These women are creating blow dry salons for women with textured hair

Article Image

These women are creating blow dry salons for women with textured hair

Posted: Jul 13, 2021 3:20 PM
Updated: Jul 13, 2021 3:20 PM

When it came time for Dana White to name her first salon, her thoughts immediately went to her grandmother.

Paralee Boyd was the first generation in her family to not be the help -- she used her entrepreneurial spirit to sell pomegranate hand scrubs to pay her way through school.

It's a drive that White said not only runs in her own blood but in the DNA of her salon, Paralee Boyd -- an institution that endeavors to become the first nationwide salon franchise founded by a Black woman.

"What can an efficient, confidence-building salon do for women who look like me? That's my 'why,'" White told CNN. "That's the drive. I'm just so excited to be a revolution in haircare."

It's a revolution long in the making. As White described, women with thick and curly hair, who often are women of color, aren't the target demographic of existing blow dry bar franchises.

"If you notice, all blow-dry bars, Great Clips, Supercuts, etc. market and have built their business model toward those with a finer texture of hair. These businesses don't carry the products or tools nor do they perform styles that cater to women with thick and curly hair," White said. "Unfortunately, hair salons are very segregated along the lines of race."

Piersten Gaines, the owner of Pressed Roots, a blow dry-bar similarly specializing in textured hair, agreed. Her Dallas salon aims to ease the anxiety many women with textured hair feel when walking into a salon that likely wasn't trained to style them.

"We don't really teach ethnic haircare in cosmetology schools, so when you walk into a Dry Bar and have textured hair, you're really rolling the dice," Gaines told CNN. "Many of those stylists don't know what to do with textured hair."

At many salons that do cater to textured hair, Gaines and White explained that the blow-dry process can take all day. White said she wants to take accessibility a step forward by attempting to "lean out" the process by making it more efficient.

"For years, women with thick and curly hair had to make appointments and stay in the salon for hours. Then they were up-charged because they had a ton of hair," said White. "We need to reclaim our time."

Now, more than ever, this change is necessary, Gaines said. Her clientele are more likely to have professional jobs, travel often and have crowded schedules.

"We're just trying to fit the needs of a modern woman," said Gaines.

Upon opening her first salon in Detroit, White brought in engineers from GM and Ford who tweaked everything from the placement of salon chairs to the type of hair straighteners used.

Additionally, White incorporates data analysis into the everyday routine of the salon, constantly monitoring how long clients are spending at each step of the blowout process. This attention to detail allows Paralee Boyd salons to operate as walk-in only, typically getting clients in and out of the door in under two hours.

Despite the salon's success, White was at first hesitant to open more salons, wanting to first focus on cementing company culture.

"I've got to make sure that the ladies working with me are uplifted, empowered, and realize that they are a part of a revolutionary groundbreaking hair salon. We are changing the way women with thick and curly hair view their time, their dollar and themselves. It all starts with culture and training."

But now, with a couple of years spent developing Paralee Boyd's culture and mission, Dana White is expecting to open 100 salons nationwide over the next five years, with the process of expansion beginning this fall. Gaines' Pressed Roots is expanding as well, set to open three more locations this year in the Dallas area.

Though the Covid-19 pandemic presented ample challenges to the salon industry, White said she was able to use that time to remind herself of her "why" and get to work building the franchise.

"You know how you always get ready for work on Sunday? I had six months of Sundays. And I was able to sit with myself and be very clear on why I started this, what I wanted to do and what I needed to do to get there."

Gaines had to overcome her fair share of struggles too. Pressed Roots had its first day of operations on March 14, 2020, and by March 16, they had to close due to the pandemic. But the salon's ability to withstand such nightmarish circumstances further proved the importance of Gaines' mission.

"It shows just what a significant demand there is for these services, especially for this demographic who often haven't seen their needs met," Gaines said. "It's only up from here."

Though Dana White is a trailblazer in her own right as the first Black woman to open a national salon franchise, she said she is less focused on what that means for her and more focused on how she can use her platform to empower her clients.

"As we expand, I wanted my business to embody her inclusion and kindness. I wanted women to walk in, see themselves positively reflected in the space and leave feeling great, not just about their hair," White said.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 947918

Reported Deaths: 15377
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1291181990
Lake635721103
Allen53899761
Hamilton44082449
St. Joseph42122590
Elkhart33803491
Vanderburgh30574449
Tippecanoe26915251
Johnson23727418
Hendricks22410342
Porter21832347
Clark17562231
Madison17492385
Vigo16302285
Monroe14545191
LaPorte14389239
Delaware14183222
Howard13971273
Kosciusko11498135
Hancock10935166
Warrick10737178
Bartholomew10635170
Floyd10514208
Wayne10077226
Grant9213204
Morgan8928160
Boone8463111
Dubois7791123
Dearborn769490
Henry7691133
Noble7466101
Marshall7409128
Cass7219118
Lawrence7026153
Shelby6647111
Jackson661386
Gibson6190107
Harrison609386
Huntington604495
Montgomery5853105
DeKalb581091
Knox5535104
Miami548888
Putnam543268
Clinton537465
Whitley529354
Steuben501768
Wabash488692
Jasper483861
Jefferson474492
Ripley457777
Adams446068
Daviess4231108
Scott409165
Clay394957
White393858
Greene393392
Wells389884
Decatur388797
Fayette378578
Posey362341
Jennings356056
Washington334747
LaGrange325175
Spencer321136
Fountain318455
Randolph317190
Sullivan309449
Owen287064
Starke282864
Fulton280454
Orange277859
Jay257038
Perry254152
Carroll245229
Franklin242838
Rush237030
Vermillion235050
Parke221420
Tipton212055
Pike211740
Blackford170534
Pulaski168551
Crawford147318
Newton145845
Benton143916
Brown135846
Martin130217
Switzerland126910
Warren115616
Union98511
Ohio80511
Unassigned0482

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1380370

Reported Deaths: 21820
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1534461574
Cuyahoga1354332341
Hamilton984041326
Montgomery677001161
Summit566391051
Lucas51349869
Butler47858663
Stark42048983
Lorain31922539
Warren30328338
Mahoning27315643
Clermont25897297
Lake24746422
Delaware22501147
Licking20701246
Fairfield20658223
Greene20527275
Trumbull20127516
Medina20006290
Clark18086332
Richland16602236
Portage16305231
Wood15869209
Allen14257261
Miami13963261
Muskingum12858155
Wayne12126244
Columbiana11896242
Tuscarawas11103271
Marion10865150
Pickaway10580129
Scioto10477127
Erie9822171
Ross9566177
Lawrence8886125
Hancock8567143
Ashtabula8423187
Geauga8226156
Belmont8221188
Jefferson7635175
Huron7507131
Union740751
Washington7334126
Athens705965
Sandusky6925135
Darke6853137
Knox6762122
Seneca6496137
Ashland6035115
Auglaize593188
Shelby5796104
Brown572972
Mercer563690
Defiance5538101
Crawford5530117
Madison549371
Highland548082
Fulton539583
Clinton532081
Logan516987
Preble5058111
Putnam4876107
Guernsey480664
Williams466482
Perry459054
Champaign452264
Ottawa441384
Jackson432963
Pike397045
Morrow393851
Coshocton386669
Fayette381753
Adams366875
Hardin363970
Gallia352858
Holmes3297111
Henry328869
Van Wert318871
Hocking308070
Wyandot284558
Carroll265452
Paulding245143
Meigs220242
Monroe191949
Noble172942
Morgan169429
Harrison160041
Vinton140619
Unassigned05
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 55°
Angola
Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 54°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 55°
Decatur
Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 55°
Van Wert
Cloudy
58° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 58°
Showers Saturday morning with breezy and drier conditions by the afternoon.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events