Natural Hair for black women is an important issue, with many still having to face judgements in the workplace and sometimes within the community about the act of “going natural”. To top it off, locating good quality afro hair beauty professionals can be a tedious and sometimes stressful process in London for many Black women with natural hair. A number of challenges often arise for Black women when they are looking for locticians, braiders or natural hair stylists including appointment timings, lateness, stylist knowledge of natural hair, quality control, location and price.
Afrocks.com is an on-demand platform designed to eliminate the stress of finding good quality afro hair beauty professionals by helping customers getting their desired hairstyle in a convenient timeframe in just a few clicks. Clients will be able to schedule an in-home appointment, up to a month in advance, with a highly skilled and fully vetted stylist for a variety of hair styling services such as: locs maintenance, box braids, cornrows, Senegalese twists, faux locs and more.
Black British women spend an estimated £4.2 billion a year on hair & beauty products and Afro-Caribbean women spend 6 times more on hair than any other ethnicity. *
Good News for Natural Hair
When it comes to natural hair, Afrocks’ vision is to offer a credible, reliable alternative to women and men who do not wish to use chemicals, or simply want to see their african hair features normalised.
The website is 100 per cent responsive and features a clean design and a slick user path, allowing clients to book and pay for their appointment within two minutes on laptop, mobile or tablet.
Stella Lucien has been involved in the Afro natural hair movement since 2003 when she stopped relaxing her hair and transitioned to wearing it in its natural state. This led to her co-founding Afrocks with Hervé Despois and Régis Rolnin. Hervé had the idea of creating Afrocks to fit with his hectic London lifestyle; having a very demanding job was making it hard to spend half a day on a Saturday to go to salon to get his locs retwisted.
Hervé Despois, co-founder and CEO of Afrocks said: “When we created Afrocks, we tried to reduce every friction point related to finding, and booking an afro hairstylist. By making the experience completely seamless and effortless, we wanted to contribute to the normalisation of afro and natural hair care and hope to be the go-to place people trust when it comes to their hair.”
“Since 2003; when I started to learn about my own Afro natural hair the natural hair movement might have been seen as a fad but that movement has transformed the Afro hair care industry. It is more than a fade, it reflects a genuine self-awareness whether it is historic, economic or health related. For some people it can also be related to a changing lifestyle more in harmony with nature and well-being.” – Stella Lucien
Getting Afrocks Up and Running
Since launching the beta version, the start-up has seen an increasing number of young black professionals book their hair appointments through the platform as it provides a much needed service in the increasingly demanding natural hair community. The company will be launching an app in 2018 and will be looking for investment. The site currently has 22 registered stylists across London (Mainly SE London) with 500+registered clients since launch.
Overall Afrocks stylists receive 97% positive ratings from clients following a booking with 96% of bookings come from women. The company is passionate about quality customer service and empowering black businesses to succeed.
Although at present, Afrocks mainly caters for Londoners, it aims to expand its services to all major UK and cities. The long term plan of the company is to expand across Europe, US, Canada, the Caribbean and Africa.
* Source: Habia report 2012