In the Summer of 2020, prompted by the protests against the killing of George Flloyd in the US, the hairdressing industry joined in a growing conversation about Black culture, and social and racial equality. How could we address the undeniable need in the UK for a wider understanding of how to care for, dress and colour Black hair types? Is it right, we wondered, that our newly qualified hairdressers could have finished training without practise working on all hair types including Afro/Caribbean hair? How important is it, we asked, that hairdressers in all salons become confident working with texture, particularly the very curly to coily hair often referred to as type 3 to 4?
Feeling uncomfortable about our own ignorance and lack of knowledge, many of us, whether hairdresser or journalist, confessed to being bewildered about where to start in redressing the balance. The answer is, as always, talk to the people who know, ie Black hairdressers and their clients, educators and brands. One expert name was recommended over and over: Avlon.
The Avlon brand is founded on ‘the science of haircare’ by a Master Chemist , Dr Ali Syed, in the United States and has a strong heritage and fantastic reputation for its professional haircare products, specifically for African descent hair. Meet here the Avlon professional portfolio including: KeraCare®, Affirm®, FiberGuard®, Affirmcare® andTexture Release™. With nearly four decades experience, this is your quickest route to accessing serious expertise. Here’s how:
Begin to grow
Any client should be able to walk into any salon and find a stylist competent and confident in working with their hair type. When offering a professional service for Afro or textured hair it’s vital to use and retail a range of great products of course, but also to learn key skills to apply the products and recommend them for home use. While hair is hair, not all curly or coily head of hair is the same. Accordingly, as well as Avlon being committed to offering everyone high-quality haircare products at a fair price, importantly, this is supported by education for the hairstylists and salons. Together both actions ensure that the consumer has the best possible experience.
The expertise of the hairdresser is what elevates you to pro status, so ensure you or someone in your team can advise on brands which are more conditioning for the hair and scalp. You will need to gain understanding of how to apply your care, cut, styling and colour skills for Afro and textures hair types. The way very curly and coily hair responds to techniques needs practise and understanding. Avlon offers digital and face-to-face training that will match your pace of learning.
Trust the pros
Avlon Industries was founded in 1984 by Dr Ali N. Syed, a Master Chemist whose goal was then, and remains still today, the desire to create the highest performing and technologically advanced products for women of African descent. “Because of the social attitudes at the time, many Caucasian chemists weren’t keen to work for companies making products for textured hair,” he says. Establishing his own company was “pretty taxing” as he travelled from state to state, all over the US, selling the products from the back of his car. Today the company employs many family members and is strong on building a sense of community. Dr Syed how has 143 employees – from diverse racial and religious backgrounds – and Avlon products selling in 60 countries worldwide. “Avlon is and always will be about changing lives,” he enthuses. “We’re a community brand. The community is at the heart of what we do.“ And no one would disagree with that.
Join the community
Dr Syed remains very much hands-on and works alongside his team of chemists at the Avlon Research and Development Centre in Chicago. What began in the USA, is now a worldwide operation with a European HQ here in the UK. This is a massive benefit to hairdressers in this country – global acclaim with local support.
It’s really important to educated yourself and your team in working with Afro and textured hair types.This will give you the ability in these ever-changing times to extend the services your salon offers. To neglect this area of the market risks missing out on a valuable source of revenue. It’s also arguably strangling your own business opportunities and showing a short-sightedness that will hold you back.
For specific information on Avlon products and how to work with the brand, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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