Mother and daughter share love of hairstyling, run businesses

Tammra Turner styles hair on Feb. 21 in Bowling Green, Ky. After attending cosmetology school and working in a hair salon, Turner decided to open her own business. Turner’s daughter, Deidra Morrow, has also picked up hairstyling and is following in her mother’s footsteps.

Laurel Deppen

Tammra Turner has been interested in hairstyling since she was 5 years old. Now, years later, she owns her own salon, Designs by Tammra.

Turner links her interest in hairstyling to her grandmother, who was a hairstylist as well. She recalled her grandmother braiding her hair and wanting to be able to braid like her.

At the age of 5, Turner remembered practicing on a Barbie hairstyling head.

“My relatives noticed that I had gotten really good, and it’s been history ever since,” she said.

Turner went to the Lindsey Institute of Cosmetology in Bowling Green and started working at Angel’s Professional Salon. After working there for four years, Turner decided to go into business for herself, something that she recalled as being scary, but rewarding.

“For me, it’s more about doing quality work than having lots of people here,” she said.

Turner said she has several regulars, some who have been with her since she’s been in business, and some who travel to meet with her from as far as Nashville and Louisville. Turner credits this to her passion for hairstyling.

“I’m not going to say I’m that good,” Turner said. “They know I love what I do, and because I love what I do, I’m going to take my time and do my best. I’ve never considered myself to be better than anyone. I’ve just looked at myself as trying to do my best.”

Though Turner has a passion for what she does, she said her career focuses more on building and maintaining relationships. She commented on how the role of a hairstylist in a person’s life is a vital one, even though it is behind the scenes.

“We are important to the world, even though we’re mostly in the background,” Turner said. “I had one lady whose hair I did for her prom, her wedding—every time she looks at those pictures she’s going to think of me. That’s a special place in people’s lives. That’s how serious I think the job is.”

Turner also commented on how her role as a hairstylist has a lot to do with trust. She said that to her, trust goes beyond knowing what hairstyles or colors look best on someone.

“This is a kind of ministry,” Turner said. “So many times, people come here and they want me to listen when I work. We talk about things they’re going through. Sometimes they just need a listening ear. They don’t need you to say anything or repeat what they say. I’ve learned to appreciate the space people give me in their lives outside of their hair.”

Turner’s daughter, Deidra Morrow, also inherited a love for hairstyling. Morrow opened her own business, The Beauty Bar, just across the hall from Turner’s salon.

“My grandmother was really happy,” Turner said. “It just made her day to see both of us doing good in our own businesses.”

Morrow said hairstyling came naturally to her after growing up and seeing her mother work.

“Working for yourself is a commitment to yourself,” Morrow said. “It takes a lot. Even when motivation runs low, you still have to be dedicated.”

That dedication is something Morrow said was a key part in being a successful business owner.

“What you get out is what you put in,” Morrow said.

Turner said that she has high hopes for her daughter’s future.

“We want our youth to aspire to do better than us,” Turner said. “That’s what I want my daughter to do. I want her to go further.”

Turner said she had aspirations of running her salon out of her own building. She said that now she wants to help her daughter do that.

“I think every parent wants their child or the next generation to do better,” Turner said.

Features reporter Laurel Deppen can be reached at 270-745-6291 and [email protected].