Imagine being fresh out of college, a young hairstylist who recently moved to a new city. You’re minding your business slaying hair as usual when one of your clients posts a picture of your work and it goes viral. Your mentions are blowing up, your follower count is rising, and everyone is shook over your styling finesse. That’s exactly what just happened to Tiffany Dryden (@stylesby_tiffany).
Dryden was working overnight when user @withcycleo posted a picture of her work on Twitter, and then the comments, followers, and requests started to flood in. Since then, the photo has been retweeted over 4,000 times and has over 14,000 likes.
If you follow Black Twitter or Black Instagram or heck, even Black Pinterest, there’s the likelihood you’ve come across a meme asking “what lace-front?” or “what closure?”. The joke of the meme is that the lace-front is obvious — you can clearly tell like even from 20,000 feet away while squinting that the hairline looks suspect. But when it comes to Dryden’s work, the question, “what lace-front?” is one you can ask without even a hint of irony.
Anyone who’s worn a lace-front knows that the appearance of the hairline is key. While we’re not expecting folks to believe you grew your hair by twenty inches overnight, you still want your weave or wig to look as natural as possible. Lace-front refers to a wig or closure (a closure is a piece either sewn or glued near the hairline in an attempt to provide a realistic-looking hairline) where the hair is singly tied into a base made completely of lace. A good lace-front will mimic the way hair grows out of the scalp. Dryden tells Allure the best lace-fronts will feel soft to the touch and to steer clear of the ones that feel hard or stiff.
Another trick Dryden dished on to keep your lace-front from being roasted: pluck it! “Pluck the lace-front to mimic a natural hairline,” she tells us. “A natural hairline has more of a gradient effect.” The hair on a lace-front sometimes comes very thick so you’ll need to pluck the lace to customize it for the most believable look. Dryden also warns to go easy on the baby hair. Some people tend to go overboard by adding too many baby hairs to a unit, which doesn’t make it look natural at all. As a child of the ’80s, I concur. Baby hairs are the little hairs around the hairline that we would style by slicking them down with gel using either our fingers, a small brush, or even a toothbrush (obviously not to be used on your teeth). It breaks my heart to see what looks more like adult hairs damn near covering one’s entire face. Not cute.
Dryden certainly has everyone going crazy in awe of her work. Here’s to hoping that this sort of precision catches on to the masses.
One of the most popular questions she’s been getting (out of thousands) is “why don’t you have more followers?” We’re thinking after this, Dryden, who recently moved to Atlanta from a small town after graduating from Florida A&M University just last year, won’t be getting asked that question again.
Instead, it’ll be “when can I make my next appointment?”
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