WACO, TX — Thirteen hairstylists throughout Waco are coming together to give back to the community by creating a camp for young girls teaching them the craft of braiding.
While the camp is meant to teach the girls a new skill, it is also about bringing the community together.
“I always wanted to do it since I was little,” 10-year-old Kloe Johnson said.
Kloe has always dreamed of becoming a braider and stylist. So, when her mom heard about the Next Generation Summer Braid Camp, she was one of the first to sign up.
“This is what you want to do, you can go for your dreams and that is how it started,” Rose Johnson, Kloe's mother, said.
Lakendra Dugas had originally come up with the idea for a free braiding camp for girls at the beginning of June to connect with the Waco community
“A lot of my clients are local and just to be able to give back and do something for the youth, something that they can grow into,” Dugas said.
The original camp was capped at just 10 girls, but it was such a success, Dugas was inspired to host the camp again, but at a much bigger scale. She teamed up with 13 other hairstylists and together they plan to teach over 100 girls the art of braiding.
“This is something fun and positive that they can go out and do, and interact with other kids as well,” Dugas said.
Jantinequa Gill also started braiding at a young age and has been working full-time as a stylist for over three years. When she found out about the camp, she jumped at the opportunity to help out.
“I finally get to work with kids, teaching them what I love to do and I honestly didn’t think it would be possible anytime soon so being able to do that like, I am ecstatic about it,” Gill said.
And according to Dugas, the camp isn’t just about learning how to do hair.
“I really enjoyed seeing the girls just getting together and having fun. They were laughing, they were talking, they were having like, ‘girl chat’. It was really nice just seeing them interacting with each other,” Dugas said.
Dugas hopes to inspire young girls, like Kloe, to keep practicing and follow their dreams.
“I still want to learn how to do a cornrow and figure out how to do it so that I can make it look better,” Kloe said.
The Next Generation Summer Braid Camp is for those 18 and younger and the camp will be on July 26th from 5 to 8 pm.