As we all know, there has been an explosion of product lines in the natural hair community. Unfortunately, most large scale retailers (as usual) were slow on the uptake in carrying products geared directly to the natural hair community. Enter the “brick and mortar” natural hair store/boutique. These unique small businesses are excellent places to discover new products, receive advice and participate in events. I am fortunate that I have relationships with two local retailers in the North Carolina area, Nyenzo Boutique in Raleigh, North Carolina and Monique’s Natural Hair Care Boutique in my city, Greenville, North Carolina.
Never been to an actual store? Keep reading for the reasons you should make a visit…
Product demo: I know a lot of us look at products online, in blog posts and on videos and wish we could feel them, try them on a section of our hair, or smell them. One of my favorite things about brick and mortar natural hair stores is the ability to try products. Owners usually have one sample of the products they carry for you to try. While I was in Nyenzo late this summer, the owner, Dionne, showed a customer how to apply a product to her hair.
No waiting for shipping: Rather than experiencing the excitement of your order then the agony of waiting for your shipment to arrive; at a natural hair boutique, you can walk out of the store with your purchases. I love the fact that you do not have to wait until the next wash day to use your products.
Availability of popular and emerging popular lines: At both of the stores in my area, they carry my favorite lines. At Monique’s in my city, the owner Chanelle has also created her own line of beauty and skincare products!
Advice from people knowledgeable about products they carry: I am always impressed at the knowledge both Chanelle and Dionne express when interacting with their customers. I think they have tried most of the products they carry to offer some point of comparison for their customers. As all of us do, they have some of their personal favorites, but they offer a fair and balanced opinion and even share feedback from other customers as well.
Develop relationship with staff: This is one of my favorite perks of any local retail business. Establishing relationships with the owners and staff of brick and mortar natural hair boutiques can have several benefits. First, the staff gets to know you, your lifestyle and even your hair type. So as other products emerge that may be beneficial to your natural hair care journey, they can recommend those for you as well. Secondly, if you’re a regular customer, they will likely know your favorite products and let you know if and when they go on sale or if a new product comes out by that same brand. Relationships have their privileges…
Events: Both of the stores I frequent hold events on various topics related to natural hair. With that usually comes a special guest that you may not always be able to see up close and personal. Store owners are usually really attuned to the needs and questions of their customers. Both stores in my area have events and workshops related to regimens, henna, locs, etc.
Transitioner Help: Both Chanelle and Dionne are amazing with those transitioning from relaxed to natural hair. They offer product, technique and regimen guidance to minimize any potential stress or mishaps that may occur during the transition process.
In addition to being stocked full of products, both of the stores in my area are stocked full of love and beautifully decorated!
Leave a comment with the natural hair care boutiquest in your area!