Chioma Nkwodimmah Valcourt
Founder, Visionary – An Exclusive Interview
(Visit Chioma’s blog ‘Hair Chi‘)
Chioma Nkwodimmah Valcourt brings the strength of her culture, family and creativity to her work as an innovative hair stylist. Born of Nigerian descent, Chioma which means “Gift from God”, started styling hair at the tender age of ten. Creating a demand with the local cheerleading squad, family members and friends, Chioma learned early on that her gifts were sought after and valued. By the age of 12, Chioma apprenticed in a local beauty salon where she honed her skills in cutting, braiding and weaving. In his best-selling book, Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell makes the case that those who are the best in their generation invest at least 10,000 hours into their craft. Chioma has exceeded this standard and sits at the top of the profession today due to her dedication and experience.
Chioma is a college graduate with a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University. She brings her business savvy and global perspective to the profession. Her client base is loyal and strong because clients know that they are getting her best every time they sit in her chair.
Chioma established herself as a premiere hair stylist for celebrities and A-list clients. Her work has been featured in numerous magazines such as Essence, Vogue, Rolling Stone, Bazaar and Seventeen. Campaign Ads include: Dooney & Burke, McDonald’s, Echo Unlimited, ENYCE and Pillsbury. Television includes: ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox TV, MTV, VH1, BET, TV One, HBO and Showtime. Editorials include: Essence, Details, Rolling Stone, Vogue, Bazaar, YM, Honey, Black Hair, Allure, Glamour, Seventeen, VIBE, Maxim, Ebony and People.
Let’s catch up with Chioma and ask her a few questions about her inspiration and exciting career.
Q. What is the most enjoyable part of your job?
A. The creativity involved. Interacting with such a diverse group of people. I love that my day is never the same as the day before.
Q. What are your favorite products to work with?
A. Products differ for different textures and styles. I like treating every head as an individual.
Q. First Celebrity Client Experience
A. Well I’m not just a hair stylist for women, I’m also a barber and male groomer. The first celebrity that I worked with surprisingly was LL Cool J. it was a video shoot like a hundred years ago. I was still in college. What an experience.
Q. What inspired you to create Next Vanity?
A. Thinking about the amount of time a client tends to spend in a salon, I wanted to create an environment where clients can feel at home. It was very important for me to come up with a way to create an intimate and upscale atmosphere. The experience is a very important part of Next Vanity.
Q. What is your signature style or style you are most known for?
A. I feel like I have traditionally expressed an unrestricted imagination when it comes to hair. I don’t feel like anyone should be limited by hair length or texture. My job is to fulfill your hair fantasy!
Q. What is your main philosophy regarding hair?
A. Creating the perfect balance of health and style. And of course believing in beauty!
Q. To what do you attribute your success?
A. A supportive husband and family has definitely been the biggest attribute. I have three beautiful children who inspire me. I am very determined and ambitious. I’ve never been afraid of hard work.
Q. What are the projects you are working on and what’s next for Next Vanity?
A. I want to create very special private beauty events at Next Vanity and I plan on expanding by offering spa services.