In case you didn’t know, I am a Licensed Cosmetologist with a passion and focus in the Natural Hair Industry. Through my 13 years in the Hair Industry, as a Salon Assistant, Natural Hair Stylist, Shampoo Assistant, Consumer, Cosmetology Student, and Youtuber Vlogger my perspectives of the Natural Hair Industry have evolved tremendously and I can see first hand why the natural hair community does NOT trust Hair Stylists. Recently, I hosted a Periscope conversation about this topic and I wanted to share it with you and get your insight as well.
Top 5 Reasons Why Black-Owned Salons are Failing
1. Stylists Don’t Offer Thorough Consultations.
Gone are the days when clients/consumers solely trust a “word of mouth” referral and will “blindly” sit in your chair hoping for good results. People want to talk to you first, understand your vision, and actually see what they can expect. Pictures and a portfolio are absolutely necessary, but often times are the exception and not the rule when you go into a Salon.
2. Stylists Are Not Current On The Latest Hair Language.
Do you know what a “co-wash” is? Did you know the DIY natural hair community actually created this term and changed the entire hair care marketplace? If you want to garner trust from someone in your chair, you have to speak their language (even if you know it’s not correct) then translate it into a professional technique/results.
3. Stylist Don’t Explain Products. There are hundreds of “hair gurus” online unknowingly bashing good professional products solely based on the strength that they don’t understand the science of hair and the synergy of product lines. The problem―clients only want those “juices and berries” that a blog recommended in their hair, but on a molecular level they need to rebuild the polypeptide chains in their hair; and truth be told the “juices and berries” aren’t always going to cut it. If you can explain the problem, solution, AND benefits of your products in a language that the client can understand, chances are they will let you work your magic.
4. Salons Don’t Provide An Experience. One of the biggest concerns with getting people into the Salon is pricing―”why pay $85 for a two-strand twists that I can do at home?” The answer is the experience you offer. Often times, the Salon visit is not an escape; instead it is full of gossip, uncleanliness, and lackluster service. In order to change that, create an “experience”—from the conversation, atmosphere, reading material, and products. When the experience is something unattainable in their bathroom with a youtube channel you will get (or spend) that coin.
5. Salons Don’t Retail. One of the secrets to healthy hair care is at home maintenance. Period. You can’t have healthy hair if you don’t know how to maintain it at home and the biggest way to ensure your hair stays healthy is to use the products that are recommended by a professional; but if they are not available in the Salon, how likely are you to go out and purchase those exact products?! The products need to be readily available for the client/consumer to take home. But it is insane how many times I hear that a Stylist never recommended products for at-home care after an appointment or had them available for purchase.
What has your experience in the Salon been like lately? Do you currently have a Stylist that you trust?
Jocelyn Reneé is a Licensed Cosmetologist, Loctician and Textured Hair Educator. She was born and raised in the Washington DC area and is a graduate of the Aveda Institute Cosmetology Science program. With over 14 years in the Hair Care Industry, from Salon Assistant to Natural Hair Blogger to Professional; Jocelyn is passionate about cultivating healthy hair.