A natural hair salon in Bedford–Stuyvesant reopened for business, with safety measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Sabine Bellevue is a well-known hairstylist and community activist in the Brooklyn area. She is the owner of Sabine’s Hallway Natural Hair Salon, which has been running for almost 14 years.
She will be premiering her short film “Culture & Beauty Beyond COVID-19” on Sept. 7. The short film was directed by Emmy Award winner Tyrik “Keyz” Washington.
“When everything was shut down, I went into a major depression,” Bellevue said. “I wasn’t sure how I wasn’t sure on how I was going to make rent for my salon, I didn’t know how I was going to make money. I was at an all time low. But I know that there are a lot of people who depend on me, so I changed my attitude about the situation. And I got inspired in doing a photo shoot of women showcasing hairstyles done by hairstylists who worked in my salon and myself. Not only did I want to showcase our talent, but also Caribbean culture,” said the proud Haitian-American. “I wanted everyone to see what influence Caribbean people has had in Brooklyn. And since Labor Day is cancelled this year, I thought the premiere of this film would be a great way to celebrate!”
Bellevue started doing hair at a young age once she realized her natural born talent. She mentioned that her aunt was the one who pushed her into doing hair for her and her cousins. At the age of 13, she set up a hair salon in her mother’s living room. Since then she started doing her family and friends’ hair regularly.
After earning her cosmetology license, Bellevue started working in different salons and working with celebrity stylists. Shortly after, she opened up her salon which was recognized as one of the top 10 natural hair salons in New York.
A couple years later, Bellevue earned her bachelor’s in Liberal Arts with a minor in Psychology. Bellevue considers herself to be a hair therapist. She has done clients’ hair for many occasions such as weddings, photo shoots, birthday parties and much more. She feels that with most of her clients they are able to come to her and speak about their personal issues. A few of her clients she has had over 10 years. “I like to provide a safe and warm space when the clients come to my salon. I want them to be able to speak to me about whatever they feel comfortable.”
Bellevue also gives back to her community. The mother of a grown son and grandmother of two partners with local organizations such as Children of Promise and participates in fundraisers for children in Haiti.
“I would advise anyone who wants to work in cosmetology that if you have passion in being a stylist then do it. No one knows your call in life, nor will they understand the drive that you have. It is your destiny! So if you like to do hair, you have to believe in yourself and do it.”
Bellevue continued, “There are so many avenues when it comes to cosmetology. I have done celebrities’ hair. I’ve done traveling gigs, art shows and workshops. There are some things that I have been able to do in my career that never crossed my mind. It’s so much more than just standing behind a chair.”
Bellevue’s current salon is located at 450 Nostrand Avenue (between Putnam and Jefferson Avenue in Bed-Stuy). But when the four-time marathon runner is not in training, you can see her living her passion helping women enhance their naturally beautiful selves, helping her family, supporting a charity or two, organizing Loc Appreciation Day, or working on the annual Natural Aristocratic Tea event. The COVID-19 crisis inspired Bellevue, like many Black small business owners, to work even harder in a health-conscious way to give her clients what they need.