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Heart of Central Texas: Waco hairstylist offers free hair braiding camp for kids

LaKendra Dugas says she started braiding hair at young age and wanted to pass that knowledge on to the next generation.

WACO, Texas — With school out for the summer, many parents are finding ways to keep their kids occupied. 

A Waco woman came up with a solution that is both fun, free and functional.

LaKendra Dugas, owner of Beyond the cHair hair salon, started a free hair braiding camp for kids under 18 called "Next Generation" summer braid camp.

"I started braiding hair at a really young age myself. I braided in middle school, high school, you know I would braid some of my friends' hair," Dugas said.

She said she wanted to give other young kids the same opportunity to learn what she did.  

"I just really thought it would be really nice and fun to be able to kind of give back to more youth who are around the same age and something they can enjoy doing and learn and grow it into a career if they want," Dugas said.

Dugas said more than 80 parents reached out to her to sign their kids up.

"I actually was really surprised that the really big response from it which is really exciting," Dugas said.

At the camp, about 10 girls learned the basics of braiding and some more advanced techniques like cornrows, feed-in braids, and box braids. Jenesis, 9, said she loves the camp and wants to do hair when she is older.

"Ever since I was little, I always braided my dolls and my sister's hair," Jenesis said.

But career or not, Dugas said knowing how to do hair was just overall beneficial.

"It's actually very useful. For one, you can learn how to do your own hair which I did myself when I was younger. It was really fun. It took a lot of stress off my mom I'm sure. I was able to do my own hair," Dugas said.

Dugas said it's important for her to give back to the community and do more than just hair hence the name of the salon. 

She challenges other business owners to do the same.

"And I feel like it's really awesome to keep the kids really busy with something positive, something fun," Dugan said.

Dugan said she is partnering with about six other stylists to hold another hair braiding camp session in July This way she'll be able to have additional kids sign up and get more individualized attention.

Follow her Instagram page @beyondthechairwaco to get alerted on dates for the next session.


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