Gwen Jimmere, founder and chief innovation officer at Good Hair Bar.
A Black woman’s hair is their crown and glory.
When Black women were enslaved, many times they were made to cover up their hair with scarves to attempt to diminish their beauty. Over time, Black people embraced their hair and ornately displayed their afros during the Black is Beautiful movement of the ‘60s and ‘70s in connection with Black pride.
Nowadays, Black people are still showing up and teaching others how to show out and love their hair while styling their coils, retaining moisture and length, and creating intricate beautiful twists, braids and other looks that slay for days.
The evolution of the natural hair movement has taken on many forms, with the latest one resonating with today’s generation now more than ever. And it’s been about 10 years since the latest natural hair movement took root.
Local hair care guru Gwen Jimmere, founder and CEO of Naturalicious, spoke in-depth with the Michigan Chronicle about natural hair and the opening of her new Livonia-based salon, the Good Hair Bar.
Good Hair Bar, located at 37320 W. Seven Mile Road, is described as a high-end, high-energy salon for people with naturally textured hair and a “promise of show-stopping hair on your first visit and a 360-degree healthy hair transformation in just 90 days.”
Prices start at $115 for natural styles, at $299 for knotless braids and faux locs. The salon does not require their clients to come pre-washed and blown out; they also provide the hair.
Inspired by the lack of options when it comes to high-end luxury textured hair salons, the Good Hair Bar prides itself on giving clients:
- Certified textured hair experts/stylists (aka Good Hair Gurus).
- Impeccable customer service.
- Pricing that doesn’t switch up on you once you arrive at the salon (no baiting & switching here, boo).
- Little to no wait times.
- Hassle-free online booking.
From live in-house entertainment, VIP service and photoshoots to nail techs, massage therapists and more, Jimmere said that she wants her conveniently located salon (right off the I-275 freeway) to give clients something to talk about.
“No matter where you are it’s accessible – the salon is designed to be an experience,” Jimmere said. “When you come in, you’re going to have great hair or whatever service you choose. [We] give you a vibe when you walk in.”
Jimmere, who opened her business in 2013 (and visualized it in 2011), said that this complex natural hair movement at the end of the day is about Black women learning how to love what grows out of their scalp. She is helping women with this process through her proprietary product line, Naturalicious, and now her salon. They exclusively use award-winning beauty products and tools created by Naturalicious.
“We focus on growing, styling and maintaining your healthiest hair ever in our gorgeous 4,400 square- foot salon,” she said of the space replete with 16 styling stations, a premium nail space, massage and facial area, along with lash and brow services.
Jimmere said that her salon is set to be the opposite of a bad Black hair salon, which she said can easily be Googled with horrifying results.
“People are complaining about their experiences all over the world,” she said. “It’s been the status quo.”
Pavement Pieces, a New York-based journalism project, reports that 40 percent of Black women were most likely to wear their hair in its natural state (without heat); 33 percent of Black women would also wear their hair in its natural form, and use heat to straighten their hair, according to Mintel, a market intelligence agency.
Around 2011, many Black women YouTubers got their informal start in the beauty industry all because they wanted to show others how to embrace their God-given curls, kinks and coils. And, while gaining followers, they helped grow a movement as many Black women followed suit and either did the big chop, which removed the remaining permed ends from their hair, or transitioned and grew their permed hair out to become fully natural. And, in their kitchens, bathrooms, living rooms, salons and home offices they gathered, shared knowledge and deepened sisterhoods while a growing audience looked on.
A decade into this movement of many movements, a couple of locals shared with the Michigan Chronicle how natural hair, and the hair industry, has impacted their lives.
The Crown Act stands for “Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair,” and is a law that prohibits race-based hair discrimination — a denial of employment and educational opportunities because of one’s hair texture or protective hairstyles like braids, locs, twists or Bantu knots.
The Crown Act statistics show that discrimination against hair in the United States, especially on the job, is rampant. Their website states that Black women are 30 percent more likely to be made aware of a workplace policy affecting their hair, which are forms of microaggression.
In states like California, Nevada, Colorado, Virginia and New York, the Crown Act is the law. In Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New Hampshire and Massachusetts there is pending legislation filed or pre-filed. Many states including South Dakota, Texas and Indiana had legislation filed but did not pass it.
It was first introduced in California in January 2019 and signed into law the same year on July 3.
While necessary strides are being made to ensure that Black women’s natural hair can show up unapologetically across the country, there’s local movement, too.
The salon’s grand opening is slated for Saturday, August 27.
Black Information Network contributed to this report.
For more information visit goodhairbar.com.