Beauty salons serve as more than just grooming establishments for Black women. They are intimate, safe spaces to share life experiences and bond with other women. Black hair is often politicized and even vilified, but within the sacred walls of the beauty shop, Black hair is a crown that is exalted and lovingly attended to. A new 'do can be just the confidence booster a woman needs to reclaim anything.
Unfortunately, the beauty salon industry has also become a casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic. They have been shuttered for months, which means not only have Black women lost this invaluable space but the entrepreneurs who own these establishments, the stylists they employ, and independent stylists are all losing out on income.
As some beauty salons are slowly re-opening with new rules and fewer customers in order to abide by health protocols, many salons are understandably having a hard time re-launching. Black hair salons and independent stylists contribute to the multi-billion dollar Black haircare industry and dollars they generate cover their bills and re-circulate in the community.
This situation prompted the development of the Salon Give Back Grant. Gold Series from Pantene and Royal Oils by Head and Shoulders have partnered to offer a total of $200,000 worth of grants to salons in need of assistance. 20 Black female salon owners and stylists will each receive $10,000.
The two brands tapped singer Monica to help them spread the word. The music veteran, who has been putting out music for more than 20 years, is an apt choice. Monica loves to change up her hair, from fierce pixie cuts to bright red wavy ponytails to sleek, straight tresses. She’s someone who has first-hand knowledge of how critical the hair salon is to Black women and the health of the Black community as a whole.
“Beauty salons have occupied a special space in my life since I was nine years old, working at my aunt’s salon. Hairstylists are oftentimes counselors, confidantes, and even entertainment and prayer warriors when they know what you’re going through,” said the Atlanta native in a Facebook video. “Salons all over the country have been forced to close their doors and independent stylists are unable to make a living. Gold Series by Pantene and Royal Oils by Head and Shoulders have partnered to support our community of Black female owners and stylists with the Salon Give Back Grant.”
Eligible Black female salon owners and stylists can fill out the official Salon Give Back Grant entry form here. “Gold Series and Royal Oils are committed to helping salons reopen and rebuild after the pandemic and remain dedicated to elevating and supporting Black women through entrepreneurship,” reads the entry form.
In addition to basic information, the entry form asks applicants to include a photo of their work, a one-minute video explaining why they love being an owner or stylist, and a brief written statement about how they would use the grant money.
The deadline to apply to the Salon Give Back Grant program is July 12th. The 20 winners, who will be awarded $10,000 each, will be announced on July 15th.
(Photo: Peathegee Inc/Getty)
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