Damn Salon, Atlanta, Charlotte, Miami and Montreal
Background: Self-taught, Tshikuka has been styling curly and natural hair for more than a decade, or as she says, “way before it was cool.” The founder and creative director of the Damn Salon also developed all of its signature styles. “Natural hair does not have to be boring,” Tshikuka says. “It can be corporate, high fashion or romantic.”
As natural hair became more mainstream, the salon’s popularity grew as well—Damn Salon began in Montreal and has spread to several locations across North America. Over time, it also evolved from a natural hair salon to a high-fashion experience, which now includes photography studios and The Damn Closet, which are high-end boutiques incorporated into most locations.
How She Markets Her Salon: Thanks to an active social media presence and word of mouth, Damn Salon attracts clients from around the country in search of what Tshikuka describes as “natural hairstyles that are sophisticated.”
Through her invitation-only salons, product lines, and an upcoming book, Tshikuka has created a brand that encourages women to embrace not only their hair’s natural texture, but also their confidence and authenticity as women as well. Damn Salon’s workshops cover hair and makeup techniques as well as relationship advice and other aspects of life. “We tell things how they are,” explains Tshikuka. “Damn is a lot about being your true self: not giving a damn what other people think.”
Tshikuka has been noted as a marketing genius among the natural hair community. Not only are the salons gushed over by women across the country for their unique twists and family-like atmosphere (they offer their clients lunch and dinner); the exclusivity has gained notoriety as the place to go for a truly special experience.
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