The Black Hair Book (TBHB)

What is TBHB?

TBHB is a website designed to help users find salons in London to style Afro hair. Users are encouraged to rate and review their experience at the salons and can find useful information about salons before making a hair appointment. Such handy information includes the opening hours, contact information, street view, and the salon’s amenities such as parking facilities, air conditioning and payment options.
What was your starting inspiration?

Frustration. I had a horrible salon experience and was frustrated with how difficult it was to even find a reputable salon in the first place. I would regularly have to ask around for recommendations of good salons or stylists to do my hair. In the same manner, friends would also ask me about where I had achieved different hairstyles. On this occasion, it was due to poor service I received at a salon near my house. I loved the outcome of my hair but was very disappointed in the lack of professionalism. I went on social media to vent about it and later thought about the whole ordeal; from choosing a hairstyle, to finding the skilled hairdresser to execute it, booking the appointment, forms of payment and visibility of the salon. I decided to put my frustration to beneficial use. I designed the website to answer the most common questions asked by customers. The review section is one of the most important sections because it enables both customer and business owners to read honest feedback. For the customer, it’s about helping you make an informed decision. As a business owner, it’s a wonderful way to advertise your business and to find out what customers are loving (or not) about your service.

What has been the hardest part?

Marketing. A lot of time, money and effort has gone into designing a useful and appealing website the entire world needs to know about. I suppose it’s like any new brand; you believe in it so much you just want everyone to be as obsessed about it as you are. I’ve had to push myself out of my comfort zone to be a lot more active on social media, attend industry events and generally do all the things that come with launching a new business. I guess if it was easy then everyone would be doing it.

What has been the most rewarding part?

Recognition. It’s such a heart-warming feeling when people know about the brand, use the website and share it. I remember the first time someone used it and shared it on their Instagram story, I was so giddy! It was a testament to the fact that the site is useful and it does what it says on the tin.

What’s the future of TBHB?

I have so many things in store for TBHB! The next feature in the works is the online booking facility currently being built into the site. This will allow TBHB to not just be a sign post for salons, but also a conduit for appointments.

Funniest or most interesting moment so far?

We went to pitch to a salon and the owner told me she was too busy to talk at the time. On the way out, I asked her for a business card, to which she replied: “I don’t give my cards to strangers, it has my personal information on it”. I was too baffled by her statement to even laugh.

Founder Josephine 
The Move

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