Beautifying Black queens


Ronke Owolabi

Ronke Owolabi always ensures her clients receive the quality service they pay for and she treats her clients with respect. She enjoys watching her clients leave with smiles on their faces and listening to her clients’ rants about life while braiding their hair, and honors the appointments made by their clients.

Divine Idiku, Reporter

Ronke Owolabe founded Ron Hair Braiding and Accessories, located in Mableton, Georgia: an ethnic hair salon that specializes in enhancing the crowns of Black girls across the board. Owolabi learned how to braid in Nigeria through her sister-in-law. She did not love how American hairdressers braided their client’s hair because the braids do not come out neat, which motivated her to open her own business. 

Owolabi earned a degree in teaching and never intended to run a hair-braiding business, but decided to open her own after seeing how businesses ran. She started braiding for fun, but then realized she held a valuable talent. She started her business at home to take care of her young child, but in 2014, she started planning and searching for a space to rent so she could officially open a salon. By 2015, she found a shop to rent and started her business with the help of her husband, Olu Owolabi. During the early days, extensions for braids required cutting, stretching, and brushing; the process took up almost 40 minutes, so her husband helped her when summoned.

“[Another hairdresser] told me something, she said,  instead of me renting this shop, she will be leaving this shop soon and I can just stay with her while we share the rent and then she will move out. She kind of encouraged me and I kind of trusted her, so I stuck with her and shared the rent,” Owolabe said.

Owolabe runs her business by appointment majority, although she may take up a client who walks in if free; however, she encourages her clients to book an appointment. By doing that, she can make her own schedule and schedule her clients by hours: from 1-2 p.m. for one client and then 2-3 p.m. for another. Her business opens at 10 a.m. and then typically closes at 6 p.m. She runs a website on Google and runs a Facebook account, where people can book appointments. A majority of the time, her clients come through referrals or find her through reviews. Owolabe enjoys communicating with her clients and sharing their issues while beautifying her clients’ hair. She feels like she rebuilds their facial expression which makes her happy. When braiding a returning client’s hair or a new client referred to her, motivates her. 

Owolabe treats her clients respectfully, and always follows the rules to treat her clients with fairness. She plans to continue running her business in the future, believing she will do better and will follow suit.

“I don’t think I’m a perfectionist, but people always say that. If someone shows me a picture, I want to do it even better than the picture and I think that’s one of the things people say about me. I’m doing it that way because people paid for it, I think I treat people with respect and in all fairness. I don’t want to be like the African braiders that people talk about because African braiders do not get good reviews, people believe they’re not nice and they scream at you,” Owolabi said.