The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

MUN team secures sixth consecutive win at Northwestern conference
Audio: Sophomores celebrate service learning in new assembly style

Warmth and Style: Esther Adewole

Hairstylist shares welcoming nature with clients, community
Olin Nafziger
STYLING WITH HEART. Esther Adewole blends her bright personality with skilled hairstyling to create a welcoming atmosphere. Originally from Nigeria, Adewole pursued beauty school over nursing, transforming her career into a passion for hairdressing and genuine client interactions.

On East 57th Street, nestled between shops and restaurants, is the 57th Street Salon, a place where the rhythmic sound of scissors mixes with the joyous conversations between the stylists and their clients. 

In the center of the salon with a bright personality, Esther Adewole has created a welcoming atmosphere for both her clients and her stylists, making the salon more than just a place for someone to get their hair done.

After moving from Nigeria to Chicago in 1999, going to Truman College’s beauty school wasn’t a choice but rather a requirement for Ms. Adewole.

“In Nigeria, I grew up not having a lot. I only had a high school diploma. I went to a local community school in Nigeria to study a little bit on how to become a typist,” she said. “When I came here, my choice was to go to beauty school or go to nursing school. I was like, ‘No way. I don’t want to see blood and deal with people.’ So I chose beauty school.”

Ms. Adewole was initially reluctant to become a stylist because of how people treated hairdressers in Nigeria. Yet, she soon became passionate about it.

“In my country, they call them hairdressers and they look down on them,” she said. “Here, you have to study for state board exams. It’s not easy to become a hairdresser in this country. So that’s why I was really like, ‘Oh my, this is good.’”

It’s not only the job’s reputation that created her dedication for her career. Her warm and talkative personality propelled her enthusiasm as well.

Through genuine conversations with her clients, she discovered a joy in interacting with others, enabling her to use it as a tool for her as a stylist.

“You come to my chair and you want to get a haircut. Before, I always liked to know names. But if I had asked for names I’m not going to remember,” she said. “But when you sit on my chair and I see your hair, for some reason, I will remember. I will remember when you come back next time. According to the conversation, whatever we’re talking about, I remember what we did last time.”

Ms. Adewole has cut junior Alexander Saratovsky’s hair for the past three years. He appreciates the welcoming environment she promotes in the salon.

“I generally view haircuts as a chore more than a fun activity,” Alexander said, “so having someone nice to talk to makes the experience feel more worthwhile.” 

Ms. Adewole aims to create a supportive working environment for her stylists in order to maintain a friendly atmosphere in her salon. In fact, she doesn’t even consider herself a boss over her stylists.

“I don’t think that the place belongs to me,” she said. “I come in every day just to work as a stylist, and it’s been so great thinking like that. Nobody told me, ‘Boss.’ I would just say stylist, so you make it so relaxing and not so overwhelmed.”

Knowing her personality, Alexander was surprised to find out Ms. Adewole owned the salon.

“She was definitely very organized,” he said. “She has a good rapport with her employees to a point where you wouldn’t know that she’s the boss.” 

Amid the sound of her styling tools, Ms. Adewole’s playful chatter with others continues. With her bright personality, she shines in the salon once again, making everyone seem like a friend.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Edward Park
Edward Park, Assistant Editor
Edward Park is a member of the Class of 2025 and serves as an assistant editor. He joined the journalism staff in the 2022-23 school year as a sophomore. Outside of journalism, Edward enjoys watching sports and cooking for his family.
Olin Nafziger
Olin Nafziger, Photographer
Olin Nafziger is a beginning photojournalist and a member of the Class of 2025. His favorite part of photojournalism is taking pictures of school activities and sports, and his favorite sport to photograph is golf. Outside of class, Olin enjoys biking, watching TV and participating in various school clubs. Awards: 2023 Association of Texas Photography Instructors Fall Contest, sports reaction, third place 2023 Association of Texas Photography Instructors Fall Contest, still life, honorable mention

Comments (0)

All U-High Midway Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *