• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Stromberg writes book to share beauty experiences

By the time Nicole Stromberg was a middle school student, she already knew she wanted to be a hairdresser. It was the only profession she wanted to pursue after graduating from Woodford County High School in 1992. “So I have always been in the beauty industry – straight out of high school,” says Stromberg, who has been a hairdresser for 25 years, a cosmetology instructor for 10 years and owned a beauty shop for 11. “I honestly owe my career and my success,” she adds later, “to my mother and father.” Doug Smith was a wedding photographer and she got to see the beauty of those couples and their families in his images as a child. Monica Smith, who died of pancreatic cancer 10 years ago, was known as “a classy woman” to everyone who knew her. She talked to her only daughter about what it means to be a woman during their time alone each morning. “She always was together – even right before she passed,” remembers Stromberg. “… She would go and get chemo treatments and go to work and work 12 hours after that. So she’s my superwoman … because even with all that she still was beautiful – always together.” Writing a self-help book was an avenue for this hairdresser and cosmetology instructor to share “70 practical practices to help improve your beauty habits,” the subtitle of “The Beauty Play Book.” She views self-publishing a book as a way to help her students – beyond beauty school – and women who want advice on ways to improve how they care for their hair and skin. “It’s for the beauty consumer – whether you’re a hairdresser or … someone that sits in the chair,” explains Stromberg. Her book provides advice of how to choose hair products for a variety of issues, and even includes “a small section for men,” which offers tips on grooming and caring for beards. “The Beauty Play Book” offers helpful advice for “every person that looks in the mirror, looks at themselves to say, ‘Hey, I need to do something to take better care of me or I need to have some questions answered,’” says Stromberg. She also explains the importance of going to professionals who specialize in coloring or hair styling to get better results. “The Beauty Play Book” grew out of conversations with her clients about what’s worked for them over the last 25 years, she says. Its title comes from cosmology students calling Stromberg their “coach,” which inspired “the name Nicole - the Hair Coach,” a moniker she embraces. Being someone’s hairdresser, she explains, “gives me the opportunity to talk to them about their hair, but it also gives me opportunities to talk to them about life issues. I see this as my ministry. It’s been like this for years that I help women inside and out. “… When you look in that mirror … do you see the beautiful woman that you are? No matter the color of your skin. No matter the imperfections on your face. And if not … what can we do to get you there?” Stromberg views being someone’s hairdresser as much more than doing their hair. That comes from being in a profession where she is physically closer to clients than anyone besides their doctors. “We need to help people inside so that they can see their beautiful from the outside,” she says. Stromberg will have a book signing at Classic Images House of Hair at 443 Lexington Road, where she’s a hairstylist, on Saturday, Nov. 16, from 3 to 6 p.m.

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