Level 2.”

When asked why she went the route to be­come cer­ti­fied when there are oth­ers in the same field who are not, but are equally as good, Hamil­ton said it was a step in the right di­rec­tion.

She said, “More peo­ple come when they know you are cer­ti­fied. Some will ask to see a cer­tifi­cate, oth­ers won’t. But it is good when you are, be­cause the clients are more com­fort­able know­ing.”

Ac­cord­ing to Hamil­ton, who owns and op­er­ates her own busi­ness, Salesha’s Hair and Nail Sa­lon on Devon Av­enue, Kingston 5, the busi­ness of mak­ing peo­ple look and feel good is very re­ward­ing.

She told THE STAR, “It is very re­ward­ing, es­pe­cially in the Christ­mas. That’s when I get the most busi­ness. Clients from all over find me to get dolled up.”

When asked which as­pect of the busi­ness gen­er­ates more in­come, Hamil­ton quickly said the man­i­cures or pedi­cures.

She ex­plained, “I get more nails than hair be­cause hair stays long, but nails grow fast. Customers will come back to re­fill, change, colour or style.”

Hamil­ton said the only down­time she has in her pro­fes­sion is after any hol­i­day.

She said, “Be­fore any hol­i­day, busi­ness is up, es­pe­cially Christ­mas. How­ever, after the hol­i­day, things re­laxed.”

Hamil­ton said she would rec­om­mend any­one to start a ca­reer in cos­me­tol­ogy, un­der one con­di­tion.

“Yes I would ad­vise per­sons (to do it), but only if they re­ally love it, be­cause it takes time and pa­tience,” Hamil­ton said.

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