As soon as you walk into Hair Art & Company, located in the heart of Mid City, you’re consumed by the eclectic and vintage vibes. From the original artwork covering the walls to the detailed floors hand-painted by the owner herself, this salon and barbershop is unlike any other.
Tasha Daigle grew up watching her grandfather work in his barbershop, but never dreamt that she would one day take it over. After working in a chemical plant for two years, Daigle said she knew she needed a career geared more towards her exciting, colorful personality. Nearing the end of her twenties, she decided to enroll in hair school to turn her hobby into her career.
Although she had gone to school, she spent most of the year traveling and even had the opportunity to work on a cruise line.
While her grandfather was still working in the industry, Daigle decided that working toward her barber’s license would be the best thing to do.
After a failed deal to sell his barber shop, Daigle’s grandfather called and made her an offer.
“He said, ‘I want you to come here, work with me, and buy the shop when I retire,’” she said.
Sine he retired almost two years ago, Daigle has worked on the building— gutting it, painting the walls and filling the salon with art— to make it her own.
The two had dual-signage in front of the shop for years, but, after Daigle had been operating on her own for a year, her grandfather asked that she take down his "Wayne's Barber Shop" sign.
“He had always made that joke, ‘You can’t do that, Tasha, the sign out front still says Wayne’s, and last time I checked, I’m Wayne,’” she said.
Daigle said she didn’t realize how big her grandfather’s name was in the hair world until she dug deeper into the history of hair shows and barber awards. Her grandfather used to competitively cut hair all over Italy.
“This was his life,” she said. “He would hold himself hostage to this shop because he loved it so much. He is a legend and [left] some huge shoes to fill in the industry.”
“I was doing a girl’s hair for the first time last week and we were doing a huge color transformation that was going to take about four hours and she said, ‘I used to come in here with my dad when I was a little girl when he would get his hair cut almost weekly.’ It’s not until they get cozy in my chair that they start telling me the history of their family with the shop, then they realize it was my grandfather.”
“A lot of people in this community have a connection to this building and to my grandfather.”
Daigle’s lifestyle reinforces that this is the career for her. She is able to see the world and has many other hobbies, such as yoga, painting, fitness, and hair shows.
Daigle is enjoying being her own “girl boss.” She said she loves being able to hustle, pay her bills, travel, and enjoy her life.