Episode – 26 Summary:
During the 24th episode of Hair Biz Radio, Zakiyrah and Mikey interview Soyini, owner of Salon Soy, curly hair expert, mother of three, business owner and salon owner.

Show Notes:
– Soyini’s background:
– When she was getting ready to go to school, her mom pushed her in the direction of cosmetology school.
– She was thankful that her mother recognized her gift.
– What was your experience in cosmetology school?
– She started wearing her hair curly back then, before it was popular.
– The focus was taking curly hair and making it straight.
– It’s a different time, people are embracing their curly hair.
– What was the change that allowed women to embrace their curls?
– In the 70’s women wore curly hair, then they felt they needed to conform for the workplace.
– Women got fed up with hiding their natural hair and damaging it.
– The products have changed and gotten better.
– The mainstream probably didn’t know that many people of color have curly hair.
– It’s less about ethnicity and more about the texture of the hair.
– Talk to us about some of the techniques that you picked up outside of cosmetology school.
– That’s mostly everything.
– Cosmetology taught her theory, basic hair theory.
– When she got into the salon she got product knowledge, cuts, colors, etc.
– She’s worked in all kinds of salons, multi-cultural.
– How did your experience prepare you for owning your own salon?
– It prepared her for dealing with different clientele.
– She can cut anyone’s hair.
– You can’t just watch YouTube, you need to go to cosmetology school.
– Use YouTube for inspiration.
– What was the transition like going from someone else’s salon to building your own?
– She started in 2008 when the market was crashing.
– She took away a lot of policy, commission vs. booth rent.
– She wanted consistency across the board.
– She wanted the clients to have the same experience across the board.
– Times have changed, a lot of people want ownership of their time, setting their own hours.
– What was your reasoning behind closing down the salon and doing the suite?
– The stress, the salon used to be her second home.
– How do you keep balance when you have kids and a business?
– Exercise
– Write out your schedule and delegate work.
– Get other people on-board to help you.
– You can’t do anything without your health.
– She’s at the Salon Lofts in Decatur
– What do you tell a client who doesn’t know how to manage her curl pattern?
– You have to find out what that means to her, will she only wear her hair curly or go back and forth?
– She doesn’t subscribe to the different curl texture pattern labeling.
– What are some of your favorite products for someone who wants to embrace their curls?
– She asks what the goal is with their hair, what do you see in your head?
– Each day your curls are going to change.
– She prefers to use water-based products – mousses and foams.
– What about curl training?
– Heat changes your curl structure.
– You should probably stay away from heat, use certain techniques and products.
– You should give a product 3-6 months for your hair to acclimate.
– What styles do you love?
– Working with different fashion colors, neons.
– She doesn’t push people to keep their natural hair if they don’t want to.
– What advice do you give to people who want to start their own salon?
– Take your time, do your research.
– You can’t do everything.
– Find her @salonsoy

3 Key Points
– Natural styles have changed because partially because hair products have greatly improved.
– Most techniques are learned outside of cosmetology school, but school is still necessary.
– You can’t do everything yourself, build your salon army.

Tweetable Quotes
– “Stop trying to take everyone as a stylist, niche yourself out.”
– “There may never be a balance, something’s going to shift.”
– “I don’t push people to keep their natural hair if they don’t want to.”

Resources Mentioned

Salon Soy Website
Headspace App – meditation app


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