Tamia McCray: Celebrity Stylist

by Tonya Dixon | January 11th, 2014
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Tamia McCray (Photo by Miles Darden)

Most women go to their local beauty salon for the latest style, but also to relieve a weeks’ worth of built up stress through an unofficial counseling session with their personal hair stylist. It’s an unwritten rule throughout the African American community that beauticians and stylists must be able to work wonders with hair and be fully capable of counseling, advising and keep secrets for everyone who sits in their magical chair.

Tamia McCray is not only familiar with the rules; she is completely comfortable with them. Interestingly, she is actually qualified and certified to fill both roles. McCray is the founder and owner of Weave Doctors Full Service Salon in Greensboro N.C. She is the former owner of two very lucrative salons–On Point Stylez and Cuts, a beauty and barber salon in Atlanta GA, and Weave Express Salon in Fayetteville, N.C. Additionally, she is a licensed psychologist with nearly 10 years’ experience in counseling. McCray graduated from North Carolina A&T State University in 2001 with a bachelors degree in Psychology. She then pursued her masters degree in Professional Counseling at Argosy University in Atlanta, GA., and graduated 2003. McCray is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in Counseling Education and Supervision in her dissertation phase.

Tamia McCray, a Celebrity Stylist coming from Atlanta, has experienced a bit of it all. While working on her master’s degree in Atlanta she began styling her neighbor’s hair who happened to be the wife of Akon—an Atlanta-based Hip Hop artist. Before long McCray realized she wanted to do hair full time.

Through word of mouth she developed a reputation among many celebrities and became the area’s go-to stylist. She eventually began working for The Monique Show, which led to a position with Tyler Perry Studios, where she was the on-set stylist for the hit shows House of Payne and Meet the Browns. She hasn’t plateaued, because that would indicate no further growth and that’s certainly not her style.

She says there is absolutely much more to be accomplished. Nevertheless, she is absolutely certain where she is right now is exactly where she should be and more importantly it’s where she wants to be. She is content with the evolution of Tamia and the brand that she is building which includes her very own hair line called ‘True Life Virgin Hair’ that includes different hair types such as Brazilian and Peruvian. The quality is 100% guaranteed to be ‘TRUE to LIFE’ and is sold wholesale and retail and can be packaged with any extension service at the Weave Doctors Salon. Other different types of hair carried at McCray’s salon are Brazilian, Peruvian, Malaysian, and Indian with textures of Body Wave, Straight, Loose Deep, Loose Wave, Curly.

Her brand is synonymous with healthy hair and a healthy life. “I love doing weave, but that’s not really my passion. I’m a full, well-rounded stylist that does healthy hair,” McCray says. “I do everything, not just weave. I teach my clients how to maintain their hair underneath the weave. I want to teach women how to grow long healthy hair. I want to educate. I want to make women feel good inside and out because I’m not just doing their hair; I’m nurturing their soul. As a hair stylist you are like a counselor anyway. People are talking and pouring their hearts out. I deal with strong women, but they just don’t know they are.”

McCray is passionate about her gift. She even jokes, she could probably live at her salon. Her days and nights are spent beautifying clients inside and out. If she isn’t physically in the salon she is checking on her clients or devising plans and events for the salon. It’s a continual grind. She dedicates time specifically throughout the week to call, text or Facebook her clients and simply check to see if their hairstyles are still just as fly as when they left the salon or simply just to answer their questions.

Her can-do attitude and determination to succeed at all costs stems from a childhood of constantly being told she couldn’t do something or she wouldn’t succeed because of where she came from. She is a member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and public service is inbred in her. In fact, McCray uses every opportunity she can to encourage other women to make their dreams a reality.

She says, “I have a testimony. I’m not ashamed to tell people where I come from and what I’ve been through. One of seven children, I was raised in foster care. People said I wouldn’t make it. It drove me and I made it. People tell me all the time I was stupid for leaving Atlanta to come to Greensboro to build a salon. They look at me and say, ‘Oh you’ve done the celebrity thing.’ I say yes I’ve done that, but I’ve also been to the bottom and I’ve worked my way up. I can’t really tell you why I left Atlanta, but I can tell you that it was the best decision that I could have ever made. You can put me in a little hick town and because I believe in myself, I know I will make it. I’m going to thrive. I’m going to hustle. I just believe I have something this area needs.”

Weave Doctors does specialize in weave and extensions but it is truly a full service salon. For over two years McCray and her professional staff, which now includes five other exceptional stylists, have made a significant impact in the styling profession as well as the community. As far as McCray is concerned (not to be arrogant), and most clients will concur, Weave Doctors is not just a salon, rather it’s an experience. From the time customers arrive until the time they leave, the staff makes sure their stay at Weave Doctors is exceptional. McCray personally trains her stylists before they are allowed to handle any clients. As the owner and manager she says it’s her job to make sure people leave feeling great and understanding the passion she has for her craft.

It’s not just the customers who patronize Weave Doctors that are privy to excellence, but the entire city of Greensboro. McCray is virtually obsessed with giving back because she realizes she has received so much. Weave Doctors is always supporting the community. From holiday financial sponsorships–most recently McCray gave away $500 to five deserving families—to custom wigs for adults and children with cancer to caroling at a local nursing home. They have sponsored a “Feed the Community” food drive for Thanksgiving for the past two years. While doing so they gave away free turkeys, hens, hams, and food baskets to 200 families. They’ve also sponsored a ‘Back to School’ drive and gave away free school supplies as well as free hair services and haircuts to local community kids. It’s the type events that she admits don’t make per pockets any fatter, but are among the most rewarding.

Always looking forward, McCray and Weave Doctors are always looking to be better and do more. She is always making sure she and her stylists are getting more education and knowledgeable of the latest techniques. Clients, future clients and supporters can certainly look forward to Weave Doctors growing into an even more affluent salon as well as expanding to other locations.
McCray says the future is definitely bright and she is excited about bringing her passion and brand to Charlotte North Carolina within the next few months. Nevertheless, she says Greensboro will always be her main location.

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