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Local Beautician Welcomes Granddaughter Into The Fold

Connie Bridges has been cutting and styling hair in Wolf Point for 45 years, much of it across from Borge Park on Wolf Point’s north side. Her granddaughter Aiyana Bridges was raised in the salon and has recently joined the family business.

Aiyana, 21, graduated Bold Beauty Beauty Academy in Billings in September and began operating as Ana’s House of Beauty in December out of Connie’s 611 Listerud St. location following a renovation to the salon space. Connie told The Herald-News that they remodeled the space to make room for Aiyana, who she hopes will flourish as another generation of Bridges beauticians.
Connie graduated from Bellevue Beauty School in Seattle, Wash., more than four decades ago and has been serving a devoted clientele ever since. During that time, she raised a family, including Aiyana and her older brother Corporal Tyson Bridges, who has been stationed overseas, most recently in Japan, since joining the Marines after high school.
Much of the intervening decades were spent with Connie’s late husband Greg Bridges, her high school sweetheart. They were together for 40 years. Aiyana and her grandfather were close until his death in 2012. The beauticians recounted stories about helping to care for Greg while he fought the effects of a brain tumor and subsequent operations and procedures. Connie said the salon was the family’s main source of income during the critical stages of her husband’s illness.
Growing up, Aiynana and her brother made use of the family facilities by cutting their friends’ hair.
“Tyson liked to use the clippers on his friends,” said Connie. They both agree Tyson had the family gift. Aiyana said she intends to specialize in extensions, eyelash perms, eyelash and eyebrow tints and microblading. Her website offers pricing for children’s cuts, French braiding, deep conditioning and scalp treatments, highlights, color, Balayage and other services. She also offers spa manicures and nail repairs. She does not do pedicures, a fact she related with a story about collateral damage involving a flying toenail.
Connie smiled recalling the shift in popularity from perms to hair coloring and microblading.
“Things have changed a lot over the years,” Connie said. “For a long time, it was 100 perms to every color. Now, it’s the other way around.”
During a pleasant Friday afternoon visit at the salon May 3, Connie and Aiyana said longtime customers come for the entertainment value as well as the styling.
“My first day on the job,” said Aiyana, “she had me by the apron and choked me with it.” Both women are charming and quick to laugh.
Connie is known locally as a stylist’s stylist, doing the hair of several area beauticians and barbers when it’s their turn for a trim. She mentioned Dolores Evans from Dolores’ Hiway Barbershop and Jessie Weeks from the Wolf Point Barber Shop, both of whom have spent time in Connie’s chair.
The path to the salon door is marked by new signage directing patrons to the rear of the property.
“My longtime customers all know the way,” said Connie, “but new people kept coming to the garage.”
On the day I visited, children played in the yard next door, soaking up a moment of warm spring weather. The Bridges left the door open to let in a breeze. Even with two chairs full — Connie had customers rotating in and out of her station - the salon was open and airy. Plenty of room for another generation to make her way.
Ana’s House of Beauty is open Tuesday through Friday 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., with the Bridges taking overlapping shifts.

 

Photo: Aiyana Bridges started working alongside grandmother Connie in December. (Photo by Hayley Heser)