ALEX: Hello, today’s Deaf Business Spotlight is — ColorfuLocs, a hair care service in the DC Metro area, provided by hair stylist April Jackson-Woodward. Check it out!
ARLENE: Hello! This is Arlene, Convo Community Curator for the DC Metro area. I’m here to see ColorfuLocs, a hair salon, right now.
APRIL: I’m April Jackson-Woodward. My business is ColorfuLocs.
[APRIL TALKING TO CLIENT] You need to make sure - since Summer’s coming up - to keep your hair moisturized with oil because the heat will make it dry.
APRIL: Why did I set up this business? I grew up loving to braid Barbie dolls’ hair. I also looked up to this woman named Paula from Missouri. She braided my hair, including my mom’s and sister’s.
In 2009, I decided to have locs. I did the natural route which involved eating healthy. When you eat healthy, your hair is healthy. And it becomes pretty, too.
With my locs, I somehow ended up as a college student at Gallaudet. I had a job. I was a single mom. I had people asking me to do their hair, but I had to say no to them. I really didn’t have the time to do it. I’d only try to make time for my family and close friends.
When I graduated, a friend approached me and said, “Now that you’ve graduated, you have time to do my hair!” I couldn’t say no. So I went ahead and do it for him.
We did it at my home. He was thrilled to know of a Deaf person who could do locs. From there with my first customer, the word spread. I only wanted to have one customer, but I had so many more beg me to do their hair.
WILLIAM: Hi, my name is William Bennett. Everyone calls me “Dove”, like the bird. Lolol. How did I come to know about April’s hair business? I was growing out my hair which was about mid-length, when I was encouraged to try April “because she knew how to braid.” So I went over to try her business. She did an incredible job. She washed my hair properly without chemicals. This was more healthy. She braided it very well, and charged a fair price for the service. I’ve been seeing her for 4 years. Now look at my hair.
I’m going inside to see her right now.
[APRIL TALKING TO WILLIAM] Make sure you hand-comb your hair after washing, and don’t forget your oil.
One thing I like to do is… like, when you go to the doctor to find out what’s wrong with your body, the doctor will educate you on what to do, right? The dentist will educate you on what to do with your teeth, right? What about your hair? Usually when you go to a hair salon to get your hair fixed, you get sat down and you instruct the stylist on what you want for your hair by showing her a picture. But afterwards they don’t tell you what’s wrong with your hair. Is it too oily? Is the texture off? What kind of products should you be using for your hair? And many more.
I want to educate the deaf person because that’s something I’d want to know, too. My customers want to know, so it’s important to communicate with full ASL access.
It’s for anyone who wants to look nice for their job, or for any other reason.
ROSLIN: Hi, I’m Roslin Watson. How did I find out about April? Back in November, 2014, I was getting my hair fixed in Louisiana. With Spring semester coming up at Gallaudet, I was worrying about who would fix my hair there. I arrived to DC in January of 2015, and I was worried because my hair needed to be fixed. I made a Facebook post asking people on who could fix my hair. William Bennett, Jr. Or “Dove” sent me a message saying I should go to April because she was the best. So I reached out to April, and we talked back and forth. I was nervous at first but it turned out good. January 2018 will be my 3 years with her.
I love April because she makes homemade products that are chemical-free for the hair. It’s the best. She’s taught me a lot about it, so I know more about locs hair care. I haven’t had any problems since. It’s just - wow. I love April.
ALEX: Nice! That’s a great business. You can see that April cares about her customers and their hair by offering good advice. And you can see that the clients enjoys having their hair done by her.
If you’re in the DC area and want to have beautiful and healthy locs, check out ColorfuLocs on Facebook, or email April at firstname.lastname@example.org.