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Black Service Providers & The Clientele Who Hates Them

Disclaimer: Myself and none of the content I've seen is happy about the state of black service providers. Also, my content can be for everybody but it's dedicated to the black community, especially black women.

"Congratulations you played yourself." - DJ Khaled

So the black service providers are going back to work and by service providers I mean the lash techs, hair stylist, nail techs, etc. I've spoken on the hair industry numerous times and I knew one day the schemes they were running on their own people was going to crumble, but I didn't anticipate everybody having a spiritual awakening and standing on MF business at the same time.

How did we get here...

It started with hot combs and getting slayed and laid in somebody's kitchen. Then we evolved to beauty shops.

It started with asians opening up nail shops where you could also get your lashes done.

Fast forward to 2010 which is when 2 major social media apps were released and the first batch of influencers/YouTubers were introduced. This was the rise and start of makeup tutorials, lace front wigs, etc.

As social media evolved and the annoyance of sitting in the nail or beauty salon all day continued, the birth of IG stylists, service providers working in suites, access to booking sites, or the infamous DM for booking fucked up the black beauty industry.

Notoriety increased so prices went up along with grass walls and neon signs.

It went from them marketing their services and being excited to service their clients to everybody is booked and busy and they don't care if you booked with them or not.

It's interesting how God made most of them eat those words.

Now it's fall 2023, and two videos on Tiktok started a much needed conversation regarding service providers and why they're headed back a 9-5. I've dedicated two post to issues within the hair industry but today we're going to address the two viral videos, common issues with black service providers, and how they can avoid going back to a 9 to 5.

Viral Videos

The first creator was a lash tech and she confirmed the rumors regarding business being slow and a lot of service providers are looking for employment. This creator meant well, she didn't say anything offensive, and she also started a podcast where she's discussing business practices and how to stay on top as a service provider.

Now the second creator deserved all the smoke. She said we're happy that they're going back to work, we're broke, and a whole lot of other bullshit to deflect from the part that the service providers played in their business failing. First off, nobody wins by them going back to work. Unless customers enjoy self care or spending their free time servicing themselves, nobody is happy about this, rather we've been forced into this option because we can't justify paying for overprice services in this economy on top of horrible customer service.

Then, yelling at the camera and proceeding to tell customers that because we're broke and hating they've been negatively impacted and it's our fault that they have to find a real job is comical. Calling customers broke is a prime example of no customer service skills and choosing wisely how we're going to spend our money isn't broke behavior. It's smart and it's been time to humble these hey boo hoes.

Also there's a difference between constructive criticism vs. hating. Telling them to improve their business and failing to do so is an example of constructive criticism as well as cause and effect, not hating. Perpetuating this narrative is another cop out that allows service providers to escape accountability for having bad business mannerisms and it's gaslighting the customers to keep putting up with their ongoing b.s.

Common Issues

A lot of people have been tricked into believing that entrepreneurship is about doing whatever you want to do with and nobody is your boss. To service providers surprise the customers are your bosses. Without the customers they don't generate an income. If they don't want to engage or utilize some customer service skills then a decline in income was bound to happen. If they don't want to deal with people then they should've picked a career or started a business that isn't codependent on customers. Personally I don't like people and I recognize that bartending as a side hustle has to come to an end soon. My attitude is becoming unbearable and instead of putting the blame on the customers I need to remove myself. With that being said more service providers need to do the same by removing themselves, instead of acting like we're doing them a favorite by booking with them.

I've always wonder how do they pay their bills if they're constantly cancelling appts. or have limited appts. But a lot of them have managed to survive by keeping deposits and overcharging for their most popular service to make up for the clients that they've canceled. Continuing to do last minute cancellations eventually resulted in a bad rep and they voluntarily sent themselves back to a 9-5.

Too many providers got into the industry because of the potential income and believing the girls selling these courses that promised them 6 figures if they charge this and do that. They never taught them how to keep going when the money isn't what it use to be, which was bound to happen at some point due to the rise and fall of the economy. They didn't consider the importance of a consistent clientele over clients. Clients show up for a specific service or when everybody else is booked, but the clientele is a consistent income that's going to keep their bills paid.

Along with passion comes the decision to take pride in your work. If a client got a silk press & she needed a trim why would they charge her $25 or risk her getting out of their chair looking semi-decent and telling people that they did her hair. Why as a lash tech would they advise somebody to get the most expensive lashes knowing they're going to be looking crazy. As a MUA why would they half beat somebody face or apply products that don't match their skin tone knowing the client is going to an important event or photoshoot. Why risk somebody giving them credit for a service that looks half done or incomplete. No matter how big social media gets word of mouth and positive reviews are still the number one marketing method. Therefore, their clients/clientele is a walking billboard and they're okay with losing potential clients because they don't care about their presentation as a service provider. The half ass services need to stop.

Allowing notoriety to take over. I'm all for knowing your worth and increasing your prices if you've mastered a skill or can justify your growth. However gaining a certain number of followers on social media or servicing an influencer or celebrity shouldn't have an impact on your clientele or potential customers. The 10k followers doesn't correlate to knowing you're worth especially if followers aren't turning into paid clientele. Then doing a celebrity's hair one time doesn't warrant a price increase, they aren't Arrogant Tae and the customers aren't Nicki or Ari.

Blasting a previous or potential customer. I never understood what service providers gained from this, but blasting a client online is tacky and nowhere in cosmetology school, your mama kitchen, or YouTube university did they learn that janky ass business practice. Providers have a right to block a client from booking with them if they're already being a hassle or previously had a bad experience, but hopping online and bringing negative attention to themselves and their business is dumb and childish. Also from a customer standpoint that is a red flag for unprofessionalism.

How They Can Avoid Going Back to a 9-5

Everything doesn't have to be luxury. I know according to the socials luxury is a way to make people feel superior and like they're getting their money's worth, but for the girls who don't give a fuck about none of that shit bring back regular prices and services. Fuck the aesthetics. If the nail salon has regular or gel polish what's so difficult about offering a lower price service to counter act the luxury service vibes. For example, everybody doesn't like a full face with contouring, highlighter, etc. offer options for basic makeup girlies because that's exactly what MAC & Sephora does. Also if your a service provider please understand that luxury prices need to match quality services.

Prepare for a slow season. Every business has a slow season and the beauty industry isn't exempt from this. Times such as the pandemic or the current economy is why it's important to not live beyond your means. They should set up their bills to where they can afford them during a slow time and not living as if they're always booked and busy.

Whether they like it or not some career paths have a cap income. If they want to drive a G-Wagon, go on luxury vacations twice a month, etc. they'll have to reach Arrogant Tae or Olivia Song level, and until then their typical clientele wasn't designed to afford them that lifestyle. They need to get creative and come up with ideas outside of the salon that will bring in revenue.

Here's some ideas based off which service they provide.

Hairstylist. Sell hair care products, styling tools, hair bundles/wigs, or consider opening a salon or salon suites. Let Kim Kimble, Darealbbjudy, etc. be an inspiration. They got on their zoom and figure out other ways outside of slaying hair to live the luxurious life.

Lash techs. Sell strip lashes, lash care kit, or start a lash/lipgloss online business. Lashes & lipgloss go together real bad, look at Remedy by Ari. No they're not Ari, but if they do a wholesale order and promote themselves or pay an influencer/content creator, they'll likely see the income that they want vs. listening to the TikTok lash tech that sold them a course on how them can make six figures if they do a certain number of clients 7 days a week. Work smarter not harder.

Nail techs. Sell their own polish or press on sets. The nail salon has one more time to do an increase before I'm going to be a press on princess. Also press ons is how business owners didn't lose income or clientele during the halt of services during the pandemic.

Makeup Artist. Offer beginner makeup classes, sell makeup palettes, or makeup tools.

Wax tech. Sell an at home wax or vajacial kits, aftercare products, feminine wash, etc. Consider offering wax bundles or a monthly subscription.

Masseuse are part of service providers too. Write a business grant & open a spa or sell skincare products.

Regardless of what service their offering it's time for them to create an extension of their business that doesn't require them to work for every dollar.

Here's another list of ways to generate income

  • All providers can record content and get a check from social media or YouTube.

  • Get an Amazon storefront and recommend their favorite products while they're doing a service or recording content.

  • Although I feel like courses are a scam, if they've been in the game for a while or keep getting request to teach a specific technique they could offer a masterclass.

  • Create a loyalty program where after a certain number of visits the client gets a discount. The discount doesn't have to be major but $10-$20 off a service after 5-10 visits would make a difference. Every other business offers a loyalty program why shouldn't they.

  • Create a special with a discount code for loyal clients so they can feel appreciated & only allowing them to have access to the code would prevent randoms from showing up just because it's a special.

  • Create a newsletter. This is a way to remind clients that their books are open or keep them updated on other parts of the business such as products that they're selling, a new YouTube video, or a promo code/special for loyal clients.

They need to stop milking their clients pockets and get creative. I don't care how many people sell lipgloss, they should sell it too. It doesn't matter how many girls are on YouTube, upload the content too.

Honestly the 2 month mandated shut down of beauty services should've been their sign to think beyond making money from the chair.

What's next...

The hey boo's hoes will be back doing hair by summer 2024, when they realize a 9-5 has real rules and they'll be reminded why they chose entrepreneurship. Hopefully having a job with rules will humble them and they'll return with a better business mindset.

Old school beauticians will continue to do hair because they were always in it for the love of hair and not the profits.

More white own establishments such as Ulta & Dry bars will offer services dedicated to black women. By the way this is already happening and I got to give it to them that some of the white girls are slaying the silk presses. They saw a need and opportunity & they're running with it.

Thanks to YouTube university and Amazon, the girls will be slaying their own wigs, doing their own lashes, and investing in an at home acrylic set or press ons.

The girls have already started going back to the African shops when they need their hair braided. Shoutout to Braiding Image on Wildcrest Road, the best African shop in H-town.

The Dominican salons will still be booming despite the backlash that they put perm in the shampoo.

Honestly everybody but the new age service providers will continue to prosper.

The black dollar is powerful and we saw that in the height of Black Lives Matter in 2020 and how businesses were pulling magic tricks out their ass to prevent black people from not shopping with them anymore. In addition to the black dollar, black women heavily invest in their looks and the beauty industry is a billion dollar business.

I said this to say that it's sad that our people are willing missing out on money because they refuse to accommodate the customer, listen to our needs, and implement better business practices.

In time I hope that service providers hear the customer's standpoint and come to their senses but until then we have to continue to stand on mother-fucking business. Part of standing on business is not booking with them, pressing charges if they charge your card for services that weren't rendered, dispute the charge with your bank, or take them to small claims court if they refuse to return your deposit. Several girls have gone viral for suing the service provider and winning their case against these hey boo hoes. You can also report them to the cosmetology board or whichever board applies to the services that they provide.

I want to see everybody win but the days of getting scammed by our own people has to stop.

"Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value."

– Albert Einstein

Make sure your following the correct social platforms based off your interest: 

20 Somethings: Blog stuff & black girl content 

Instagram: 20somethingsxo 

Facebook Like Page: Twenty Somethings

Personal pages: More lifestyle content

IG & Tiktok: erica_nicolexo


Positive news: Your girl got approved for an Amazon storefront and please checkout my store and shop with me.

More positive news & the grand announcement…. The Pink Print Shop is open and ready for business. This part of the rebrand was supposed to occur at the top of the year but fear and procrastination held me back. I put a lot of time and effort into this line of business and new digital products will continue to be added over the next few weeks. I pray my digital products help you dream big and become the best version of yourself.

Pink Print Planners

Tiktok & IG: pinkprintplanners

Thank you so much for rocking with me and I love y’all for real. 

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Whewww!! Like frfr, I'm glad somebody is finally talking about it. PREACHHHH ❤️

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