click image to zoom Love doing curly hair? You’ll also love the income that can be driven by targeting
texture. Whether your entire salon becomes a hub of texture specialists or just a few of you
position yourselves as curl authorities, the distinction can put you in demand. Christo, who has established himself as a curl guru and his NYC salon, Christo Fifth Avenue, as a haven for all things curly, says word-of-mouth brings 80 to 150 new clients to his 2,500-square-foot salon each month. How can you generate that level of viral buzz about a texture specialty? You don’t have to give up your straight-haired clients, but to capture curlies you must think about your business in different terms—on everything from A to Z.
Amaze. “Wow” a curly, and you will see that client back in your chair. “A lot of curly clients come in feeling defeated,” says Anthony Cress, the 2013 NAHA Texture winner as well as educational and creative director at Studio 4 in Newport Beach, California, and a member of the Sebastian Design Team. “It feels to them like they will never achieve that beautiful hair they’ve always wanted.” Stacy Hill, owner of DyeVerCity Salon in Martinez, Georgia, which provided this Texture! issue’s cover style, says that clients are accustomed to a disheartening routine: “A lot of salons say they do curly hair, but what they really do is straighten curly hair and then style it.” Transforming a client who walks in fearing her texture into one who walks out loving it will spark the engine that revs up word-of-mouth. Sums up Shawna Parvin, a national educator for Aquage and the 2009 NAHA Texture winner, “The more makeovers you do on clients who really love their curl, the more you can advertise yourself as a texture expert and the more curly clients you’ll get.”
Brag. This is not the time for modesty! Dramatic before-and-after texture photos will grab attention. “A picture truly is worth 1,000 words,” says Sherri Jessee, the 2013 NAHA Editorial Stylist of the Year. “I recommend snapping tons of photos of your transformations—why not take a before-and-after of every client?” At Jackson Ruiz Salon, an Aveda Lifestyle Salon in Austin, Texas, the work is everywhere. “Seeing is believing,” says co-owner Allen Ruiz, named NAHA’s 2013 Hairstylist of the Year. “We often shoot images of highly textured models, which we utilize in the salon and on our website. It makes new texture clients feel more comfortable and confident.” Communicate. Make sure staff both in and out of the salon are aware that you’re trying to build your texture business. “I’m booked a year in advance, so I refer new curly clients to other stylists in the salon who I know can do textured hair,” says Jeff Duckwall, a GKhair lead creative team member and creative director at Maddison Taylor Salon in Cincinnati. “I even refer some to a former assistant who works at a different salon. It’s about filling the needs of that client.” The front desk is key as well. “It’s up to you to ask the receptionists to please send you all the curly clients who call,” says Parvin.