How Child Psychology Major Nafisah Carter Fell In Love With Hair And Turned That Into A Business
Every woman has that one friend who does hair and who we eventually tell at some point, “Girl, you should do this full-time.” Nafisah Carter is that friend. Though she majored in child psychology in undergrad, Carter turned her interest from therapy to tresses, eventually working in a salon in New York City and then with her on celebrity clients. Now, Carter is embarking on the next chapter in her hair journey, her very on luxurious virgin weave line: Pyara Hair. Check out our conversation with the budding entrepreneur as she talks industry, inspiration, and innovation.
MadameNoire (MN): Tell me about Pyara Hair.
Pyara Hair is luxurious virgin hair that lasts up to two years with proper care and maintenance. I carry various textures ranging from Brazilian, Indian, and Peruvian in lengths 12″-30.” Pyara Hair is rich and opulent– it takes so well to color, and doesn’t shed or tangle.
MN: Did you always want to be a hairstylist, and specifically a celebrity hairstylist?
Nafisah Carter (NC): Not at all. (Laughs) When I was younger, I majored in Child’s Psychology, and when I went to college, I realized that I had a love affair with hair. All my roommates would ask me to do their hair. I was always interested in beauty and was intrigued by hair and makeup. After I went to hair school I realized I was into celebrity hair once I relocated to New York and began working at Rita Hazan. Celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez and more went there–I definitely became into celebrity hair after working there.
MN: Hairstylists are entrepreneurs by nature. How has your experience as a stylist and owning your own salon prepared you for launching your hair line?
NC: When my clients would come in, they would come in with bad hair that would melt as soon as it touched a flat iron because the bundles were mixed with synthetic strands. I would then try to color the bundles and the hair would turn a weird color, and I got frustrated. I thought it wasn’t fair, and I felt my clients deserved good quality hair. I wanted them to have the best– my main priority in launching Pyara Hair was getting the best quality hair. I did my research and tested a lot of bundles, and I finally found a vendor I could trust, and Pyara Hair was born.
MN: What are common mistakes you see new stylists make when they’re just starting out?
NC: I think a lot of hairstylists think it’s all about the money– it’s about quality as well. I think a lot of them try to pile too many clients in one day, and the key is quality. As a stylist you never want to forsake quality for quantity. Being a hairstylist and building clientele takes time–it’s not instant.
MN: What would you say has contributed most to your success in the hair industry?
NC: I care about people-I care about my clients. I want everyone to have quality customer service. My work, integrity–people trust me, that’s what’s attributed to my success. I also work very hard.
MN: What are your hair care musts while traveling as much as you do?
NC: I have to have a Paul Mitchell flat iron, a curling iron and hair spray. I love Sebastian Shaper Plus Styling Spray--I use it to curl my hair and smooth down flyaways. I also love Alterna Rapid Heat Protectant Spray and use it to protect my hair from the heat and for shine.
MN: How do you practice self-care as a mom, entrepreneur, and someone constantly on the go?
NC: It is very hard, but I try to make time for myself; even if it’s a few hours. I go to the spa and get a massage. Sometimes I go and do African dance, and sometimes, I try to disconnect and turn my phone off and limit myself from social media.
MN: What’s next for your expanding hair empire?
NC: I am excited for the relaunching Pyara Hair--expect new textures and exciting collaborations from celebrities and beauty influencers. I am also going to be traveling even more extensively from London to Dubai for hair demos, and of course, I will be back at Black Hair Australia in October. I will be doing more hair education and speaking engagements, so stay tuned!