Kent State fashion merchandising student rises to TikTok stardom


Junior fashion merchandising major Ciara Haith showing off one of the hairstyles she did herself. Courtesy of Ciara Haith.

After being sent home from college due to the coronavirus pandemic, one Kent State student took advantage of her downtime and became TikTok famous. 

Junior fashion merchandising major Ciara Haith, @_cicichanel_ on TikTok, started gaining popularity on TikTok, a newer social media platform, after her first post on March 20. In the video, Haith is doing a jumbo faux locs tutorial, which accumulated over eight million views and almost two million likes.

Haith decided to join TikTok after being sent home from college to see what all the hype was about. After spending a few hours on the app, Haith became addicted and knew she wanted to participate in the app’s trends.

“I was shocked at the engagement towards my post because when I first started, I only had 10 followers and they were my friends,” Haith said. “I didn’t think people would be this interested in my content.”

Since people responded so well to her first video, Haith decided to keep making content that revolved around her passions including fashion, hair, makeup and lifestyle. Haith said she joked about not venturing off into other realms like comedy, because it wouldn’t be a good move for her.

“I want to continue in the beauty realm because that’s what I’ve always been interested in,” she said.

Following the success of her first video, Haith managed to produce over five more viral videos, including a tutorial on how to take box braids out, installing Marley braids, curly hair tutorial, headwrap tutorial and most recently, her first wig installation. 

With over 100,000 people following her, Haith has started thinking about the purpose behind the videos she posts. 

Growing up, Haith doesn’t remember seeing any black content creators teaching women how to do different hairstyles, how to create jaw-dropping looks with makeup or how to handle natural hair.

“You didn’t see many people who looked like me,” Haith said. “If even one person can look at my content and feel inspired, or even learn something new, I would be happy.”

Haith said her passion for fashion was inspired by her aunt. As a child, Haith remembers receiving books from her aunt about shoes throughout history and others that related to fashion, which allowed her to expand her mind and peaked her interest in the industry. Haith even remembers sitting in front of the television and watching shows like “Say Yes to The Dress” and “What Not to Wear.”

“My aunt has always been supportive of me,” Haith said. “She’s one of my role models.”

Haith plans to continue making TikToks in hopes to grow as a person and inspire people along the way.

“I want to expand with my content,” Haith said. “Hopefully, that will get me somewhere.”

Andre Claudio is a reporter. Contact him at [email protected].