Behind The Blade – Meet Stylist Lorraine Guity of Brooklyn, NYC

At only 24 years old, Lorraine Guity somehow has it almost all figured out. She has the career she’s always wanted and the happiness she feels inside is so radiant you can see it shining on her face. She is an unapologetically black young Afro-Latina who believes her gift in life is making others look, and thus feel their best. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NYC to Honduran parents, her hood has now become her livelihood as she now works blocks away from street she was born on.

However, her peace of mind is hard earned, not something that she developed over night. Despite attending Bowie State, she left after a year and returned back to Brooklyn. Lorraine took a year off and worked while she tried to figure out what to do next. Her next move ending up being her best move: attending cosmetology school. She took a leap of faith leaving college and it paid off.

Raised by a hard-working single mother and the rest of her extended family, there’s nothing she understands more than it takes a village and that village needs to work hard. This mentality is translated into a strong work ethic that is reflected in every aspect of her career including in the quality of the salon she works at. Getting styled by Lorraine isn’t simply just a new haircut, it’s a new aesthetic that she specifically designed with your lifestyle and personal style in mind. From the moment you walk into her salon, she’s noticed everything about you. Her particular brand of black girl magic is all in her shears.

How has your upbringing prepared you for success?
I lived in a single parent home. It was literally just my mom and her siblings, and my grandparents who were helping. To this day, my mom’s English is wack but I remember as a kid she would work like 24 hour shifts. She would take me to my aunt’s house and we’d have a sleepover with all my cousins and I though everyone would do that. I always saw the hustle in my mom. She worked 24 hours Thursday through Friday so that on Saturday and Sunday she wouldn’t have to work so she can go to school and learn English to get her GED. I remember my mom studying to get her citizenship. I felt her hustling and trying her best for her two daughters. Now I have a brother who is ten and I still see her working extra extra hard.

How many people do you see daily?
On a daily basis, if it’s a great day, I’ll probably have around ten people in my chair. So many personalities! It’s good so I can’t complain but it can be very draining because you don’t know how someone will react to things. On aTuesday, I had 3-6. I’ve been doing hair for around two years now and I’ve probably seen around a 1,000 people in total. That means a thousand different personalities. I do have regulars and my regulars are so awesome! They are so cool. You are who you attract and they’re just like me.

What motivates you to wake up and come into the shop everyday?
Myself, I motivate myself. Some days you don’t want to wake up, you want to lie in your bed and watch Netflix all day. On those days, I’m like you what Lorraine these people need you and you need them so just get up and do what you got to do. It’s not everyday that I have this conversation with myself because I think my job is pretty cool. I do hair and I do it pretty well. I have that gift so it’s like girl just show it.

What’s your weapon of choice?
I’d have to say it’s my shears, which you guys would call scissors. At work they gave me the title “The Bob Lady”. I do a really great bob haircut. It’s my staple. It’s a great way to create different shapes.

Who inspires you?
My mom inspires me. My mom and my two aunts inspire me like no other. They’re getting older but they think they’re still 22. They’re doing the damn thing. They still look the same as when I was 5 years old. They inspire me because they’ve never given up on their lives and on themselves. They are very family oriented, and it’s beautiful. I am taking care of them basically but one day I want to them as much as they took care of me. That’s the old lady gang!

How would you describe your culture?
Diverse. Especially living in Brooklyn since 1992. Brooklyn is my hometown. I am Brooklyn. It’s a feeling. I fit into whatever I’m surrounded with and I also stand out because I am some kind of different from everyone else. Growing up in the hood before it was the new Brooklyn, and being from BedStuy with immigrant parents and seeing so many different people because I lived in a low income community. It was great going to Maryland and still being able to fit in so easily despite it being a totally different pace. In addition, going back home to Honduras and nothing has ever changed. I’m always comfortable in my skin and in my culture.

2017
Be yourself, number one. Be the best you that you can be. You are your own trend. You can never be anyone else except yourself. If you are yourself, be the greatest. Don’t try to be like the girl on Instagram and if you do, put your own little tweak on it. I think that’s the hottest trend of 2017. My best friend has orange hair, that’s rare. Another trend for 2017 is pastels, pastel hair, pastel clothing. It’s clean and its sexy.

Process:
When someone comes into a salon, they’re walking into H2 Salon Brooklyn. Don’t judge a book by its cover. We’re inside a building but as soon you open the door, it’s like wow that’s a beautiful chandelier. You walk in and it’s like a restaurant. The host is our front desk receptionist. They greet you, they walk over and they take your coat. Then the assistant comes and picks you up, she’s the waitress. She brings you to the back and then comes the chef. I’m the chef. You make an appointment with King Raino and I get to know you. I examine you from the minute you walk into the door. I see what you’re wearing I see your style, I see your hair. I see the way you walk and the way you talk. Then I talk to you and hear about your lifestyle and what you do for a living. Do you work corporate? Are you in Fashion? Are you in the music industry? I figure you out and I figure out what kind of hairstyle works best for you. It’s like a first date. You don’t know me and I don’t know you but you’re going to love me.

Taper Moment

I say this at least 30 times a year. It’s when my two best friends graduated from undergrad. I was so sick to my stomach. I was crying. I felt like a failure because my mom wasn’t able to see me cross the stage and get my Bachelors in communications. She didn’t see me do that and I felt like a complete failure. I was bawling like snot coming out of my nose, running to the bathroom for extra tissue. It’s not like I was upset that they were graduating without me, it was more so I was so happy for them. I wish I could be there with them. They both said Lorraine you need to relax. Girl you got this. You are twenty years old and you found your career. I never realized that until they told me. They were absolutely right. I’m twenty years old and I absolutely love what I do. I go to work with a smile on my face and I leave work with a smile on my face.

Make sure to check out to her Instagram @kingraino to see her distinctive style first hand! And if you’re ever in Brooklyn book her on the Taper App, search KingRaino head to H2 Salon and ask for “The Bob Lady”

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