Styling Curly Hair for More Business
by Michelle Breyer on Thursday, September 1, 2011
Styled at The Damn Salon
With many women trading damaged, flat-ironed hair for more natural curls or textured ‘dos, a growing number of stylists are now focusing on curly-haired clients and their different styling needs.
Learning about styling curly hair not only brings you new business, but can also keep your chair full during down seasons. With so many products and tools to choose from, we break down some of the most popular ways to break into this niche and to keep your business booming.
Education is Key
Stylists across the country are beginning to recognize the growing trend for textured looks, which has prompted an increase in education. Classes can be found across the country, the most prominent coming from New York’s Deva certification classes, which can last anywhere from one to three days, that trains stylists on the art of dry cutting, the no shampoo method, coloring, and styling curly hair. Ouidad also has a New York certification and aids in promoting a newly certified stylists through their extensive email database of curlies.
If you don’t want to commit to just one brand, there are several ways to gain more knowledge on the art of styling curly hair. NaturallyCurly.com hosts “Texture!” each year at ABS Chicago, drawing hundreds of stylists who have the opportunity to ask questions and watch demonstrations from the biggest names in textured tresses.
Attending beauty trade shows can be the biggest bang for your buck in terms of education with curl-friendly product lines such as Ouidad, Hair Rules, As I am, Jane Carter Solution, Tigi and Mizani showcasing the latest techniques for curls and kinks. These shows are also a great place to catch up on valuable business tips. Premiere Orlando hosts over 50 classes dedicated to building your business as a stylist and salon owner during the three-day convention.
Meetup groups are also an invaluable educational opportunity for both consumers and stylists. One of the largest natural hair meet-up groups comes together in the Dallas area, with over 1,600 curlies looking for advice and education on styling curly hair. Meetups are also great marketing tools, especially for stylists who want to help women transition to natural hair. They have the opportunity to show off their skills to a highly engaged audience.
Getting the Word Out
More stylists and salon owners are finding unique ways to promote their curl expertise through social media, meet-ups, and salon events. With over 500 million active users on Facebook, companies, such as Schedulicity, are helping stylists and salon owners fill their appointment books through their business pages.
Social media can be an especially powerful way for stylists to get new clients. Teresa DeLorenzo of Mademoiselle Salon & Spa in Haverford, PA. says online reviews and word of mouth are her main form of recruiting business.
“Having curly hair is like a cult,” she says. “Two curly-haired women meet and right away they start talking about who does their hair.”
Here are examples of how some stylists have taken advantage of styling curly hair to keep their chairs full:
Niche: The Power of the Deva Cut
Capella Salon, Studio City, Calif.
Training: Honed curl techniques on his own and trained with Lorraine Massey from Devachan Salon
Background: Since starting in the business fifteen years ago, Amiel has noticed how hard it is for curly-haired clients to find someone skilled in styling curly hair. Over half of Amiel’s clientele has curly or textured hair, and he says adding the curl department has definitely increased retail sales in the salon. “I never really planned on specializing in curly hair, but over the years it just kind of happened,” he adds. “It’s just been a fun ride.”
“So many women with curly hair have been getting bad haircuts as a result of cutting curly hair wet and in big sections,” says Amiel. “I end up fixing many hair disasters by other so called ‘curl specialists.’”
He’s become known as the “curl doctor” and invited Lorraine Massey, author of “Curly Girl: The Handbook,” and Deva product creator to train Capella Salon’s team.
How he Markets His Salon: Amiel also teamed up with Massey to create Charity: Water, an organization committed to bringing clean drinking water to developing countries. The project kicked off at Capella Salon’s Curls Night Out, where stylists demonstrated techniques for styling curly hair, and clients enjoyed wine, champagne, and desserts. Massey was on hand during the event to sign books and answer curly questions. To spread the word of the event, Shai used Facebook and NaturallyCurly.com to ensure that all of the area curlies were invited. The raffle at Curls Night Out raised almost $800 for charity: water.
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