From braided twists to soft waves, any hairdresser should know how to do both. Unfortunately, the lack of kinky hair experience is leaving black women across New York City with burnt perms.
Founded by Jihan Thompson and Jennifer Lambert, the app Swivel caters to the problems every black women faces upon stepping into a salon.
In a recent interview with The New York Times, Thompson and Lambert spoke about their reasoning behind creating the innovative app:
“Outside of the black community or black women, people haven’t taken a second to think about black women’s hair — to even consider if we have unique hair needs,” Ms. Lambert said. “The light-bulb moment occurs when we tell people that beauty schools simply don’t train stylists on black hair.”
Swivel allows users to indicate their desired service, hair type, and location. From there, a list of salons with their skill and service level, is produced. It even includes the approximate prices for users trying to keep an eye on cost.
All of the salons listed on Swivel have been personally visited by Thompson or Lambert.
By giving more representation to salons that cater specifically to black hair, Swivel is crushing the misconception that salons are off limits to black women. It normalizes the real-life versatility and beauty of black hair.
“We realized the talent’s out there. It’s just a matter of connecting people with it,” said Lambert to The New York Times.
Swivel is currently only available in New York City, but it’s a step in the right direction to solving those #blackgirlhairproblems.