If you haven’t heard of Neijae Graham-Henries by now then you’re in the minority. The Philadelphia native made headlines across the country when she emerged as the world’s youngest barber, according to the World Record Academy. At only 8-years-old, she has been crafting her cutting skills for the past year at the Junior Barber Academy.
Her mother, Jamie Graham, originally thought that the barber school would be a great experience for Neijae’s older brother. But when he shrugged at the opportunity after the orientation, the then 7-year-old Neijae decided that she wanted in, despite the fact that she would possibly be the only girl there. She was, and also the youngest.
“I just wanted to make some money. I have almost $100 in my piggy bank,” she said very proudly.
And it’s not just a hobby or way to make a quick buck for right now. For her, this is a stepping stone for her career. Along with her best friend, she’s already brainstorming ideas of what type of shop she’d like to open in the future. So far, they’ve got their sights set on a multi-functional space that can house both Neijae’s salon and barbershop, as well as her friend’s clothing retail operation.
In the meantime, she’s been helping her community by doing free cuts for veterans, as well as hosting back to school free cuts for locals. Look out Jackie Starr and Richard Mendoza, there’s a new barber in town. But instead of snagging Mayweather or rappers from anyone’s roster, Neijae’s got a few favorite celebs that she wants to get her hands, and scissors, on first.
“I would like to cut your hair LeBron James and Kevin Hart. You are a very funny comedian Kevin Hart, and LeBron James you’re my favorite basketball player,” she shouted into a camera at the ESSENCE Beauty Carnival.