Nià Pettitt, a 23-year-old content creator, says she found the hair industry naturally. When her online brand took off, Pettitt was enjoying traveling and creating but found her day-to-day routine monotonous. That’s when she turned to some of her old passions and rekindled her love for styling hair—something she’d been doing for fun in her mom’s living room since 2013.
A naturally curly girl herself, Pettitt dreamed of opening up a salon where women like her would feel welcomed. “I had been to many salons, both in Los Angeles and Zimbabwe, and they never had the vibe I was looking for,” Pettitt says. “My hair was either labeled as too difficult to work with, so I incurred extra charges, or it needed to be relaxed to be manageable. My hair doesn’t need to be managed; it needs to be embraced.” Pettitt’s dreams came to fruition in January 2020 when she opened The Curl Bar London—a space where waves, curls and coils are celebrated.
The beginning was tough for Pettitt. “I think I’d call my first two months my trial run—I’d never run a business like this one before and there were a lot of uncomfortable lessons to learn,” she says. Then, right when Pettitt was getting into the swing of things, COVID-19 hit and shut down her newly opened salon.
“This was truly a test for me,” Pettitt says. “I had to have a fresh start and reflect. It was painful to have invested so much of myself—mentally, physically and financially—to now be forced to sit still and wait, but it turned out to be the biggest blessing.” Even as a new business owner, Pettitt never worried about having to permanently close her doors because of the pandemic. “I choose not to look at life that way,” she says. “I focused on the ‘why’ for everything and I knew this was just a test for me. I rose above it and feel stronger than ever.”
Now that business has returned to normal at The Curl Bar London, Pettitt is focusing her energy on raising women up. “When women come to my space, especially the younger generation, I feel like it is my responsibility to remind them how beautiful they are and how they should rock their crown and embrace their melanin,” she says. “Every texture deserves great service.”