Updated: May 16
The term 'diversity' has become a buzz word in the post-pandemic era. Naturally Gorgeous curls was excited and honoured to be featured in Salon Magazine's May / June Texture and Education isssue. The curly haired spread focused on increasing diversity and inclusion in the hair industry. We offered insights on the 'Going All In' segment. Salon mag's Editorial Director, Veronica Boodhan, sees the value in dedicating several editions to textured hair. Since the magazine is distributed across Canada she is doing her part to expand the conversation around textured hair.
That's where Naturally Gorgeous Curls was invited into the conversation. As you may know, Naturally Gorgeous Curls started with a hair show and seminar meet-up in 2017 to serve the natural hair community. With so many consumers looking for products, education, and stylists to help them manage their natural curls, many salons and salon managers are starting to see value in the market.
And the challenge is how to get more curly hair specialists behind the chair to cater to more textured hair clients in their chair. The natural hair movement has exploded across the country. But there is still proportionally a small fraction of Red Seal licensed stylists across Canada that have the knowledge and experience to effectively manage a curls.
This is an important conversation with great attention on equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in the workplace becoming more of a priority. But how do salons get from serving none or very minimal curly hair clients to diversifying their client base? It's definitely not something that happens over night. Curl specialists that have been in the industry for over a decade may still find it difficult for textured hair clients to trust them, due to past traumatic experiences and quite simply-bad hair cuts. This very topic was discussed at a round table amongst stylists at CurlyCon in April.
Now that more than 55% of the Canadian population has textured hair it's imperative that salons expand to serve this growing demographic. This number has grown since 65% - 75% of the global population has textured hair.
The 5 main ways to increase curly hair diversity in salons are highlighted below. The link to the Salon Magazine article follows.
Draft a 5-year strategic plan: There is no quick solution. To go from serving no curly hair clients to expect them to rush to your door is not realistic.
Advocate for more textured hair education in the hairstyling curriculum: Secondary and post secondary institutions across Canada lack curly hair education and still see curly hair as a 'specialty' niche.
Explore your motives: As a salon owner or manager if your reasons to serve people embracing their natural curls is just to make more money, it won't work due to the longer-term investment required.
Provide curly hair training for staff: Invest in professional development for staff that want to sharpen their shearing skills to cut curls.
Show a diversity of curl types on social media: Potential clients will look at your social media to see what hair types you post. That will show them the skill level of the stylists.
Read NGC's Salon Magazine Feature, 'Going All In' on page 58.
Often, many textured hair stylists that say they are are "curly hair experts" are limited when it comes to Afro-textured, kinky / coily hair types. So people with the tight curls are too often left to influencers or trial and error to figure it out. This then produces mediocre results and a mass of frustration.
This is exactly why Naturally Gorgeous Curls has stylists that provide customized curly hair consulting services. With science-based knowledge and hair theory as a foundation the information is reliable, and it works. The product DEMOS offered means clients can try products without being in the dark about how it will work. We've got answers to your questions and love talking texture.
Comment below, how has your hair salon journey been for yourself or your family?