Tressenoire Brings Natural Hair Stylists Directly To Your House
One might assume that living in a large city would automatically equal easy access to a wealth of talented styling professionals who specialize in black hair, but unfortunately, pricing issues, incompatible hours and distance can all get in the way of finding a stylist who best suits your needs. These were all factors that inspired friends Octavia Pickett-Blakely and Regina Gwynn to launch Tressenoire, a Philadelphia-based service that brings natural hair stylists straight to clients’ homes, offices and hotel rooms.
“We’re looking at this largely underserved market where women of color spend nine times more on hair care products and services than our counterparts and the convenient kinds of options aren’t available to us,” said. Gwynn.
She and Pickett-Blakely set out to fill that void, founding Tressenoire in October 2014. The company is already expanding, serving markets in Delaware, Philadelphia, New Jersey, New York City, and Westchester County.
Users can log on to the online portal, select a style (there are also examples on Tressenoire’s Instagram account, if you need inspiration) and set a date and time. While Gwynn said they are happy to schedule clients with a particular stylist, they really want the date and time to be the guiding factor in bookings.
“All of our stylists are amazing. We really do stand behind that. We select stylists from some of the best schools of the nation,” she said, explaining that the hair care professionals on their roster have worked with Carol’s Daughter and trained with Aveda and the Paul Mitchell Schools.
Clients should wash and detangle their hair before the appointment (the stylist will blow dry or re-wet the hair, if necessary). Stylists also come prepared with styling tools and products, but clients are responsible for supplying any hair extensions needed to achieve their desired style, though stylists can give detailed advice on what kind of hair to purchase.
“We like to over-communicate when we can to make sure that we’re setting ourselves up to win and can basically slay hair when we get there,” Gwynn said.
Gwynn became a naturalista long before the current onslaught of YouTube vlogs, blogs and hair care lines devoted to natural hair care began. Her friends would frequently ask her advice on how to best care for their coils and curls. Now, she says there’s almost an “information overload.” Not only do they want to provide a technology-driven, luxury service for their clients, but they also want to educate clients on how to best care for their own hair in between styling sessions.
Before the session starts, stylists do a one-on-one curl consultation with the client, making sure they understand the density and porosity of their hair in order to empower clients to take control of their hair care. Although Tressenoire doesn’t completely buy into the hair typing system, Gwynn said they do think it’s important to help clients “get into a lane that can help guide you so that the product junkie in you doesn’t go too overboard.”
“There is nothing like talking with a licensed beauty professional and having her talk specifically about your hair texture, curl pattern and hair type,” she added.
It might come as a surprise to some that a company like Tressenoire would be so popular in heavily populated, racially diverse cities like New York and Philadelphia, but Pickett-Blakely thinks that’s a “misconception.” What she’s noticed is clients don’t only require an adequate style that looks nice, but also proper care.
“Having both of those characteristics can be difficult to find,” she said. “A big part of our messaging and a big part of our goal is to make hair care and hair styling convenient, so we have stylists that are available at a variety of times each day and different times in the week week. We offer services at times that are not necessarily traditional times that other salons would be available.”
Tressenoire also strives to make their services more affordable. “There are amazing salons in these markets, but I think the other thing that comes into consideration is price,” Gwynn said of her company’s success. “I think sometimes price becomes a bit prohibitive for some women who really just want a great luxury experience, but maybe the wallet isn’t something that they can give over at that time.”
Lucky for Pickett-Blakely and Gwynn, their business has grown significantly during the past year due to client referrals. And their clients run the gamut from mothers who want to have their kids’ hair styled without the hassle of running after them in a salon to homebound clients who may not be able to travel for a hair appointment.
For clients who have experienced hair loss, Gwynn said having hair care services done in the privacy of their own home has been an added benefit.
“That’s definitely something that we’re mindful of. Wherever you are in your hair care journey or hair care experience, this is definitely a no judgement zone.”
For potential clients who want to check out the service before giving it an official try, or people who are struggling with their natural hair care journey and are seeking help, Tressenoire will offer a quick phone curl consultation.
“Whether you become a customer or not, we really are here to empower women and make the path to beauty a lot more easy,” said Gwynn.
To set up your first appointment, visit Tressenoire.com.