Student provides accessible hair braiding service | The Triangle

Student provides accessible hair braiding service

Drexel University consists of people from different towns, states and countries. Some people carry their culture on their shoulders and are unafraid to show that to the world. One way the Black community does so is by wearing their hair in braids, locs, cornrows and other intricate hairstyles that have been passed down for generations. Getting these styles done in a clean and efficient manner come with high costs and require preparing for mental challenges of individual braider’s “rules.” Plus, there is no guarantee you will find someone in close proximity. So what are Black Dragons meant to do? They can seek the help of Dilys Attram, the owner of Hair by Dilly.

Attram is a first year communication student with a concentration in public relations, and a first-generation Ghanaian-American who was born and raised in the Poconos.  

“I had a point in my life where I thought I wanted to do political science but I don’t think that that was for me,” Attram said. “When I got here, I didn’t have a focus and I was leaning towards journalism but when I looked into public relations, I loved seeing people interact and I thought that was so cool. The meaning that people have when they talk? It’s so interesting. With PR, you have to figure out how to problem solve, how to see into the future. With PR, you have to learn how to effectively translate what people want to say.”

The goal of figuring out what the audience is asking of her can also be reflected within her work. Attram does not want to leave clients feeling insecure about their hair. Not only is expression through hair such an important aspect of black culture, growing up as a black person means that your crown says a lot. 

“If I can have a say, I want to make you feel good about yourself especially when you see your hair,” said Attram.

Delving more into her services, Attram is more of a braider than a stylist. She does loc retwists, knotless braids, traditional box braids, french curls, two-strand twists, rope twists and is slowly making her way into doing cornrows and stitch braids. She is a very flexible braider, and as she is young, Attram understands how new styles pop up often. When she is not experienced with certain types, she will offer a discounted price and friendly disclaimer in order to make sure her clients are aware and comfortable with the terms of the agreement.

Attram had originally started braiding during Covid-19 when salons were closed and she was forced to have a more hands-on approach to hair maintenance. She was always the type of person to try and fix loose braids so trying it out on her own from scratch was not as daunting to her as it would be for others. From doing her own hair, to practicing on her mother, friends and roommates, whom she gives all her credit and love to for supporting her through this journey, she eventually established herself and created a small side hustle while still understanding her clients’ need for affordable pricing.

When asked to describe her business, Attram says it is constantly evolving. Every step she has made has been a learning moment for herself both in the braiding world and in the PR world. With the direct contact she has with her target market, she is able to understand what the people are looking for and how to give it to them.

To contact Attram, you can find her on Instagram @hair.by.dilly.

This article is part of a column dedicated to supporting small businesses on Drexel University’s campus.