A Touch of Elegance boasts five stylists: (from left) Nneka Ayozie, Lakisha Thomas, Latarsha Sterling and Melissa Simmons (not pictured: Regina Dixon), but hopes to bring in a few more soon.
Photo by Trip Burns
Finding or keeping clients can sometimes be difficult for a beautician after moving to a new salon, but this wasn't the case for Lakisha Thomas. When she worked at Regis Hair Salon in Northpark Mall, she recognized how lucrative the cosmetology field could be. Now, Thomas is the owner of A Touch of Elegance, a full-service hair salon and barbershop in Ridgeland.
"I'm just thankful," she says about opening her own shop. Almost all her clients from Regis still come to Thomas for their hair-care needs at A Touch of Elegance, she says.
Thomas, a 31-year-old Vicksburg native, started styling hair professionally in 2006 at Prevision Haircare Salon in Jackson after graduating from Traxler School of Hair. At those two schools, she learned how to style and cut hair for both men and women.
"I wanted to be versatile," Thomas says about the decision to learn to cut men's hair.
While working at Regis from 2008 until 2012, Thomas came to a realization. "If I can pay Regis' bills, then I can pay my bills," she thought. She started making plans.
Thomas first opened A Touch of Elegance in April 2012 inside Northpark Mall, but she then moved to a new location outside the mall in May 2013.
Opening her own business wasn't as hard as Thomas expected, but it is still very time-consuming. "When I was working at Regis, when I was done with my clients, it was time to go," she says. "Now I have to make sure everything is taken care of before I can leave."
A Touch of Elegance has five stylists right now: Thomas, Regina Dixon, Tarsha Sterling, Melissa Simmons, who left Regis to work with Thomas, and Nneka Ayozie.
"She's (Melissa) been there longest," Thomas says. "She helped get things together so we can move, and the moving process."
Thomas is, however, looking to hire at least two more diverse and talented stylists who can work with different ethnicities of hair.
Thomas would also like to expand A Touch of Elegance to cater to more clients' hair needs and desires. The salon currently specializes in caring for healthy and natural hair, but the stylists also are skilled in working with chemically treated hair. Along with color treatments and various types of styling, the salon also offers facial waxes.
Soon, Thomas hopes to start selling hair-care products and hair extensions.
The biggest problem that Thomas encounters with her clients' hair is poor at-home maintenance. She emphasizes that people should trim their hair every six to eight weeks, especially if they have relaxed or chemically damaged hair. Damaged hair would also benefit from weekly conditioning and protein treatments, she says.
To set up an appointment at A Touch of Elegance (201 Ring Road), call 601-977-9799.