Mo G is the incredible hair artist and visionary behind Chicago’s natural hair movement.

Mo G

Mo G intentionally pays homage to the African tradition of hair art and pushes it forward to reflect the image of Black women in 2022.

Mo G offers Black women the ability to highlight the beauty of their natural hair for daily life and the runway. Her stunning work can be seen on Chicago’s up-and-coming musical talent; like R&B singer-songwriter Ravyn Lenae and Jamila Woods. Mo’s work is a captivating collaboration of creativity and functionality. Rooted in the cultural tradition of hair braiding across the African diaspora, she fully recognises the immediate societal defiance that comes with wearing natural Black hairstyles.

Knowing this, Mo intentionally pays homage to the African tradition of hair art and pushes it forward to reflect the image of Black women in 2022. The young entrepreneur has garnered the attention of up to 13,000+ on social media, and she has turned her growing business into a community that celebrates the diversity and beauty in Black hair. I had the opportunity to meet Mo G and learn more about how she believes the art of hair braiding chose her. 

Mo G
Photography by Ryan Barhaug.

How big of a role did hair and hair braiding play a part in your childhood? 

Some of my earliest memories of my life growing up was doing hair. At around two or three years old showed me how to braid, so I’d go ahead and braids my dolls hair, then put them on display in the kitchen. I remember doing hair shows with them – I was an only child – so it was a great way to keep entertained. 

When did you decide that you wanted to become a hairdresser? 

I wouldn’t even say that it was ever a choice that I made. It kind of chose me. By the time I was four or five years old, I used to do my own hair so much that other people used to ask me to do their hair. And I guess that’s how I became a hairstylist. 

What is it like being a hair braider and business owner in Chicago? 

It’s really nice because Chicago is such a big city that there are so many people to connect with. So there’s a whole network of hair braiders that keep in touch, we refer one another for different things, and I love that. I really enjoy the community that we’ve created. 

What are your thoughts on the current culture of Black hair? 

It’s very interesting to watch how things have changed since I started doing hair. In the Black community, for example, the idea of braids used to be something that was very much a necessity for going on vacation or swimming. However, over the years, I’ve seen that people have begun to appreciate it outside of that because of the amount of energy and effort that goes into it. It seems that, finally, hair braiding is being valued much more as a craft, and it’s been beautiful watching that transition happen. 

Mo G
Photography by Ryan Barhaug.

What are some of the lessons that you’ve learned going from a freelance hairdresser to now owning and running your own salon? 

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I will say that running my own salon has been one of the biggest learning experiences of my life. I had to learn so much from the business side and also understand how to be a leader. We opened in August (2021), so it’s still new, and my favourite part of having them is the bond that we’ve been able to build with one another in such a short amount of time. I think it’s important to really care for the people you work alongside and the clients that are coming in. We’ve been able to build an environment that makes everyone feel special and pampered. 

What is your advice to young hairdressers who are just starting out? 

If you’re just starting out, you should do your best to work under a hairstylist that you look up to and is working at the level that you wish to achieve. Outside of that, I’d advise you to practice, practice, practice. It takes thousands and thousands of hours to master something. So whether you invest in taking yourself to classes or networking and getting a chair in a salon. It’s the only way that you’ll improve your skills. 

Check out the GUAP Arts & Culture section, to discover new art, film, and creative individuals. 

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