Bonita’s Extensions and Braids opens school on Lyndale

Kemi Lawani at Bonita's Extensions and Braids. Photo by Michelle Bruch

Bonita’s Extensions and Braids has relocated from Lake & Bryant to a larger space at 2441 Lyndale Ave. S., now complete with a school.

Owner Kemi Lawani said anyone can learn to braid, but it takes patience. The tiny braid work can stretch at least two hours — her current long braids took five hours of work.

“If you don’t have patience, you don’t do braids,” she said.

Bonitas _2She plays music and serves refreshments to keep her customers comfortable.

“They become your best friend for that few hours,” she said. “And some become your best friend forever.”

She applies extensions using braiding and sewing techniques, unlike other systems that use glue and heated bonds to melt extensions into hair.

Lawani learned to braid hair in Nigeria. Her mother originally opened the store when she had cancer, and she sold wigs. When her mother passed in 2009, she gave the store to Lawani.

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The shop specializes in braids and extensions, and Lawani said her clientele is diverse.

“We do anybody’s hair,” she said.