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For The Culture: Minority Beauty Owners use creativity and innovation to keep businesses afloat amid pandemic

According to Nielsen, black consumers spent close to $500 million in the hair care industry in 2017.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — When it comes to hair, creativity and innovation have been a long-standing signature of black culture.

According to Nielsen, black consumers spent close to $500 million in the hair care industry in 2017.  

But with the closures of salons nationwide, black stylists are forced to reinvent the wheel.

Take South Carolina stylist Jessica Renee for example.

“It is my duty to make sure you know how to take care of your help,” she said to dozens of viewers on a Facebook live video.

A 17-year vet in the hair game, Jessica Renee posts weekly videos to help minority women maintain their natural curls while at home.

She’s also now delivering what she’s coined as "salon separation survival kits" to clients to help keep her business afloat.

"I currently service about 188 clients, I can't just sit here and wait for money from the federal government. I figured out what the need was."

Nail salons are also taking a hit. Before the pandemic, the industry was projected to bring in more than $60 billion in 2020, according to researchers at IBIS World.

With no hands-on contact, that means nails techs have to find a new way to “press-on.”

Charlotte nail tech Thao Dang is doing just that.

"I was sitting here thinking to myself, you’ve got one day to panic and then you have to figure it out,” said Dang.

Dang has been forced to closed her scheduling books, losing dozens of clients after gaining national attention for appearing on Oxygen's competitive  show, “Nail’d It.”

She's now creating reusable "ready to go nails" clients can glue on by themselves at home.

“You can just wear them for a little while and reuse them when you want,” said Dang.

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Pretty innovative ideas, both women say they will continue to use past the pandemic. 

For more information on Jessica Renee’s business, click here.

For more information on Thao Dang’s business, click here.

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