Ouidad opened the first curl-focused hair salon in 1984. “Everyone told me the idea was crazy,” says Ouidad. “But I didn’t listen for a second.” After struggling with her own curls as a young girl, and listening to her curly-haired clients’ traumatic stories, she made it her life’s work to educate stylists and people globally to love and embrace curly hair. “Curly-haired clients have had anxiety and insecurities about their curls for years—in some cases their whole lives—because of negative comments from parents, peers or co-workers. As stylists, we need to listen to our curly-haired clients, hear their curl stories and help them understand how to take care of their curls,” says Ouidad. “When you earn a curly client’s trust, they become a lifetime client—which is a rare thing in our industry.” What’s the key to styling beautiful natural curls? “Understanding that all curls are not created equal. Each curl type—whether loose, classic, tight or kinky—needs to be treated individually in terms of cutting, treatments and products.” Master each curl type’s needs, and you’ll beautify every curly-haired client that steps into your salon.
Melka Davis, Ouidad AVP Marketing, explains how to boost your natural curl business.
Q. Many salons are seeing a drop in their “relaxer business” because of the natural curl movement. When trying to move into the natural curl market, what important factors should a salon owner consider?
A. The landscape of curly hair has changed over the years. Clients are more experimental, showing their individuality with curls. As more women transition from relaxed to chemical-free hair, the curl-focused product segment is expected to increase nearly 75 percent (to over $122 million) in the next four years. All curls are structurally different from straight hair. They require products that keep their special needs in mind. Stylists have the power to enhance their clients’ curls, expand menu offerings and increase revenue.
Q. How do salon owners and stylists make curly-haired clients feel at home and happy in their salon?
A. Curly-haired clients need a thorough consultation—which includes the state of their curls, an exchange of past curl experiences and where they’d like to take their hair in the future. The client needs to know that the stylist fully understands curly hair, because curls are more delicate and require specialized care.
Q. What’s the best way to sell curly-hair products?
A. Explain how each product works as you’re using it. Then the client is more likely to purchase the product after the service. Samples are also a great way to promote products for curly clients. They’ll try it at home, and seriously consider purchasing it on their next visit.
Q. In terms of education, what initiatives is Ouidad spearheading for salon owners and stylists?
A. Education is the core of our business. We have comprehensive education and certification programs for salons owners and stylists. They help salon professionals
gain product and methodology knowledge of Ouidad Systems and Ouidad’s patented techniques.