Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Revolt

#REVOLT
The salon industry is full of beauty. Creative people are plentiful. Vibrant personalities and artistic designs keeps the smiles coming. It is a place for the unique, loud, prim and proper. It welcomes home boys and home girls alike. Regardless the age, if you can fit in the chair, you are welcomed. The salon industry is happening. 

In all its splendor of artistic flair and technological advances, it needs an enema. Wait, what just happened? The outer appearance, by way of social media and marketing of the salon industry appears to be lose and flowing. However, from the inside it is rigid and stiff. It is not all encompassment. It is segregated. So there in lies the crap and a lot of it. Segregation is the crap that causes our service model to be blocked and backed up. On the outside a person can look perfectly normal, have clear skin, a flat belly and all. But on the inside, their colon is blocked; they are full of crap. We look like we are truly flowing with our colorful artsy tartsy hair designs and fancy salon names. Sometimes we are. But, we need an enema of sorts to loosen up our service model approach to the vast and diverse world of hair; with emphasis on hair care for the textured hair masses. 

What is wrong with the service model, you ponder? Because the salon industry is primarily segregated we do not see it. It is the training of the masses by the powers that be that pretty much teaches and promotes that people of the same race pretty much have the same hair texture. That is false. It is how they indirectly promote segregation. Call it target audience, demographics; you can put any word you want on it. It is what it is. Segregation. And where there is segregation. There is discrimination. No matter how nice we separate those shopping aisle using covert racial undertones such as, "ethnic, women of color, natural hair,
bi-racial and the likes." It looks as if we are finally opening up to the other half of the world who went unnoticed. What other half? What is there not to see? Over 90 percent of humans have some degree of texture in their hair! However, when one observes how hair styles and hair care is promoted, they have to admit, straight hair rules. There is a separate practice and cost for those with textured hair. According  to the 2015 Department of Labor report, America has approximately 688,700 plus licensed cosmetologists. And they all began their education of hair care and hair styling on straight haired mannequins. There is segregation in the education of hair when the mannequins are black and white with straight hair. Textured hair mannequins are not open for discussion; nor are they an option to purchase during the education of cosmetology. The extensiveness of the hyperbole in the beauty industry is shameful. Especially in America. To separate people, then use word play, photos and the emotion quotient in advertisement and education is misleading and deplorable to say the least. At what point were retailers (and of all places; a pharmacy, i.e. CVS) gullible enough to hang a sign called "ethnic" above a hair care aisle? I guess "coloreds only" would bring out the Tiki torch carrying customers, huh? They feel comfortable seeing white people with no texture walk down one aisle and seeing people of color and whites with textured hair walk down another? Dude.

This nonsense has to end. I work in the industry. I have been doing my part to address this nonsense. Attempts are definitely being made to end it; but for the most part, segregation is real. It is ignored, accepted, overlooked. To describe my observation, I will describe what I call, The "segregated" service cycle. This cycle of segregation pretty much consists of approximately 6 simple steps (give or take):
  1. Let people know you are a licensed cosmetologist
  2. Let people know what you do
  3. Let people know where you are located 
  4. Let people know what your work hours are  
  5. Let people know how much you charge 
  6. Let people know what hair care goods you sell. 
In return, the customer:
  1. Arrives at location
  2. Request what is on salon service menu
  3. Pay services rendered
  4. Purchase recommended hair care goods (optional)
  5. Refer clients
  6. Rebook appointments
We are pretty much trained to do business with people who look like us. To sum it up, you get what you pay for. Sounds fundamentally sound right? 

Wrong. Why?

You are not getting what you paid for. You are getting what you "wish" you could get when you pay for it. First of all, everyone knows the world is diverse. Segregation does not work effectively. It overtly screens out certain people. When people are screened out, people are at risk. Second, race has very little to do with hair. Yet there is a discriminating distinction between those with texture and those without texture. There is a discriminating distinction between those who are of color without texture and those who are of color and no color with texture. You gasp?  

Both hair stylist and customer need not lie, deny and turn heads in another direction as if this segregated cycle is functioning. The segregated cycle is not functioning. People are woke and alert. The race card is not being played too much these days. A paradigm shift has taken place within the hair salon industry where customers of every race with textured hair are fed up with the covert segregated cycle. 

While the internet, blogs, YouTube, certain celebrity stylists, multicultural salons and other social media outlets have offered some relief; textured hair consumers remain under served. They are forced into a section called "ethnic" for no reason. They embrace the "natural hair movement" as if straight hair is not  natural. The separateness leads to cyber bullying, discrimination, and racism. And what is this new buzz word I'm seeing, "cultural appropriation?" They are using this term to slander straight haired women who wear cornrow or box braids. Geesh. This nonsense leaves customers and consumers feeling fed up, scorned and left out.

I remain stunned. How can I help the fed up, scorned and left out customers?They have some how fallen through the cracks of the very industry that is supposed to help them. The world of hair styles and hair care is utterly, totally and completely filled with diversity and textured hair. So what am I to do?

REVOLT.

I looked up the meaning of revolution to make sure the word could capture my sentiments. Is a revolution the solution for who I call the "textured hair masses?" Of the many definitions of revolution, I chose one that read, "Revolution is the forcible overthrow of a social order in favor of a new system."

Real life hair care.
"Yeah," I thought to myself, "A revolution is the solution. Hashtag revolt!" So, with my pumped fist, fervor and excitement, I typed "the revolution will be live."  Gil Scott Heron, the famous spoken word poet who wrote about revolution in the 70's was right when he spoke, "the revolution will not be televised." The segregation towards textured hair consumers and customers within the hair salon industry has brought about much dysfunction and mis-education. Along with it are unprecedented practices that yield ill-prepared hair stylists and a heart broken customers.

For the most part, the segregation within the beauty industry reminds me of a dysfunctional relationship. It has secrets and wives tales that are as valid as alternative facts. It is full of remorse, regrets and resentments. And like a bad relationship, both parties ultimately conclude, that karma is real. What goes around comes around. Segregation and dysfunction reflects lack of self love. We must learn to teach and help people care for their textured hair.

I will help. I will teach. This is the revolution in hair care. It is live! I am starting this revolution by replacing that segregated cycle with a new textured hair care world order! The new cycle is The Wright Method for all hair textures (regardless the race). The Wright Method has three simple steps. This system is user friendly to both the hair stylist and customer.  Great hair requires three simple steps in no given order regardless the color of your skin, the texture of your hair, the service requested, location of the salon, hours of salon operation, cost of goods, cost of service; rather you re-book, refer or purchase retail. The Wright Method is as follows:
  1. The right hair care products for your unique hair fabric
  2. The right hair styling tools for your unique hair fabric
  3. The right technique(s) for your unique hair fabric
This is my revolution. This is my revolution in hair care. It reminds me of the revolution during the outbreak of the AIDS virus in the early 80's. There was a belief that AIDS was contagious and airborne.  Along came a group of doctors who partnered with CDC (Center for Disease Control) to revolt. They wanted the segregation that resulted in discrimination against those with HIV/AIDS virus to end. Together they created and implemented "Universal Precautions." This drastically reduced paranoia, ignorance while simultaneously protecting the spread of all viruses. It all but stamped out the discriminatory practices against those with HIV/AIDS. I am suggesting everyone and all companies adopt "The Wright Method" where everyone with any type of hair texture can be serviced effectively.

I am inspired. Part of being a revolutionist is to not merely point out what is wrong. Remember a true revolution not only forces out and overthrows what is not productive to the masses, it vehemently is in favor of a new system! Are you ready for a revolution?

My simple method replaces segregated cycle of dysfunctional hair care for those with textured hair to a desegregated cycle that functions for all hair textures.

Join the revolution. It is live. I am coming to a city near you. "The Wright Method" will be promoted via public speakings and teachings. My appearances consist of a presentation, Q&A and a pop up shop.

Serious inquiries, email or contact me at 216-321-1101.




Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Strength of Hair

One of the most interesting things about being a hairstylist is the large number of customers who have so much misinformation about hair.
Ewe, damaged hair!

Prior to becoming a hair stylist, I worked in the social service field. I could see the connection between this new phenomenon called "the internet" and the inquiry of hair care. It was as if every woman was on a personal quest to find out about the behind the scenes of hair. They wanted to know what is going and what is not going on in the hair salon. So to that point, it was in social work that I learned just how little information customers were getting about their own hair in spite of paying hundreds of dollars for months and for many years to have their hair cared for and styled.
The agency I worked for would on occasionally pay for hair styles to use them as incentives for positive reinforcement for clients. So while they were being motivated to grow via an occasional hair style, some of that was done in vane because many walked away with just that; a hair style. During that time many women revealed much disappointment in their salon experience by way of the conversation being focused on the stylist, social issues and gossip. The disclosed just how little hair care and care of their own hair was being discussed.This type of service was unfortunate. Those services were truly being paid for with the intent to promote a positive image of self. Many walked away feeling as if their incentive was purely for the financial gain for the stylist as they got a hair style for the moment.

While I no longer work in the field of of social service, as a hair stylist, I still see the conflict women have with their hair and their image. The struggle is real for those with textured hair trying desperately and consistently to find solutions to the challenges of caring for textured hair. 

Rather it is wash and wear, twist out, corn rows, press and curl, silk press, weaves, roller sets, braids, bantu knots, locks, coils, hair cuts, hair color, bald heads and everything in between; the challenge of how to achieve and maintain remains a very frustrating enigma. What is a girl or guy to do? How could it be, that I've spent hundreds of dollars on hair care products and salon visits and I am still not satisfied with my hair? 

The answer lies in the anatomy of each strand of hair. When people think of their hair or touch it, they often associate the head of hair as a bulk versus each individual strand. I feel in my heart that taking people on simple visual  journey of their unique fiber (regardless the texture) can help make the daunting tasks of hair care not daunting! Notice,I did not write easy or quick. Caring for textured hair is not quick or easy. Caring for textured hair is routine. It requires a regimen. Once you get into your regimen, it becomes habitual; not necessarily easy. The more you fight the reality of the regimen your unique fiber requires, the more daunting the task of hair care and hair styling will indeed be. 

To make hair care and hair styling compliment your lifestyle; take the time to get a clear understanding and knowing that hair care is something you must do for your hair on a daily basis.. From there pick a day(s), time(s), and commit to it. Hair care and grooming is very similar to oral care, fabric care and body care. If you don't do it in a timely fashion with the right products, right tools and the right technique; bad teeth, bad breath, faded clothes, bad skin and body odor is the result. So while you may tire of personal, oral hygiene routine, you do it. Ultimately, you get in the habit or routine of  managing them all. You understand what it takes in its entirety and what is required to preserve the life and appearance of them all.

This is a result of the wrong comb, products
and hair styling techniques.
Understanding the hair on your head is simple requires the same thought processes and acceptance that a routine is a must. To help you get your hair care routine mojo going below outlines a few VISUAL guided facts about hair and scalp that will give you a clear depiction of exactly what is going on top of that head of your!










Drum roll please:
  • Know that the scalp is a microbial habitat that needs to be cleansed once to twice a week.
  • See each strand of hair for what it's worth. One of many! 
  • Each strand of hair has multiple cuticle layers that look like shingles on a roof.
  • The objective in hair care is to keep those layers in tact.
  • Keeping those layers in tact protects the cortex.
  • The cortex where hair gets its the strength.
  • The cuticle and cortex is strengthened by using the right products, styling tools and right technique.
  • Wide tooth combs scrape, tear and compromise the outer cuticle layer; thus further compromising the cortex layer.
  • Using water to style hair causes the outer cuticle layer to swell, buckle and snap. This too further exposes the cortex layer.
  • Applying conditioners and synthetic oils to the scalp will clog the mouth of the follicle. 
  • The mouth of the follicle is the tiny whole each hair grows from.
  • When the mouth of follicle is clogged, hair growth becomes compromised rapidly.
There is much hype about the outer layer of hair as it relates to the cuticle. While cuticle care is vital to hair care, remember the color of hair and the true strength of hair lies in the cortex layer. And in hair care, the goal is to protect that cortex layer of the hair to ensure great curls, braids, color, weave, textures, waves, fros, kinks and everything in between. 

Seeming as color and strength are pretty much the primary goal or concern of many when it comes to the appearance and performance of hair, I hope this helps.

Do not make hair care difficult. Keep it simple. Find a routine that suits what your hair fiber calls for and stick to it until it changes. When the texture of your changes, change your regimen. The texture of your hair will change as you age. 

As long as you recognize that protecting that cortex is what is truly responsible for the integrity of each strand of hair, then you too will KNOW the strength of your hair!