Photo Courtesy of Maria Antoinette
The landscape of the hair care industry has drastically changed over the last decade or so, forcing conversations that previously never existed. As black salons become obsolete and naturals find it difficult to find a stylist they can trust, many are taking advice from bloggers with no formal education from a cosmetology institution. The new developments in the industry have made such an impact that most women with textured hair question who to trust—bloggers or stylists?  
most women with textured hair question who to trust—bloggers or stylists?

Coming from both sides of the spectrum, I have been doing hair “behind the chair” since I was 12 years old, before braiders required a license in my state. I am also a blogger, having begun Secret Curl Society to coincide with my passion for hair. Today, I am an educator who has great interest on the future of this impactful industry. I have had to shake some of my rigid perceptions as a stylist and embrace the new hair care climate. Simultaneously, I was not comfortable producing primarily opinion-based content, because of my education background. In my development as stylist and blogger, I realized that there was more to this.

A stylist perspective

Markeita Pruitt, owner of a Touch of Heaven Salon, chimes in: 

“I believe that the unifying of bloggers and cosmetologists would definitely help bridge the gap. Being that so many women utilize the internet and follow the advice of bloggers, blending the two together will create a powerful forum of knowledgeable information. It's definitely a great move in my opinion.” 

A blogger perspective

Cole Patrick, blogger and creator of The Natural Cole says this:

“I most definitely think bloggers and cosmetologists should work together. Since the explosion of natural hair, bloggers have become well educated on natural hair care and I feel that we can share this information with hairstylists. Through conversations with other bloggers it seems as if professional hairstylists are hesitant when it comes to networking with bloggers like myself, but we are influencers and women with natural hair come to us for advice because we can relate when it comes to caring for hair. We can also recommend products, because we have tried almost everything on the market! We are not looking to replace professional hairstylists; most blogs and vlogs recommend seeing a stylist for maintenance and especially for color treatments. With bloggers and hairstylists working together, we would be able to refer our audiences to them and vice versa. I attend numerous natural hair events throughout the year, and women always ask if I know a hairstylist that works with natural hair. Therefore, my advice to hair stylists would be to attend natural hair events and interact with bloggers and women who may be searching for a stylist.”

The big picture 

Julian Rita Addo, creator of the Bella Kinks DFW Natural Hair Expo, shares her thoughts on the bloggers and cosmetologist partnership:

“This is the future of black hair care. The only way to make it sustainable for us is to build a network and partnership between bloggers and stylists. Both have intangible benefits to the community and if leveraged correctly can be quite powerful. Cosmetologists have professional training and experience while bloggers have consumer influence, marketing strategies, and the ability to connect with ordinary people. There has to be some type of mentorship between bloggers and stylists in order for both to do their jobs effectively for the consumer. I do not see how our community will continue to thrive if the two skills sets are not leveraged."

The impact of the merger between bloggers and stylists is possible with community effort. Together we can meet the needs of naturals who need expert care for chemical services and precision cutting supplemented with honest, personal opinion. Let’s start by accepting and encouraging each other in our integral roles in the community.

Read more: This is Why Hairstylists are Losing Clients