Teaneck—Ahuva Guzman is quite the in-demand hair stylist. She follows styles she sees on YouTube videos, can copy one from a picture and comes up with her own designs, too. Clients love her creativity and talent. Not just talented, she is magnanimous and warm-hearted too, with a portion of her earnings going to tzedakah. Oh, and did anyone mention she’s all of 12 years old?
Ahuva’s career as a hair dynamo started as a fun hobby. She had always enjoyed experimenting with hairstyles and would practice on friends. Eventually, these friends would ask her to style their hair for events, so for her own bat mitzvah project, she raised money for tzedakah by charging a small amount to do hair.
Soon after, things started to build. A friend called her parents and asked if Ahuva could do her daughter’s hair for the Shabbat of a bat mitzvah celebration. Soon after another family called and offered to pay her to do hair for their own simcha, too. Ahuva realized she had a business idea on her hands, printed up business cards, and being part of the youthful demographic of technology natives, obviously gave her business its own Instagram account, @AKGHairstyles.
“I love hair because there are a million things you can do with it,” explained Ahuva. “I’ve always liked art, and I feel like this connects to it, too.” Ahuva’s parents, Gila and Carl, explained that this is not just about hair and art, but actually indicative of who Ahuva is on a deeper level. “She’s very creative, she has a big heart and is a spiritual person who thinks about everything she does,” said Carl Guzman. “Hair is a creative expression of who she is; it’s her way of giving and of making friends happy,” said her mother. “Ahuva’s creativity comes out in different ways, whether it’s through the Friday night dance routines that she choreographs with her siblings, her sports or now this. She’s very expressive, and the fact that her hair business is taking off is wonderful for her,” Gila added.
So what is currently a popular hairstyle that Ahuva is often requested to make, whether it’s at school or for a simcha? “Dutch braids are very popular,” she said. These braids work great in all different types of hair and different lengths and are fairly simple to do. She loves making intricate hairstyles—such as a flower braid, which has been posted on her Instagram page—but as she said, “I can’t really do that style on a friend during recess.”
Her parents are extremely proud of Ahuva’s talent and how she committed to donate 10 percent to tzedakah. “This is Ahuva’s way of making her friends feel happy. They enjoy looking and feeling good,” expressed Carl.
By Jenny Gans