Valencia guides beauty queens through pageants and works as hair stylist and beautician at Bang Salon on U Street. He has provided styling advice to the current Miss D.C., Allyn Rose.

How did you get into the pageant business?

I'm from South America, in Venezuela. Everything is about pageants. I was like, 'I could do that.'

When did you come to the United States? I came here in 2002. I went and asked for a job as a barber. After that I got tired. I came to D.C. and found a job at Bang Salon.

When did you start helping Allyn Rose? She came to me like eight months ago, so I helped her and she won the crown for Miss D.C. ... I talk to her every day.

How do you help? I teach her how to do simple makeup. They have to do some makeup themselves. Most of the day, she has to take care of herself. She has a lot of experience. She was so easy.

What did you tell her to change?

Very simple things. The way she was walking and the way she did makeup. I think when you want to change something about how someone walks, people at first get offended. I find the right way. You look better... I cut her hair and sometimes do extensions... I wanted to change her hair color. I said, 'I think you are too blond' She did not want to do it. She had a photo shoot in New York. The first thing they said is, 'We need to change her color.' She called me.

What makes you successful in this business? People don't have a lot of patience. I'm very patient. We were doing things little by little.

- Eric P. Newcomer

-- Eric P. Newcomer