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Debra Shigley’s Colour App

Debra Shigley recently launched Colour, an on-demand on-location hair styling experience app, to make sure more Black women feel included. Colour aims to deliver salon fresh hair to clients without having to go to the salon for $200 unlimited appointments…

Debra Shigley recently launched Colour, an on-demand on-location hair styling experience app, to make sure more Black women feel included. Colour aims to deliver salon fresh hair to clients without having to go to the salon for $200 unlimited appointments or $65 for one-off appointments.

“This population that spends so much more time at the salon and on products is not being considered in the beauty aisle and in the hair care market, according to Shigley.

Ebony.com spoke with Shigley about Black hair care issues and how Colour aims to alleviate some of them.

 

EBONY.COM: How did you prepare yourself to launch this business?

“For a while we lived in Mexico City, and when I was there I knew I wanted to launch Colour, so I went to beauty school. And I took my stylist, who is now our head of education, down there to teach some classes, because what I learned was that not everyone knows how to style Black hair. It’s taught, but because it’s not their target clientele, a lot of people are not keyed in on how to really do it. We wanted to look at creating a model that was scalable and replicable so that stylists of all colors could do Black hair. So I gathered up all of my classmates and we got all of the Black women I knew to be our models…”

 

EBONY.COM: How does one become a stylist with Colour?

“It starts with an audition. We’ve recruited through open call and word of mouth in our first city. You can be an expert in blow drying or braiding and come on board. We grade on various different things in terms of technical and method, along with professionalism and neatness. Then there’s an interview process that’s a competency based interview, because we want people who are really passionate about client service. We want people who are going to go 110% to make it perfect before they leave. We also do a background check using the same service that a lot of the startups in this gig economy space use.

And while we have a Colour methodology, it’s not etched in stone there is some variation, but everyone does go through our training that includes our proprietary method of drying hair. We have tips and techniques for brushing and we want to include round brushing, as well as different braiding and twisting techniques. We also want to build a sense of community because so many stylists are there on their own just renting booths…”

 

EBONY.COM: How does it work for the customer?

“You go through the look book and pick your style, and then you can pick your date and time. We do take requests for stylists but we can’t always guarantee you’ll get that stylist because we’re more geared toward the time slot that the customer wants. Our clients get to experiment with different stylists and different looks. We find that the most popular appointment is 7:30 a.m. before they go to work and they don’t have to worry about someone watching their kids. In the app you can take a photo of yourself so that the team can see which stylist might be a good fit, so essentially we’re concierging at this stage. We’ve been in beta for a while, but have only officially launched for two weeks and are currently invite only with a wait list.”

 

EBONY.COM: What are your expansion plans?

“We plan to scale around the country. The next cities we’re looking at are Washington, DC; Chicago; and maybe Baltimore and, of course, New York. We want to be in 21 cities nationally and internationally and we are starting in Atlanta to get it right here first and then scale.”

 

The full interview can be found here: EBONY Interview

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