A few years ago, I used to be obsessed with reality television. Jersey Shore, America’s Next Top Model, American Idol, etc. You name it, I probably had seen it even though most of these shows were a bit mature for my age. I believe it was around the time that I was in high school that this new show had aired on VH1 called L.A. Hair. It followed the life and career of a black business owner named Kimberly Kimble who owned her own hair salon and had a plethora of celebrity clients. Besides the necessary messy drama involved in the story, I actually was very inspired by the business aspect of the plot and getting a sort of inside look at the hair stylist industry. The show portrayed Kimble receiving a diverse group (gender and ethnicity) of clients, but also the majority of her clients, including celebrities, were black women. Looking back on the show, now that I am taking an intro course on entrepreneurship, I am realizing how this reality show actually did cover some important topics about owning and running a business as an entrepreneur. Although the owner was extremely gifted with styling and caring for hair, she still had a whole team of stylists to help run the salon. Even her mother would sometimes come in to work hours, help supervise, and mentor her daughter. Later on in the show she went on to hire a nail technician and a female barber to add to what her business could offer. The show also expressed lessons on how one can learn and collaborate with competition, the different tactics used with advertising and in gaining everyday and celebrity clients, and rules on keeping a positive and professional environment even when things get chaotic. Unfortunately, the show only had one season, but even with one season on a major network, the name and reputation of the salon gained an exponential amount of attention. Kimble was even booked as head stylist for Beyonce’s majorly acclaimed visual album titled Lemonade!
Before I finished this blog, I thought it was only appropriate to mention the company Devacurl. The company has been around since 1994 but I have only heard of it in recent years. Maybe you’ve heard it? Being someone with curly hair, it is a name that I have heard pop up many times. Unfortunately I have not had any interaction as a consumer with the company yet, but I know a few people who have and have no complaints. What I find so intriguing about this company is how multifaceted it is. Not only does it sell its own products, but salons and hairstylist can become “devacurl certified”, meaning not only are they trained to cut, style, and care for curly hair, they are also trained to teach their clients about better ways to maintain their curly hair. The company does claim to be for all curly hair types, but I am a little skeptical because usually companies that are not specifically geared towards the hair care of black women will not take the time to learn of the proper way and proper ingredients needed to care for natural hair that grows out and towards the sky. But just the fact that the company acknowledges that curly hair is complicated and comes in many forms is enough to convince me to try out the products and service.
I believe that the services offered within the curly/african american natural hair community and industry are extremely important because of the extreme and unique (for lack of better terms) “personal-ness” that comes along with the business providing the service. Many people, especially clients with curly hair often for a unique and strong bond of trust and loyalty with their hair stylist. The familiarity and loyalty these businesses form with their customers is something I feel as though businesses in other industries could only dream of.