By Lajeune Hollis
With a passion to make a difference by helping men and women feel good about themselves, owner of Infinite Beauty Bar and Aphrodite’s Mane DeAndrea Abrahams is doing it all at her modern West Hartford salon—hair, braids, weaves, facials, lash extensions, teeth whitening, waxing, and she will soon offer makeup and nail services.
“In today’s world, the last thing you think of is doing something for you,” said Abrahams. “But if you look great you feel great and perform better at work and in relationships.”
Abrahams’ family set roots in Connecticut after moving to Hartford from Jamaica. Her father was a tailor and her mother a hairstylist, so she was surrounded by the beauty and fashion industry from a young age.
“I went from doing hair in my house to getting a salon suite to owning my own salon,” she said.
"Hair is therapy – young women, older women, it makes a difference to them and it’s because of them that I started my business."
Having had a difficult chapter earlier in her life, which ended up with being incarcerated, Abrahams knows how to overcome adversities and follow her dreams, even when things get tough.
“It sounds so cliché but believe in yourself and your abilities. There’s so much more to me, it’s not how you begin but how you end,” she said. Sometimes you think being successful is impossible based on what you were born into, but you can still achieve your dreams.”
A single mom to a 17-year-old daughter, Abrahams has now been the sole owner and operator of her salon for five years, having moved to her West Hartford location in June 2020, just a few months after the onset of the COVID pandemic. It was a challenging time—closing one business location and opening another, dealing with supply chain issues, and navigating the immense difficulties of when the State of Connecticut shut down all beauty salons for three months.
But that didn’t stop Abrahams. Being the ambitious and keenly focused woman that she is, she instead used the down time from the pandemic to focus on what she could control. She asked herself, what did she need to do and how could she get it done? Then, she allowed herself to “accept the break,” in her words, so that when it finally ended, she could hit the ground running.
And that she did.
“Most days I work 16 to 17 hours a day,” she shared. “I love what I do – even when I’m tired.”
Abrahams books appointments online so her clients can see when she is available, though she admits that it is hard to say “no”—even on her birthday. In her mind, she will find a way to make any appointment work!
“Hair is therapy – young women, older women, it makes a difference to them and it’s because of them that I started my business,” she shared. “Everything does not have to be perfect. Make strides to get to that place. Don’t listen to those negative voices. Work doesn’t feel like work—it helps to remind me that I’m serving a purpose.”
Abrahams even comes into the salon on the two days it is technically closed—Sundays and Mondays—to meet with clients who are experiencing hair loss and are reluctant to come in when the salon is busy.
According to Abrahams, some clients shed tears of joy when they see their new look, like a 30-year-old client who had lost all her hair due to cancer treatments. Abrahams was able to create a wig that looked exactly like her natural hair and the client cried because with it on she looked so beautifully familiar.
And when the salon doors really do close for the day and Abrahams heads home, she’s been known to even wake up in the middle of the night, grab her notebook on her nightstand, and jot down ideas before going back to sleep.
Why? She wants to always look for ways to build the business so everyone—from her hair braider to her other work colleagues—can succeed. Her ultimate goal is to own multiple salons, open a hair school and have her own line of haircare products.
For those in the market for hair extensions, Abrahams also operates an online shop called Aphrodite’s Mane—a collection of 100% premium human hair extensions in a wide range of options. She also carries salon-branded apparel and haircare products.
Infinite Beauty Bar is located at 206 Park Road, West Hartford, Connecticut. Learn more about the salon on their website, Instagram or Facebook. Shop Aphrodite’s Mane at www.aphroditesmane.com.
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Photos courtesy of Infinite Beauty Bar/Aphrodite's Mane.