Rodriguez’s rise in the world of braiding

Instagram: @hairrbyy_dess

Destiny Rodriguez (12)  often designs feed-in braids for her clients. She freestyles hearts and other designs into her clients’ hair for an extra twist.


Destiny Rodriguez (12) often designs feed-in braids for her clients. She freestyles hearts and other designs into her clients’ hair for an extra twist.

As Destiny Rodriguez (12) finishes the last feed-in braid on her fourth client of the day, she notices her next client walking through her uncle’s salon door. A typical day in the salon includes three to six clients depending on the style she is braiding.
Rodriguez’s passion for braiding hair all began when she saw her mother’s progression in the world of hairdressing. She first started getting into hair as an elementary student and fell in love. During the lockdown, she began to braid hair for family and friends until renting her own booth at her uncle’s salon.
“My mom … really inspired me because I also love doing [hair], but it wasn’t something I did … She motivated me to actually turn it into something more than just doing hair here and there,” Rodriguez said.
While Rodriguez offers 24 different styles, feed-in braids are her favorite to freestyle and play around with different specifications for clients, but they can also be the longest-running style she does. She has several types of feed-in styles and the appointment ranges from three hours to five hours and 45 minutes long.
“I love [feed-in braids],” Rodriguez said. “Six straight back feed-ins with a heart or something… and if you want a feed-in with a heart, it will be up to me if I wanna put the heart on the right, the left, or in the middle.”
Rodriguez found the peak of her passion during quarantine, but she also found the drain of braiding every day. Destiny realized that she got carried away working for money rather than her love of hairstyling.
“When I first started getting serious, which was in quarantine, I was doing hair like every day… it made me feel like I was doing it for the money when in the beginning, I was doing [hair] because I loved it and the money just came with it,” Rodriguez said.
Though most of the talent in hair styling is about actually doing hair, you also have to be social and interactive with the people you braid. Each client, according to Rodriguez, is different and finding their interests can be difficult.
“In this field, you have to interact with people no matter what so you have to learn how to deal with people depending on what kind of person they are,” Rodriguez said. “Some people like to talk and some people — I try to talk to them and depending on their feedback— I can tell if they want to talk or not.”
Rodriguez hopes her small business will not stay small for long. She plans to attend cosmetology school and open her own salon. After the salon has flourished, she wants to give the business to her mother as a gift and open a second salon for herself.
“I just really love doing people’s hair,” Rodriguez said. “And the fact that I get paid for something I love is a plus — it just makes it better.”