By Denise Lew
Photos by In His Grace Photography & provided by Ohh My Natural Hair Care
There are few in this world that are fortunate enough to find their calling early in life. Meet Amber Gray, an up-and-coming hairstylist no stranger to Chesapeake Bay Wedding magazine. Gray and her team recently wrapped up a third shoot at the historic Oxon Hill Manor in Oxon Hill, Md.
Based out of Newark, Gray’s small business, Ooh My Natural Hair Care, serves a diverse list of clientele. Gray is an amazingly versatile hairstylist, having worked extensively with different types of hair. Her burgeoning small business offers a
plethora of services for all types of women’s hair and best of all, unlimited service for bridal packages.
Gray developed her love of styling hair starting at a young age with none other than her own family.
“I’ve been doing hair for over 12 and a half years. I started out at the age of seven by planning my mother’s hair and continued to do it. As I got older, I continued to do all the other girls’ hair in the community (and) our neighbors,” she recalled.
After graduating from Wilmington University, Gray worked as a medical assistant at a local hospital for two years. Despite working in a different industry, she found a unique way to incorporate her giftings.
“I would comb their hair, every patient; I saw that their hair was all over the place. Each and every morning, I would speak to them. They would let
me comb,” she said.
Affectionately known as the “hair lady,” Gray comforted older patients, some suffering from dementia, with her “hair care.” Yet inevitably, she could not help thinking about what her heart yearned for.
“I enjoyed being a medical assistant but something was missing,” she explained.
That life realization soon motivated Gray to enroll in Paul Mitchell the School – Delaware. In 2015, she received her cosmetology license, graduating at the top of her class. While working at a local salon, Gray continued to build her brand
“Ooh My Natural Hair Care,” the name aptly encapsulating her own philosophy.
“I wanted to teach people how to do natural hair and be a very diverse stylist where I could teach absolutely anybody how to take care of natural hair. I’m a firm believer that you can still get the results of your hair that you want without
processing it, putting a harsh chemical on it… I always come to my clients with their overall health,” Gray said, explaining that dying gray roots is a popular service. “We can (choose to) do henna, which is an all natural hair coloring source. It’s healthy not just for the hair, but for the skin as well,” she said.
In December of 2018, Ooh My Natural Hair Care was officially launched as a small business from Gray’s home with the support of loyal clientele built over the years. Since then, her hair styling work has been featured in Chesapeake Bay
Wedding at several wedding shoots. Gray was introduced by Christina Maddox of Heaven Sent Weddings to the magazine, where the two beauticians have enjoyed collaborating on several wedding shoots.
“I love how knowledgeable Amber is about the care of your hair,” said Maddox. “I also love the uniqueness of (her) hairstyles. You can show her any style in a magazine and she can recreate it so that it looks good on your face. Amber also
educates you on continuous care and how to keep your hair maintained after you leave her chair.”
According to Gray, working with her loyal clientele is what she enjoys most about her job. She loves “to make (her clients) feel beautiful, to give them
a very peaceful service… and just seeing the smile on their face and their beauty come alive.”
Gray uses some of her spare time to give back to the local community by speaking at area hair schools, including her alma mater. She desires to educate and encourage young, aspiring cosmetologists – like she once was.
“My future plan is to keep going, keep encouraging the younger generations, and to keep teaching others on how to take care of their hair without it being processed,” she said. Drawing from her own path taken, Gray wishes to give future generations three pieces of essential advice, “One, always give back; two, be patient; and three, never give up.”