Up service. Don’t be afraid to add to the ticket with deep-conditioning, maybe a keratin service and, of course, retail. “Texture clients will pay whatever it takes to have healthy, beautiful hair,” Duckwall observes.
Volunteer. Heighten your visibility by getting out into the community and showing off your texture skills. “We do a lot of Fashion Week styling, and we make ourselves available to charities,” says Christo. “If I’m invited to a radio station to give advice, I go! Donating your time brings you clients, especially when you have a specialized business.” Hill seeks out events compatible with teaching women about their hair. “I was the featured speaker at an event for Natural Hair Awareness Month,” she reports. “This type of exposure positions you as an authority.”
Wear it. Be a curly if you can. “Many clients believe that only someone who has curly hair can understand curly hair,” says Curtis. “Some of my clients seem disappointed when they come in and see that I only have beach waves.” Although she straightens occasionally, Hill showcases her natural texture most of the time. click image to zoom “A lot of my clients say they trust people who have hair that looks like theirs,” she notes. “They know the stylist will understand shrinkage and frizz.” Parvin relates. “When you’ve had curly hair all your life, the client knows that you’ve had to go through some rough times,” she laughs. “But that’s just perception. When stylists know and love hair, it doesn’t matter whether their own hair is curly or straight. A lot of very good stylists are men who are bald!”
Xtras. Just as you would with any client, go above and beyond expectations. The typical curly client has a long memory and plenty of bad salon stories, so make sure that she enjoys her time with you. Double up on your customer service protocol so that she feels welcome in the salon. “An extra-fantastic shampoo calms the nerves!” says Cress. Also greet her warmly, offer her a drink and let her know that you value her business.
Yelp! Of all the social media sites, Yelp may be the most pivotal to your business. Curlies like to help each other find solutions. “We’re always checking Yelp to see how we’re rated,” notes Della Grazia. “All you need is a couple of bad reviews, and your reputation is tarnished.” In fact, a 2012 study by two Berkeley economists of restaurants’ Yelp reviews found that just a half-star improvement on Yelp’s five-star rating made it as much as 49 percent more likely that a restaurant would fill up for dinner. “Clients might look up ‘best salon Ouidad products,’ and Yelp reviews will pop up immediately,” reports Willhite.
Zero in. “About 70 percent of women have wavy to coily hair, so it’s a big market,” says Christo. “There’s a movement right now to go natural; if you’re not servicing men and women with curly hair, you’re missing out. People are tired of fighting their curl, and you can have clients for a lifetime. So it’s best to teach them how to love their hair.” Parvin agrees. “Texture now is like hair color or highlighting,” she says. “You need to be good at it, because a lot of people have it and