Jessica Hall began cutting hair professionally at age 15. Today, the Florida A&M freshman is turning and cleaning heads on campus.
“My overall inspiration for hair came from making people feel good and helping them express their outer beauty,” Hall said.
Hall, 18, is a self-taught barber from Columbus, Georgia. She is a public relations major who aspires to be a youth advocate.
When Hall was younger, she was involved in an outreach mentorship called the Overflow Outreach. During this mentorship, Hall saw how people in the program inspired lives. Hall wanted to inspire lives too, but in her own unique way.
Although Hall has inspired many lives through cutting hair, she described how hard it was to become a female barber. “It wasn’t easy at first. It was intimidating, not only am I a female but I’m also young. I felt like the underdog, it kind of affected my self-esteem,” she said.
Hall’s journey as a female barber brings up the topic of gender roles. Men are seen as superior in the barber industry. Hall has to cope with he stereotypes of only men being able to cut hair. Hall’s sister, Ashleigh Kaufmann, inspired her while growing up to beat the odds placed against her.
“I love when a plan comes together, from the time she told me she wanted to cut hair, I knew I could guide her in the right direction. My love and passion for cutting hair, rubbed off on her,” said Kaufmann.
When Hall first came to Florida A&M University, she didn’t quite know if her classmates would support her as a barber. After Hall arrived on The Hill, she was surprised at how supportive her fellow classmates were.
“Jess does a job that many individuals attempt to do, but can’t quite execute properly. The preciseness of Jessica’s skills combined with her genuine and hilarious personality, is what makes her not only the best barber on campus, but also the best roommate,” Danielle Boyd, a public relations major. said.
Although Hall’s passion is cutting hair, Hall has other dreams she would like to accomplish. After graduating college, Hall would like to own a non-profit organization, so she can help adolescents break out of their bad habits and develop good ones.
Chasing her dreams at a young age has taught Hall perseverance. Hall has learned that in life you have to keep going. Hall has also learned that starting something from nothing is not easy. However, she said, if you don’t take a chance on your dreams, they may pass you by.