When it comes to haircare, finding the right stylist can change your life.
With so many beautiful hairstyles to try, from faux locs to twist outs to extensions, it helps to know who specializes in what you need.
And in a world where black women can still confront prejudice and mistreatment at hair salons, finding a salon who gets and respects your hair is equally as important.
Now instead of relying on word of mouth or trial by error (raise your hand if a “trim” ever turned into a big chop you didn’t ask for), a new app is bringing the best of black haircare to your fingertips.
Swivel Beauty is a mobile app that organizes stylists who specialize in African-American hair into one online network. You can search by your hair texture, desired service and location to get a list of stylists, then narrow your search down by budget neighborhood and more.
Users can also look through customer reviews that factor in everything from wait time (shout out to the stylists who get you right in and out!) to hair satisfaction.
Stylists’ photos and Instagram accounts are also linked to the app, so you can browse visually. Once you find a stylist you like, it’s easy to select your service then book an appointment right in the app. Some stylists are mobile and will come right to your door.
Right now, the app is only available in New York City and Washington, D.C. with nearly 200 stylists between the two cities to choose from. Swivel Beauty’s founders Jihan Thompson and Jenny Lambert say they have plans to launch in other key cities early next year and eventually want to take their company nationwide.
“I think they are ingenious with this idea of bringing all these amazing black stylists to clients who would otherwise not know where they were or how to contact them,” says Tinika Sidiku, one of the stylists who is on the app.
“It takes away a lot of the guess work.space“> If they’re on Swivel you know that they’ve been tried tested and true, so they know what they’re doing. They’re going to care about your hair.”
I decided to test out the Swivel Beauty App myself by visiting Hair By Sadiku, a NYC salon that specializes in curls and color. Check out the rest of my interview with hairstylist Tinika Sidiku in the video above- she talks about the power of connecting black women entrepreneurs (and gives me a fly hair makeover too)!
If you’d like to see Swivel Beauty come to your city or you’re a stylist who wants to join the network, email firstname.lastname@example.org.