HAIR STYLIST / MAKEUP ARTIST
Hernandez, 52, originally from Colombia, owns the salon and spa in the strikingly diverse neighborhood of Jackson Heights, New York.
For a man in his 50’s, he doesn’t look a day over 40, with his long hair dyed a trendy gray color and pulled back into a bun, with a face clear of wrinkles.
Hernandez has been running his salon, which offers services such as hair extensions, hair dye, haircuts for men and women, as well as manicures and pedicures, for upwards of 32 years. He hires multiple male employees, who continuously leave customers feeling happy with their appearance.
“Beauty is like art,” Hernandez, said as he looked outside the window of his salon. A smile slowly grew onto his face. “It’s like painting and the face is the canvas.”
Prior to immigrating to the United States, Hernandez worked with his grandmother and mother in their beauty salons in Colombia.
When living in Colombia, being a male beautician was challenging. Gender roles in Colombia are closely followed, and it was unacceptable for a man to be working in a beauty salon. He said people assumed he was gay because he was a man working in a feminine industry.
Hernandez chose to start his business in Jackson Heights specifically because it has such a large and diverse population. His latest salon is located on 80th Street and Northern Boulevard, between Leños Bar and Restaurant and Bazaar New York Clothing Store. He has a clientele from Latin America and Europe, and occasionally he has customers who come from North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and other states across the United States for his services.