Guyanese girl makes it big in L.A.
January 7, 2007
ONE look at Marcia Hamilton and you think she is a rebel, living the punk life.
Not true, though. Her signature Mohawk hairstyle has become her reputation in Los Angeles, Hollywood’s home, and this girl is not about to let it go.
Born in Georgetown, Marcia left Guyana at age 13, and today ranks among the top celebrity hair stylists. Her clients include Kanye West, Brandy, Vivica Fox, Lenny Kravitz, Sean Paul and Serena Williams.
It’s a story in irony of a girl who now works at the famous Juan Juan Salon in Beverly Hills but who once frowned on what seemed like natural talent.
She remembers her mother always telling her she should become a “hair dresser” because she also seemed to do a neat job for her neighbours and friends.
When she left for the USA, it was straight into high school. When that was done, to escape becoming a hair stylist, she ventured into becoming a mechanic! When her boyfriend wrecked her vintage Maverick and she was left without a project to work on, she decided to heed her mother’s prodding. She enrolled in cosmetology school at the San Jose College.
Marcia, now 29, came to love classes and from there it was no turning back.
After gaining her license, she started her professional career at a salon in Santa Clara, California, which was owned by her Mom’s best friend.
This was in the 90’s when braids became popular among African American males, particularly athletes. A member of the San Francisco 49ers football team came into the salon looking for someone to get his hair braided. Marcia was the one to do the job. The word began to spread, and Marcia ended up doing braids for all the 49ers who wanted one.
When Marcia and her friend Chey decided to take visit to Los Angeles to attend a show by celebrity stylist Kimberly Kimble, whose clients include Beyonce, her career took a turn for the better.
While attending that show, Marcia landed a chat with R.B. Bonner, the executive producer of the B.I.G. Beauty and Fashion Show and the executive founder of Elite Style magazine. As a result, Marcia packed her bags and headed to L.A.
Shirlena Allen, celebrity hairstylist to many including Brandy, was instrumental in her growth as a celebrity stylist, and she soon established herself as an expert colorist and hairstylist.
Today, she has been enlisted by Dion Peronneau, one of the premiere agencies for hair, make-up and wardrobe stylists for Hollywood celebrities.
“I am a career girl. I have a vision of where I want to be in my profession and I’m going to get there,” she told the Chronicle while on a visit back home after 16 years.
In L.A. Marcia is not in contact with a lot of Guyanese, but memories of back home come from her mother’s food, including Pepperpot.