Natalie Hicks Cantrell has styled hair for three decades
by Margaret Anderson
Special to The Star
Jan 07, 2014 | 1234 views |  0 comments | 44 44 recommendations | email to a friend | print
When Natalie Hicks Cantrell graduated from Jacksonville High School in 1983, she knew she wanted to continue her education, but she didn’t want the money for it to have to come out of her parents’ pockets. So she thought she’d work as a cosmetologist for a few years to pay her own way through college.

It didn’t work out like that though.

Natalie received her cosmetology degree at Anniston Academy, went to work in that field and has never looked back. For the past 30 years, Natalie has cut, colored, permed and styled hair and has loved every minute of it.

She opens at 9 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday at Natalie’s Styling Studio at S. 106 Pelham Rd. in Jacksonville. She never knows when she’ll go home.

“I close when the last customer leaves,” she said. “I’m not able to say no to anyone. My clientele is so big I had to expand my hours. I have some really great clients that I’ve had for many years.”

Natalie say one reason she likes her job is because she likes knowing that she makes people happy.

“I love the way I make people feel,” she said. “It’s that little bit of happiness and confidence you can give them when you make their hair look good.”

Haley Chaney has worked with her for the past four years.

Natalie was born in Homestead, Fla., when her father, Calvin Hicks, was stationed with the Army there. After he retired at Fort McClellan, he and Natalie’s mother, Sue, wanted to remain in this area to be near their grandchildren. They’re Kentucky natives but now make Piedmont their home.

Natalie has two brothers. Lee Hicks lives in Arab, and Chad Hicks lives in Oxford.

She has two daughters.

Magan Glover and her husband, Matt, live in Piedmont where they teach. Their children are Jaycee, 7, and Nick, 5.

Natalie’s son and daughter-in-law, Brent and the former Cara Hogue, also live in Piedmont. Brent works at Honda and Cara is a nurse at Regional Medical Center.

“My world is my kids and grandchildren,” said Natalie. “And they know it, too. I love being a mama and a nana. I’m so happy when I’m with them. I go to soccer games or anything else they have going on. They know Nana’s going to be there.”

Natalie attends Edgewood Methodist Church in Anniston.

She likes to make jewelry and said if there’s a piece she can’t find, she’ll make it. She likes to read and especially enjoys Deborah Macomber’s novels.

She’s an Auburn fan and was in Pasadena, Calif., for the BCS game between Auburn and Florida State.

“I was raised on Kentucky basketball,” she said. “I’ll always be a Kentucky basketball fan, but when you move to Alabama you have to make a choice of whether you want to be an Auburn or an Alabama fan. I’m the only one in my family who’s for Auburn. When we came here in the military, we weren’t into it. But I chose Auburn because I thought they had prettier colors than Alabama and it went from there.”

Natalie said her daughter was an Auburn fan until she married her husband who attended Alabama.

Natalie said she likes to cook. When she makes deserts, she never has to use recipes, but when she makes anything else, most of the time she has a recipe.

Some of her favorite recipes include Chicken Pot Pie, Corn Dip, Sweet Potato Dumplings, and Angel Lush with Pineapple.

Contact Margaret at


Chicken Pot Pie

2 frozen deep dish pie crusts
2 c. boneless, chopped chicken
2 cans cream of potato soup
1 can Veg-all, drained
½ c. milk
½ t. thyme
½ t. black pepper

Mix all ingredients except Veg-all. After those are mixed, fold in Veg-all. Pour mixture into one crust. Place second crust on top and seal edges. Cut slits in top and cook at 375 degrees for 45-55 minutes.

Corn Dip

2 - 8 oz. pkgs. Cream cheese, softened
2 lg. cans whole kernel corn, drained
2 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Small jar jalapeno peppers, sliced

Mix cream cheese and 1 ½ c . shredded cheese. Fold in corn and as much pepper juice as desired. (The more juice, the hotter the dip.) Dice as many pepper slices as desired. (The more peppers, the hotter the dip.)

Pour into a casserole dish and top with the remaining ½ c. shredded cheese. Place a few sliced peppers on top and cook at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Eat with corn chips or tortilla chips.

Sweet Potato Dumplings

8 sweet potato patties, halved
2 cans crescent rolls
2 c. sugar
2 c. water
1 ½ sticks butter
1 T. vanilla
1 T. corn starch
Cinnamon, optional, sprinkled on top

Roll each halved patty in a crescent roll. Place in a 9x13 glass dish. In another pan boil water, sugar, butter, vanilla and corn starch. Pour over crescent rolls and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Angel Lush with Pineapple

1 can (20 oz.) crushed pineapple, undrained
1 - 4 pkg. vanilla instant pudding
1 sm. tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 prepared angel food cake

Mix pineapple and pudding in bowl. Gently fold in Cool Whip. Cut cake horizonally into thirds. Spread 1/3 mixture over each layer. Refrigerate at least one hour to set.
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Natalie Hicks Cantrell has styled hair for three decades by Margaret Anderson
Special to The Star

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