When an African American woman wanted a weave or her hair relaxed, she typically ventured to a black salon, since non-black salons usually were not staffed with stylists who know how to do kinky or textured hair. It was there that she could socialize and gossip with other women and get her hair done in a manner that was best for suited for her. Now, Dominican-run salons are taking over a portion of the business that black beauty parlors used to dominate.
For example, Dominican salons use a special technique for straightening that works well on black hair. This technique is a blowout technique that consists of applying wet rollers to the client’s hair. For about 45 minutes, the client will sit underneath of a hairdryer. A blowdryer and a round brush will then be used simultaneously to smooth out the hair. This process must be done at the tip of the roots in order for it to be successful. When the technique is implemented correctly, it takes less time and costs less than your average black salon. The result of the treatment is super straight hair. Also, the steps that Dominican salons utilize help prolong the effects of the chemicals used in the chemical relaxing process, and if the hair is not already straightened, this process can have results that are just as positive as a chemical straightening. This leads to less frequent visits to the salon and in many cases happier customers.
An Atlanta hairdresser by the name of Jennifer Jackson states that she has noticed a huge change in the number of clients she sees due to the fact that there is a Dominican salon taking over in her area. She reported that clients have been canceling and doing no-call-no-shows more lately, since the rise in popularity with Dominican salons. She is adamant that the Dominican beauticians are passing out fliers to her customers.
“Bad Boy” Romeo Crews is stylist in Atlanta who says that the Dominicans have assisted him with gaining business, because the Dominican’s technique has been causing hair to fall out. It has also been noted that the way they style hair results in excess breakage.
Now that the trend of styling black hair has shifted more toward being open to Dominican hairdressers, many African American beauticians are seeing a drastic decrease in their business. Customers who traditionally would only go to a black stylist are now looking toward the non-black stylists more than ever before. This leaves those working at black salons with a decrease in business, and in dire need of something fresh to compete with.
Some say, “If you can’t beat them, join them.” Beauticians that work in black salons need to start bettering the services that they offer to compete on an all-new level. It sounds like the key areas they need to compete on are time, quality and cost. These are the key factors that are affecting the customers’ decisions in not “supporting their own” when it comes to choosing a salon. Better marketing for black salon businesses may also help. Step up your game and get customers back in your chairs!
At the end of the day, Beauty Schools Directory supports all hairstylists, and want to see every single hairstylist and salon business be successful, regardless of race. But we also support healthy competition in the name of innovation, so we look forward to seeing salon businesses run by people of both ethnicities thrive and grow and lead the charge in the beauty industry.
Are you an African American or Dominican stylist or salon owner? Make your voice heard! Weigh in on the comments below and tell us your story or experience.