Her fascination with hair began at an early age in the hair salon, watching as beautiful manes were molded into intricate styles carefully and magically created by stylists. Grace Dennis held onto these delicate memories and transformed them into her own career, even beginning a collection of tools that paid homage to these cherished experiences.

Her collector/antiquing journey started by attending estate sales, flea markets, and searching on Ebay. During random trips with her hubby – Grace went far and wide looking to find other beauty tools to expand her growing collection. Some of these are over a hundred years old! For instance check out these hair pullers, which according to Grace, “Were give to me by my mentor Bertie Cromwell, who I worked with for a little while before my salon opened.” 

Connecting the past to the future – the tools we use today in place of the vintage tools.

Her love for collecting these items has grown into a bigger calling, which includes the countless trips to display her beautiful pieces. The tools have become more than just objects but historical references about African American women’s journey through hair. “It’s definitely going to be interesting going to the 100 yr. Anniversary Celebration of the National Beauty Culturist League founded in the year 1919 with hundreds of people that are traveling in – this will be my biggest audience.”

It is important for us to pay homage to our hair heritage and Grace Dennis reminds us – one tool at a time!

Elephant Long Nose Hair Dryer used in the 1800s.

Grace, herself, is a hairstylist and owner of Grace & Elegance Beauty Salon. She is also a non-surgical hair restoration specialist and has made an impact by empowering others through these techniques. “I work with cancer patients and anyone with hair loss to customize hair prosthesis.” (I needed to know more because it was super detailed.) “It’s just like someone that suffers the loss of an arm or leg and needs a prosthetic – I customize prosthetics for hair loss, like any type of baldness. I customize the base of the unit whether they’re completely bald or only have a little hair. My method includes the length, texture, color, and density. After that’s done I send it to the factory to be created – once we receive it back, I install the unit. You don’t ask to be bald, so I want to help each client feel their best.”

Grace isn’t slowing down her helpful ways anytime soon and don’t forget to head on over for a style today at Grace & Elegance Beauty Salon (42 Hudson St. Suite 211 Annapolis, MD 21401). 

For more information on Grace Dennis:


Hair Stylist- Raven Owens

Fashion Stylist-The G Shop Fashions by Giovanna

Photographers- Deborah Moore & Nyia Curtis