Styling Curly Hair for More Business
by Michelle Breyer on Thursday, September 1st, 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.
How to Become a Stylist & Keep Your Individuality
by Antonio Gonzales on Saturday, July 9th, 2011
I was born in Trinidad in the height of a hurricane. I spent my childhood surrounded by the sights and sounds and smells of Carnival and the other Indian, African and Spanish festivals of the Islands. Loving the amazing costumes, I got my start dressing my sisters and doing their hair and makeup. An opportunity came up to work with Trinidad’s leading costume designers, makeup artists and hair stylists. After I left the Island, my career evolved with work in Munich, Los Angeles, New York City and now Miami. Vogue magazine recently named me as one of the rising hairstylist stars in New York, I was awarded the best haircut of 2008 by sheckys.com, Gotham Magazine called me a Shear Genius and Allure Magazine featured me as one of the Best Cuts 2009.
My fellow hairstylists, I want to talk today about our industry and the significant part each one of us play in it. After many educational classes worldwide and intense salon training, I’ve realized that somewhere along the way I starting leaving behind was my sense of my personal creativity and originality. As you already know, after beauty school, there are endless cutting, coloring and styling classes. I believe you are never too old to learn, and it is important for us to keep a fresh perspective. I also believe as hairstylists we have something that no one can teach us: the gift of individuality.
My Personal Experience
Like most hair stylists, when I started my career I wanted to learn how to become a stylist from the inside out without missing a single detail. While being mentored by hairstylists, I paid attention to every detail of their philosophy and personal techniques. The feeling of really understanding what works well for someone else’s success was so liberating. This meant I would stand a chance of being a success in my industry and making a good living. I worked very hard on becoming the best version of what I saw in my mentors. Can you relate? I was rewarded with opportunities I will forever be grateful for, and I was able to build a strong clientele and mentor other hairstylists.
Now something is changing in my approach to my craft and you guessed it—it’s my individuality. This installment is to remind you that you too have something special, something apart from the cutting classes, philosophies and product knowledge. No one can teach you individuality. Our uniqueness is something each of us is born with, and it sometimes gets lost in all the information we must retain.
Apart from learning from others, I spend a lot of time thinking of what “defines my style as a hairstylist?” If asked what my specialty is, what would be my answer be? How do I set myself apart from other hairstylists, in my salon, my town, even my city? Am I becoming a salon robot with my focus working as fast as I can or selling as much product as I can? Remember when we first went to beauty school and we were afraid, but not knowing also gave us the “just go for it” attitude? Well, that’s exactly what I am talking about, taking chances in a safe environment will only allow you to break out of the mold we sometimes find ourselves in after years of being in the industry.
Tips on How to Become Stylist
Here are some helpful tips on how you should move forward in re-discovering the old-new you:
1. First you need to dedicate a certain amount of time per week to your craft out of the salon. This time can be at home in private where you can have time to work on all the ideas you may have had where cutting, coloring or styling is concerned. Separate yourself from the everyday “salon robot.”
2. Purchase a long hair mannequin with a tall tripod mannequin stand to work on.
3. Start recruiting friends and family as your personal models for cuts and coloring.
4. The most important thing to keep in mind is if we keep doing the same cuts, styles and colors the results are going to be the same. Dare yourself to take chances in a safe environment.
This may not be for everyone. There are some of us who call ourselves hair burners. If that is where your head is at, then I urge you to think differently. We make people feel and look beautiful. Thankfully, we can support ourselves and our families with this amazing craft so be proud and be the best…always.