Union salon: open and ready

With the exception of a few Eastern students, not many students know about the Union Hair Salon that is located in the basement of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

On the same floor of the bowling alley and the arcade area, the Creative Images hair salon is a one-woman business run by Shywana Elzy, 32, the founder of the salon.

Elzy is no stranger to the area ,having graduated from the University of Illinois- Champaign-Urbana with a bachelor’s degree in speech communication. Elzy also works at the Regis salon located in Champaign.

I thought starting a salon at Eastern was my first step to expanding my brand, she said.

Mona Davenport, the director of Minority Affairs, was one of the people that helped bring Elzy to Eastern as well as one of her customers.

“I literally go because it’s convenient,” Davenport said.

Davenport said the Union tries to hire people that can do a variety of hair on campus.

“It was a good opportunity that came my way and I didn’t want to pass it up,” Elzy said.

Creative Images is open every Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and every Thursday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Walk-ins are permitted, but customers might have to wait. Elzy would prefer customers to make an appointment beforehand.

Elzy said she could be flexible upon popular request.

“If there is an event on campus and students ask for me to come on a Friday instead of a Thursday, then I will, she said.

Although, the first Union salon’s started in 1996 because of the a lack of hair salons that could do “ethnically diverse” hair in the Charleston area, Elzy said she wants the Eastern campus to know she does not only do minority or female hair.

“I am pretty diverse: people think because I’m black I can only do black hair and that’s not the case I can do everybody’s hair,” Elzy said.

Elzy specializes in a variety of different hair including long, short, permed and relaxed hair, but cannot do micro-braids or kinky twists. Elzy offers haircuts, waxes, relaxers, perms and highlights.

“If someone wants to create a color for his or her hair, it usually can’t be bought so I’ll usually mix that color myself,” she said.

Elzy said her main focus is hair care.

“Most stylists only care about making a profit, but with me if I know what you want will damage your hair, then I won’t do it or I’ll give you a more hair healthy alternative,” Elzy said.

Nike Ogunbodede can be reached at 581-2812

or [email protected]