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Introducing: The Beauty Boardroom (Let's talk about hair)

2020 has shown me that at the drop of a dime, everything can change. For me, a young woman who works, lives, eats, sleeps, and breathes beauty for a profession, (shout out to The Estée Lauder Companies), I'm here to tell you that the same rules still apply. Everything is connected, and brands and companies alike are all pivoting to accommodate the changes this year has brought to us all.

I don't know what things are looking like in your city or your state, but Los Angeles is officially back on lockdown. So, as we retreat back indoors to

One thing that has remained consistent, though? Well, that’s the power of a good ol’ fashioned recommendation.

The beauty industry thrives off of a referral, now more than ever. YouTube is the number one social media site for beauty brands—and TikTok is following suit for very similar reasons—because young men and women are able to watch their favorite influencers utilize their platforms to recommend their favorite products with tutorials. In hair, 74% of women felt recommendation was the most important factor when choosing a hair salon. Moreover, clients who come via referral tend to be more loyal than those attracted by discounts or other promotions. While we’re all stuck at home, recommendations are even more important since no one is able to try on products in-store with the same ease we’re used to. I stepped into Sephora the other day, and the whole shopping experience is so different now that I can't dip and dabble and try on products like I used to be able to. The whole idea of "sampling" is being reshaped, so I see myself relying even more upon others to make a decision.

Which leads me to this: The Beauty Boardroom.

The power of a good ol' fashioned recommendation

Personal recommendations are the number one driver of consumer purchase decisions at every stage in the purchase cycle across 10 product categories studied, from banking to vacation travel and from subscription entertainment to retail categories, such as apparel and personal are products.

Forbes, on Jul 25, 2012,11:11am EDT (throwing that in there because I love the synchronicity), dropped an article entitled "Recommendations are What Drives Your Business. Remember to Ask for Them."I mean, the title pretty much sums up the gist of this entire article, but one thing that stands out to me is that even in 2012, brands and businesses alike were narrowing their focus on the impact of personal recommendations. At this time, we saw the first rise of "the influencer," and his or her impact on consumer trends and spend.

According to Forbes, "face-to-face word of mouth among friends and family drive more purchases than any other purchase influence."

So, we're trying new things out over here! And it's super exciting because I have been extremely blessed to be surrounded by an incredible group of beauty junkies who are just like me in that they eat, sleep, and breathe beauty. It's like our collective side-hustle. When I have a problem or concern I need to tackle, it's these women who I am absolutely and without hesitation calling, so I’m excited to introduce two of them to you since lately, with quarantine still a thing and my mind being all about hair-care and maintenance and growth since I’ve been home, the only professionals I have this kind of access to, are my friends.

And, just so you know, my friends are like me. They're also into makeup and skincare and all things beauty, so it's like talking to a Beauty Advisor somewhere. They know what tf they're talking about, okay?

I called in two professionals to give me the tea about their favorite hair products at the moment.

Meet Gabbie

The Bronx Native and Howard Grad provides therapy to young BIPOC people incorporating culture, travel, food, art, nature, education, and other holistic tools into her work. She loves all things beauty and style and feels one can never go wrong with a creamy concealer under the eye and a nude lip!

Meet Bria

The Arkansas-raised, DC-grown Howard Grad is

a digital communication strategist at the intersection of social impact and policy. She loves modeling, high impact workouts, and baking sugary southern treats. Most likely found in heels, gold hoop earrings, and a glossy lip.

I love my friends.

Like, a lot.

And, while you must know that this is absolutely coming from a place of pure love and admiration, I asked them which hair products they can't live without right now, and here's what we’ve found:

  • TPH might very well be something that I need to try.

I love Taraji P. Henson.

And now that you know this about me, I can move onto the fact that one of the best things about her product line is its packaging. Gabbie's suggestion falls in line with this. Notice how the

  • Cantu is always a go-to.

So, a quick disclaimer: this brand is not black or brown-owned. I know. For a long time I, too, was fooled. However, because of its perfect price-point, it's often an easy-grab off the shelf. Not to mention, you can find it damn near in any drugstore, so stir up the availability with the affordability, and you really have a winner. Their leave-in conditioner used to be my favorite until I made the switch completely to black-owned Eden Bodyworks. Nevertheless, if you're out of town and you're looking for something quick and easy to style your hair with, Bria's suggestion always stands. You're bound to find Cantu somewhere, and there are even tiny travel sizes to fit in your pocket.

Stay tuned as I consult more of The Board for tips and tricks in regards to all things beauty and fashion.

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