You’re never too young to discover your career aspirations in life, and 17-year-old Trenton Lee is already living out some of his biggest dreams. The wig styling extraordinaire created custom designs for some of the entertainment industry’s top celebrities, including Cardi B. and Tichina Arnold. He is also the CEO of his wig designing company, Luxe By Trenton. As his star continues to rise, Trenton hopes to use his gifts to inspire other young people to follow their hearts and dreams.
Trenton’s start in the hairstyling industry is an inspiring coming of age story. As a young boy growing up in Kansas City, his peers relentlessly bullied him because his interests were unique from their own. Instead of going outside to play sports with the neighborhood kids, he enjoyed staying inside and creating hairstyles. Trenton eventually reached a low point in his life when the bullying became unbearable, but a chance meeting with comedian Cedric the Entertainer quickly helped to give Trenton hope and a new perspective on life. With Cedric’s help, Trenton landed an appearance on The Steve Harvey Show, where he received a $20,000 scholarship from Sally Beauty and an opportunity to be mentored by the legendary celebrity hairstylist Ted Gibson at his Los Angeles hair salon.
From that point on, the love kept pouring in, and Trenton continued to be embraced by his heroes in the hairstyling industry. He got an invitation to the Bronner Brothers hair show, where he and his mother took to the stage to share his incredible story. He also landed a guest spot at the BeautyCon convention, where he showcased his wig-making skills and got a personal request from superstar Cardi B. to create a custom wig for her.
Now that his clientele is building and his business is flourishing, Trenton does not only wish to bask in the glow of his success in the competitive hairstyling industry. He also seeks to give back by helping to foster change for other bullied kids and by partnering with charities to help create wigs for those suffering from hair loss.
“I enjoy creating crowns of confidence for people of all ages, sexes and backgrounds. I also have a strong passion for helping those who have suffered hair loss from cancer and/or other hair elements. With every unit that I do, I want to become better and better. I want to make more people smile and build more crowns of confidence,” Trenton says.
Hype Hair had the pleasure of interviewing this young king, and here is what he has to share about his life, career and future goals!
HYPE HAIR: When did you first realize that you had a love for styling hair?
TRENTON: My story is deeply rooted in my childhood. At the gentle age of two, I would swing around objects creating the image of what has now come to be the fruition of hair. It wasn’t until I reached the age of 15 that I was able to save up enough money to purchase my first wig. It was one of the most exciting times of my life!
HH: What inspires your work?
TRENTON: Beauty and acceptance! It’s that simple. Every time I start a new project or unit, I envision a person. Your hair tells a story!
HH: What are some of the most rewarding experiences that you have had in your career?
TRENTON: The most rewarding experiences I have had are when my work is acknowledged. Not acknowledged just for the fact of being popular or being the best, but being acknowledged as a person who truly puts all of their passion behind their work. I’ve had the honor to work with amazing people within the industry that have shared with me some of their personal wisdom. I’ve taken and incorporated a lot of these things in my day-to-day life. To me, that’s been rewarding!
HH: What was it like creating designs for celebrities like Cardi B. and Tichina Arnold?
TRENTON: I’ll never forget. It was at BeautyCon, and I always thought it would be so amazing to meet Cardi B. I remember going to my vision board and saying that I would love to be able to create a unit for her. So I did. I spent 68 hours creating a look for her that I felt she would’ve loved. It was such an honor to be able to hand-deliver her this unit! Tichina Arnold is such an amazing person. She was one of many that sat me down and shared with me some wonderful life lessons. She also reminded me to quit giving away so much and that I was worth more than that!
HH: Who is your current dream person to work with?
TRENTON: There are so many, but Lady Gaga and Billie Eilish, just to name a few.
HH: How do you navigate being so young in an adult-driven profession, and how do you balance your career with school responsibilities?
TRENTON: Let me tell you, it has not been easy. I have learned a lot of heart-wrenching lessons. One thing that seems to blow my mind all the time is jealousy. I guess I didn’t realize that it was such a cut-throat industry, but I have been very thankful to have a mother who has talked me through all the lows and usually calls out the craziness before it even happens!
I am currently home-schooled, and this is my senior year. School is very important to me, and it is my top priority and responsibility. I do have to say that when it comes to my entrepreneur classes, it’s kind of neat being able to have an actual business already in place!
HH: Tell us about your experience with bullying and how you hope to be an advocate for change in that area?
TRENTON: I was severely bullied from kindergarten through the 7th grade for being different. I was different because I didn’t go outside and play sports, but I would stay inside brushing hair and getting the girls’ hair together inside. From there, things just got worse and worse. I really hope to inspire kids that if they love something and have a passion for it to not care about what the haters say and continue to do what you love and what makes you happy.
HH: What advice do you have for other teens that have a love for hairstyling and aspire to a career in this industry?
TRENTON: Don’t rush the process! Really focus on your craft and perfect it. Don’t give up! It takes time, and your time will come! Stay inspired.
HH: What projects are you currently working on now?
TRENTON: I have several different projects that I’m working on. One of my most exciting ones is that I’m partnering with a local charity called Ronald McDonald House in Kansas City, Missouri. This facility houses families whose children are experiencing cancer. One of the things that I felt was so needed is to be able to touch these families somehow, to be able to take them away from the stress and the pain that they may be in. So why not get your hair done, throw on a wig, and maybe even try a new color! We are currently trying to execute this, but due to financial restraints from the unforeseen COVID-19 crisis, funding became an issue. We decided to put together a GoFundMe to help assist in making this vision a possibility. Below is the link. I would greatly appreciate it if you could help out!
Is there anything else that you wish to share with Hype Hair readers?
TRENTON: It’s been a difficult time for all of us. Stay strong, keep pushing, and you will be okay! I’m rooting for you, and we will all get through this time! Wear your masks!
Follow Trenton on social media @Trentonsluxecouture, and check out some of his beautiful wig styles at www.luxebytrenton.com!