Video posted May 1, 2014 in News by Corinne Lewin


When Candace Lyons first opened her salon in downtown State College, she didn’t realize how popular it would become. In State College, located in the middle of Pennsylvania, there aren’t a lot of places for black women to get their hair done. Many students, like Lyons in the 1980’s, would resort to giving themselves their own chemical processes or trusting another student on campus.

After graduating from college, Lyons worked in corporate America for almost ten years, while doing hair on the side. One day, she decided that she no longer wanted to continue working in a cubicle, quit her job, and went to beauty school.

In 2009, Lyons was forced to shut down her shop when she was diagnosed with uterine cancer. She took almost five years off before re-opening her shop in March of 2014. Two businesses had been opened in the location of her old shop in the past 5 years, but when she felt well enough, she saw her old space was for rent. “It was a sign from God that I was ready to do it again,” said Lyons.

But she knew that things would be difficult. Because her salon is located in a college town, most of her clientele leaves after 4 years. She began advertising around campus and handing out business cards to students. She hopes that she can bring in new clients with her warm personality, positive outlook on life, and unrivaled hair knowledge. Lyons said that getting back into doing hair has been therapeutic for her and has helped her to regain her normal routine.

By not only styling their clients hair, but by educating them about caring for their hair, Lyons hopes to give her clients (who are mostly students) the tools they need to take care of their own hair in between visits. For many women, hair is a very large part of their identity and Lyons says she wants to do all she can to make sure each woman can leave her salon feeling confident and ready to take on the world. 

About the Contributors

CorinneLewin's photo


Senior / Broadcast Journalism & French


My name is Corinne Lewin and I will be graduating with a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism from Pennsylvania State University.

Here, you will be able to learn a little bit about me as well as see some examples of my work throughout my time as a student here at Penn State!

After graduation, I plan on pursuing employment in the media, though not necessarily as a journalist. While my education has centered primarily on broadcast journalism, I have had with a well-rounded education that has given me insight to the many different paths that lie within the realm of media.

I also have an interest in French, a subject in which I will soon hold a B.A.. After having traveled to Montpellier, France for the Spring 2013 semester, I have been able to experience to the world around me, improve my French language skills, and be able to be a student at a French University. This experience has helped me to become more well-rounded in terms of my education and I look forward to any opportunity I may have to go back!

During my time at Penn State, I have been involved in many things. I have spent each of my 4 years at Penn State as a Lion Scout where I lead prospective families on tours of Penn State. I have also had the opportunity to be the virtual tour guide for Penn State! You can check that out here! ( I have been involved in Penn State’s IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON) since I arrived on campus and this spring, I am hoping to be able to be one of the lucky students who has the honor of standing for 46 hours to show support for the fight against pediatric cancer. I also have spent two years as a Diversity Ambassador in the College of Communications. With this organization, I mentored new students and helped them get acquainted with campus and discover all of the resources that are available here. Finally, I have worked, in many capacities, at the World in Conversation - Center for Public Diplomacy at Penn State. I have worked as a facilitator who held dialogues with Penn State students and with students across the country and across the world. Most recently, I worked as their Social Media Intern, helping to increase visibility of the official Center for Public Diplomacy at Penn State.