The Trumpet

Afrofluent Styles- A breath of fresh hair

Afrofluent Styles- A breath of fresh hair

Photo: Adukie Bruce, Founder of Afrofluent Styles – a natural hair care salon.

Photo Credit: Contributed

By: Zasha-kae Dennis

Prompted by the urge to innovate and her drive to deliver an enriching experience to black Jamaican women, 24-year-old Adukie Bruce’s talents and skills in entrepreneurship accompanied by her commitment to personal growth helped her to create a safe space for women that is better than she could have ever imagined. 

In 2019 while Bruce was pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies at Northern Caribbean University (NCU), she got her hair done at a salon so she could have a convenient style that was easy to manage for school. Unfortunately, the style was poorly done and conditions of the salon were below average. This did not reflect the high cost that was paid for the service. This moment took Bruce back to when she was 14 years of age and her mother who passed away from Lupus in 2012,  styled and cared for her hair despite her limited knowledge in hairstyling. 

“I remember how I felt after I came back from the salon. My scalp was sore and aching, and there was no tenderness extended in the service. I thought back to my mother, and  even though she never really knew how to do hair, I felt her effort, love and decisive action with every stroke of the comb.”

She said she was inspired to pass that feeling along to others and decided that by styling hair she does not only want it to be a hairstyle but so much more. She wanted to connect with people through their crown on a deeper level. She said she removed the hideous braids she got at the salon the same day and taught herself how to braid hair.

It was surprising to Bruce how fast she caught on to styling hair. She knew she wanted to invest time in learning, but the speed at which she caught on was very surprising to her. She eventually moved on from practicing on her own hair to styling the hair of friends and family. 

“I was so nervous. I wanted to perfect my skill as much as possible before I even thought about taking my first client. I had core values on what I expected of myself and my business, and I wanted to ensure I stayed true to that by actually putting in the work to make my business strides above the rest.” 

Bruce eventually reached a place where she realized that she had maxed out her potential within her safe space, and she needed to challenge herself. She needed to  push her boundaries. She had her vision, her plan of action and a clear outline of her goals, and she now needed an execution plan to get the word of her services on the market. 

Bruce utilized her public relations knowledge she was taught at NCU in her major to build anticipation and garner brand awareness. She worked alongside her friends who assisted in executing a social media campaign and as a result of this combined effort Afrofluent Styles was born in Fall 2019.

Afrofluent Styles

Bruce’s hair salon was open for business, and she specializes in Knotless braids, Faux Locs, Goddess Locs, Butterfly Locs, Passion Twists and Marley Twists. She has every intention of expanding her skillset but currently this is what she is excelling at. The success of the business has truly left her astonished as it has surpassed what she thought she could have ever accomplished for a small business.

“I was so moved when people from NCU supported me and became my main clientele. I had the pleasure of even doing my lecturer’s hair. A full circle moment for me was when my lecturer carried her daughter in for a service. I don’t even think she knows how that moment was significant for me.”

The 24-year-old student said it was the Public Relations course that the lecturer had taught her that was the driving force behind many of the marketing tactics she used to get her company’s name out there. Bruce said it was so enriching to have her experience her service.

After that, prosperity was no stranger to the business. Bruce credits the family at NCU for being a major factor in the success, citing that without such a supportive community she really would have struggled. 

“I have to extend my thanks to NCU for the way they banded together to support me in this business venture. They are one of the reasons I remain booked and busy. They walk with their money too, and that will always guarantee a 5 star review from me,” she jested. 

Bruce extends gratitude not only to NCU but to her friends that also aided in her success. They assisted in page management, content creation, modeling and so much more, and she said Afrofluent Styles would be an empty husk without their support.

“My friends deserve to be highlighted because I have never felt as uplifted and supported as I did when I started this business and received their unwavering support. They have modeled for me, assisted in creating logos and content for the page, and they also allow me to experiment with new styles on their hair to help me decide on what I can offer in the salon in the future.”

Bruce was adamant that even though she runs a successful business, that has nothing to do with her ambitions to get her degree. She remains steadfast in pursuit of her bachelor’s degree because her dreams are not meant to be minimized. 

She is projected to graduate soon but was hesitant to give an exact date.  

“I don’t want to jinx it but just know you’ll see me in a cap and gown really really soon!” 

She is excited for not only the future of her business but her studies as well. She made it clear that putting her in a box was pointless as she is a woman of many talents. 

“I can’t tell you what to expect from me in the future because I do not even know what to expect from myself. One thing I know for certain is that greatness is a must. I have way too many talents and skills to just limit myself to clear cut possibilities.”

Bruce said there are many exciting things in store, and we should expect to be surprised every single time.

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