Black History Month: Taking Care of Ethnic Hair
Curly, straight, wavy, thick, thin, textured, weaves…whatever your client’s hair is or whatever they want it to be, you as the stylist have the same responsibility: to bring out their beauty. The diversity of your shop may or not include all hair types. But you should be able to make everybody fabulous, no matter their hair or skin type. Are you up to the challenge?
Distinct product needs for textured hair: Do you carry the best product for washing and conditioning textured hair, both in the back bar and for sale? Products for curly hair need to have a significant moisturizing component as drying out of curls is the leading contributor to frizzy hair (along with environmental issues like severe humidity).
Never leave curly or textured hair wet! Maybe a regular customer with bone straight hair lets you do a quick cut and rushes out, not even interested in a blowout. Don’t even offer to let your thick, curly locked customer out of that char early. Their hair has to be carefully dried or all your good work will be in vain. Be careful about drying. Towel dry gently first and then dry with maximum power but lower temperature. Again, over-drying is the enemy here, but so is water. Tread carefully!
Be on top of the huge variety of options for textured hair: tighter, enhanced curls; looser curls; cornrows, longer braids, straightened hair all around, sectors of smoothed hair. Check out some of the varieties right here:
What does your customer want? Are they ready to embrace a natural look? Can you help them enhance their curls and tame bigger hair looks? Are they looking for a traditional, non-ethnic, smoother look? Don’t just assume. Ask what they want.
What’s your client’s lifestyle? Is she a regular exerciser? Then a hairstyle that allows her to pull her hair up and off her face would be the best.
Do you know your way around extensions? If you don’t, it’s time to upgrade your education. Extensions are an awesome way to expand look possibilities, create fuller looking hair and even add some vivid hair color.
What’s the occasion? Whether we agree with it or not, people seek out different looks when going to a job interview vs. going to a family wedding. Job interviews are often a difficult place for people with ethnic hair to feel completely comfortable with truly natural hair. It’s unfortunate, but help them find a more vanilla-type look, even if it’s just for this stage.
The best stylists should be able to accommodate all sorts of hair needs. It’s okay to specialize to meet the needs of your specific clientele and location, but everybody should be able to leave your chair significantly transformed every time!