Not all salons are created equal. And if you rock natural hair, you know it takes a special set of hands to work with your curls. For women with natural hair, it’s not easy finding a salon that gets you in and out of the chair, or educates you on your hair type and products used.
Founded by Folake Oguntebi, GoodHair is similar to Drybar, but caters to women with textured hair. Oguntebi knows first-hand what it’s like to want to find a salon that meets your hair and lifestyle needs.
In 2014, she began moving on her idea, confirming she wasn’t alone. After tapping her friends and network, she received over 100 responses from women of color looking to enhance their salon experience. “I found out people were really dissatisfied because they didn’t have an option that they felt worked for them,” said the chief executive of GoodHair.
Oguntebi, a Harvard-trained marketing professional, had the idea, but needed the capital and team to execute on it. GoodHair launched a crowdfunding campaign earlier this year to run a proof of concept in New York City. It exceeded its initial goal of $15,000, raising $17,530 on women-focused platform Plum Alley. A great deal of the backing came from family and friends.
A business school friend suggested Oguntebi try a pop-up shop as the proof of concept. “I always wanted to do a pop-up hair salon,” says the mompreneur. “I was intrigued by the concept, but didn’t know exactly how you’d make that happen. The more I thought about it I was like that could be a really good way [to test the market]. Put a manifestation of what you’re thinking in the market and see how people respond, and if you can do it, before you pump tons of money into a brick-and-mortar location.”
Fast forward to July 25 and Oguntebi and her senior creative and educational advisor Angela C. Stevens, widely known as Angela Styles, opened the doors to the pop-up salon. The WeTV LA Hair cast member, who has worked with countless celebrities from Beyonce to Rihanna, and team will offer a selection of wash and naturally-curly styles, as well as straight, blow-out styles—all for $65. Clients can also select up ‘dos, deep conditioning treatments and trims.
Open Monday through Saturday, from 7am to 9pm, at Sola Hair Studio in New York City, naturalistas can book an appointment at the GoodHair site. Shortly after booking, clients will receive a questionnaire that will help your stylist create your customized hair experience. This accompanies your consultation. Your customized experience doesn’t stop there: Once styled, you’re sent your GoodHair prescription. (Writer’s note: I found out I had 4a hair, which is naturally dry. It was suggested that my at-home maintenance regimen should include more steaming, as well as Karen’s Body Beautiful Hair Blossom Moisture Mist, among other KBB products.)
The educational component (not to mention the relaxed ambience and array of salon snacks) is what sets GoodHair apart from many on-the-go, salon experiences. The team is invested in breaking down what works best and making sure clients have healthy hair.
“It’s important to create a conversation that everybody can understand,” says Stevens.
GoodHair is open until August 8. The salon will open in 2016.