THS believes that customers’ needs are of the utmost importance and is committed to meeting those needs, which has resulted in loyal and dedicated repeat customers.
Below owner, stylist and professional makeup consultant, Tara Pettiford shares her personal hair story, and inspiration behind THS.
Tara's personal hair story ...
My natural hair journey came as a surprise to everyone because I was the one who said I would never give up on the creamy crack, as the naturals would so nicely put it - lol. And neither would I ever think of cutting my long hair.
My journey started when my coworkers and I were having our girl talk at lunch and we were discussing plans for our hair when we turned a certain age.
I was just sitting there listening because again I was the one who got a touch up before 6 weeks so I knew I would never ever transition to natural hair.
I actually didn’t think they would do it, but when the time came they both did the big chop. I was completely amazed at how it made them look absolutely beautiful.
It gave them this unique look. It was something totally different about them - not to mention at the company I worked for I don’t remember seeing many women who were natural, so their new hair drew a lot of attention, especially from our co-workers who were amazed at their transition.
So I started thinking, I should do it. At that time I was styling hair part-time, but I was styling relaxed hair; I knew absolutely nothing about natural hair.
While we continued to have girl talk at lunch I would tell my co-workers, “I’m going to do it, I’m going natural”. Of course, they didn’t believe me because they knew how much I loved relaxing my hair.
Well 8 months later I did the big chop. My friend, Qiana Bannister, who was one of my co-workers who did the big chop, went with me for moral support.
My big chop was not a good experience for me at all. Although I had 8 months of new growth the stylist cut a lot of my hair off, so my hair was really short.
The stylist coiled my hair/ it was cute, but 2 days later my hair was white, itchy, and flaky. I called the stylist and she offered to re-do it, but by that time I was extremely frustrated.
At that time I was on vacation and each day before it was time to return back to work my frustration and my anxiety got worse. I believe I cried for about a week.
I called my friend LaShawn Bailey who was the other co-worker who did the big chop, I called her crying, “OMG please help me I don’t know what to do with my hair”.
This is when I started to learn about different textures of natural hair. She gave me the name of a product to purchase. That worked for a minute, but I still wasn’t satisfied.
I wasn’t comfortable with my hair - something wasn’t right.
While I was frustrated and anxious about my hair something clicked. I was so busy being depressed about my hair I remembered that I was a stylist and I knew how to style hair.
But what I needed to learn was the point of natural hair, what it required for maintenance/maintaining healthy natural hair, and how products work to create a preferred style.
So I did my research and once I understood the point of natural, it all came together. I did my first finger coil out and I was amazed at how well it came out.
I can’t remember the name of the product I used, but I can remember that it made my hair soft, shiny and it didn’t cause dryness or flakes.
I continued styling relaxed hair, but found myself telling my clients and anybody else that gave me a compliment to transition – lol.
I felt so liberated. I felt like when I walked in the room all eyes were on me and I loved it. I wanted every African American woman to feel what I was feeling.
So I made the conscious decision to do natural hair only because I knew there was someone else out there who’s thinking about going natural, who needed my help.
I wanted to be the one to help them make that transition smoothly. That’s when I started Tara’s House of StyleZ.
Tara’s advice to those contemplating wearing their natural hair …
At THS it’s a must that every new client has a 30 minute consultation, whether it’s over the phone or in person.
The reason why I do this goes back to my natural hair journey. If someone is contemplating going natural usually 80% of the time they’re not ready. So I don’t recommend cutting their hair.
My main concern is “What is your goal for your hair?” that way I fully understand how to precede with their hair.
If they’re not ready to do the big chop or cut off their remaining relaxed hair, I recommend doing transitional hair styles that compliment their look, such as straw sets, rod sets, flexi rods, and corn rolls.
I explain to them the hair would be treated, trimmed, and observed until the client is ready to make the transition.
The inspiration behind Tara's House of Stylez …
What inspired THS was my natural hair journey. My story is very passionate to me because without my story THS would not be a success that it is today.
Although I had some fragile days while transitioning, it was a beautiful experience. An experience that helped a lot of my clients build their confidence to make the transition.
At THS we offer FREE one-on-one consultations. We specialize in all natural hair styles, locs, braids and we also offer professional makeup application for all occasions.
THS also has a t-shirt line - Naturally Beautiful Tees. The design was created for women who have a love for natural hair and makeup.
Each design represents a different type of hair style (big hair or short hair) with its signature flower and makeup.
Tara’s advice to others looking to start their own hair styling and/or makeup business …
The advice I would give to someone who’s looking to start their own hair styling/makeup business is prepare.
Prepare meaning - when you’re ready to open your salon you should be prepared with the following.
• Website – Your business starts with a website, this is a great way to gain potential customers / they can learn what your business has to offer.
• Business cards - This is another way to gain attention to your business, your business cards shouldn’t be clutter with information, keep it simple and professional.
• Portfolio – Every stylist/makeup artist should have a portfolio, you should have a gallery of your work on your website and a portfolio of work in your salon.
• Salon equipment – Invest in the proper salon equipment/ ie: shampoo bowls, chairs blow dryers, hair steamers, hair accessories, etc.
• Education/Training – Be willing to learn different styling techniques to master your craft.
• Advertise/promote – Use social media to advertise/promote your business such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Attend events to distribute your business cards. Become actively involved in groups. Put videos on Youtube, share slide shows of your work. Doing a meet and greet is another way to gain potential clients.
What the future holds …
My goal for THS is to build my brand and gain the attention of celebrities. A lot of celebrities are going natural, I would like for them to experience what THS has to offer.
I’m also working on expanding the Naturally Beautiful brand as well.
Tara's House of Stylez Website