Hair care is very important in the black community. The barbershop and the beauty salons in inner cities that cater to mostly black audience are seen as hotspots for community, gossip, and networking. Not to mention, a good looking hairdo or hair cut could be the difference between good interaction and a bad one. How do you act when your hair is freshly done? Okay… Now, how do you act when your hair is not done? Completely different story.
Did you know in the state of Arizona, a person does not need a cosmetology license in order to shampoo, blow dry, or braid hair professionally? If you know how to braid or are willing to learn, you can start a braiding business in Phoenix as soon as today. We have an article on some other things you might need when you’re starting a business locally, you can find it here.
Thanks to how far the development of the internet and social media has come, one can easily learn or strengthen their braiding skills and build a loyal clientele base overtime for free. That’s being said though, you tend to get what you pay for. If you can afford to, I definitely recommend you invest, financially, in yourself and your business. At first, seven years ago I couldn’t for the life of me find a local braider. Now, a new braider pops up in Phoenix everyday.
Bare Minimum Tools
As a professional braider there are a number of tools you can use to conduct business daily. There are 6 tools that you should obtain as a beginner braider, that can take you quite far professionally.
Styling or Holding Gel. This is the key product in achieving those professional, neat, and lasting results. A lot of Braiders including myself swear by products like Shine’N’Jam and Murray’s Beeswax.
Hair clips and ponytail holders; to help with keeping the clients hair separate as you part and detangled it.
Comb(s). You could get away with investing in a quality comb that helps you to part and detangled you clients hair. I recommend getting a few combs that you rotate and/or use for different purposes. Either way, please clean the comb(s) after each use.
A portable electric kettle or steamer and towels. Most braided styles take hot water to set. The most efficient way to do that is by using this tool. The towels are to dry the access water from the braids. Your client would appreciate not leaving the chair with soaking wet braids.
A thread rack. This tool is a key player in speeding up the amount of time it takes to braid each clients head. It’s used in keeping separated braiding hair separate in preparation for multiple braids or feed-in braids.
Hair Mousse. The purpose of the hair mousse is to add shine and help with fly-a-way hairs.
Where Do I Braid?
When you embark on a journey as a professional braider, you get lucky in reference to work location. As a braider, you can literally work anywhere, it’s at your discretion and personal comfort. A braider can set up a designated spot to work from home, rent a space or suite from someone else’s establishment, lease a commercial space of their own, or opt to be a traveling braider.
There are pros and cons to each option. Those of which need to be weighed to determine what way will work best. You’ll want to consider; the actual space available for braiding, your long term ideal business environment, and the comfort of yourself and your client.
Tips for New Braiders
Set booking terms and conditions. You’ll want to create a standard of how clients should prepare for a hair appointment with you. There should be something in writing that clients see prior to an appointment that tells them what is expected of them, if anything, and what to expect from their braider. This might include information like additional fees, supplies required but not included, or if extra guests are permitted.
Sell yourself. You lose 100% of the customers you don’t try to get. As a braider, you can become your own walking billboard when you braid your hair. Find people, who like braids or want to try braids and offers your services. Talk about your business to anyone willing to listen. Tell them about all the options offered, any specialization, and current promotions. You could be converting people you encounter into customers in simple everyday conversations.
Get to know your clients. As a hair braider or anyone in the service industry, in general, clients are what makes the business continue to run. There are somethings you may want to know about them that can put you further ahead. Things like; how they found you, what would better the overall experience, and what they would keep the same. Allow clients the opportunity to provide feedback about your business to aid you in future decision making.
Create a personal experience. Like I said before, there are a ton of braiders in the valley and new braiders are consistently popping up. If you want to really make waves financially, you will need to stand out. What better way than to provide your service in a unique and unforgettable way?
Provide hair maintenance education. It’s wise to educate clients on how to properly protect and maintain their new braided style. It helps clients get the value out of a hairstyle, while also using those tips to improve or strengthen their overall natural hair.
A new braider can make a killing in the Phoenix area. There is a high demand for women, men, and children looking for stylists to get them together. Black people love braids and protective styles, and nobody really likes to do their own hair. Once you figure out where you’d like to set up your braiding station and get a few tools, you are ready to book some appointments. The success of the braiding business will be in the details around the consistency of personalized service you can provide to clients.
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