In every industry, there are the trained professionals and then there are the self-taught. The experts and the enthusiasts. In the natural hair industry, you have professional hair stylists and you have hair bloggers. I’ve found that there are a lot of professionals who feel that hair bloggers and YouTube video makers are not a good resource for information about natural hair styling and care. They believe vloggers don’t know what they are talking about and are steering their readers and viewers in the wrong direction when it comes to caring for their hair. But I beg to differ. Just because I and most bloggers in the natural hair community are not licensed professionals does not mean that we are not knowledgable about hair care. And it does not mean that pro stylists cannot learn from us. Here are four ways that bloggers can be of assistance to professional hair stylists.
1. How to engage with the natural hair community
Whether you like it or not, the natural hair community is mainly based online. Blogs, YouTube channels and social media platforms are all a huge part of how information is shared and received. Many professional stylists are late to join the party, meanwhile professional bloggers have built large audiences and have become experts when it comes to online engagement. Stylists should partner up with bloggers and both brands will be able to prosper.
2. Product Insight
Most naturals are product junkies, or recovering product junkies. Many professionals are just not familiar with all of the products that are out there. Blogger product reviews can be a resource to help stylists become familiar with the products that are on the market. I recently had a stylist contact me because she had a client whose hair seemed to change significantly since her last visit to the salon. Her client started to use a product line that the stylist wasn’t familiar with, and she wanted to know if I’d heard of any issues with the product. I shared with her the ingredients in the product, and when I mentioned that it contained silk protein, she realized that her client was likely experiencing some protein overload. She was able to advise her client on how often to properly use the product to avoid this.
3. Hot topics in the natural hair community.
Many women with natural hair are now going to websites, forums, blogs and YouTube instead of professional stylists to discuss their hair concerns and get their burning hair questions answered. It’s a blogger’s job to know these things. If professionals want to stay in tune to what those in the community are talking about, they can use bloggers as an inside track to stay aware of what the hot topics are.
4. Styling techniques and ideas.
Let’s be real – a lot of stylists are only familiar with straightening natural hair. I’ve had many professional stylists tell me that they really don’t do ‘natural’ hair styles. For stylists who are new to styling hair in its textured state, watching YouTube videos can be a great resource. There are some ladies who are very creative with the styles they come up with, so stylists can get their creative juices flowing by watching a few good style tutorials.
There is value in the professional stylist and the professional blogger, and I truly believe that by respecting what each other have to bring to the table, the natural hair community and industry will benefit.