BOZEMAN — If you moved to a place where not a lot of people looked like you, you may feel inclined to leave and look for a place a little more diverse — but not Destini French, owner of Cultured Roots in Bozeman.
“There’s something special about being in Montana. I mean, I’m not the first person to focus on Black hair, culture hair whatever you want to call it, but the need was there,” French said.
French, 27, came to Bozeman in 2011 to play basketball for MSU, but after graduation she decided to stay and start a hair business.
“I focus on braids, more or less cultural hair, multicultural hair and protective styles, and education,” she explained.
At first glance, it may appear as a typical hair business, but French thinks otherwise.
“It’s about solving the need that is just absent from Montana,” said French.
French's business started after not being able to find the services for herself when she arrived in Bozeman ten years ago. But it goes beyond hair for this business owner and stylist.
“It’s what people look at first when they see us. They look at our face and our hair, and it’s where we hold a lot of confidence in ourselves," French said. "Our hair is like our crown, our crown we can’t get rid of and so you want your crown to look sparkly. You want your crown to look good.”
French says looking good is only a small part. Her true passion actually comes from teaching others.
“It is a lack of education, and I think people just don’t know what the right question is to ask. They don’t know where to start because they can't go sit in a salon right now and someone can analyze their hair properly and give them that kind of like, 'Oh here you go,' and that’s my goal,” she said.
Who knew that a basketball scholarship would lead to the opportunity for Destini French to educate and help her community.