Hi Charlotte! Can you introduce yourself and give us a summary of the work you do in the industry?
Hi, I’m Charlotte Mensah. I’m a creative director, product owner and philanthropist. I’ve worked in the Afro hair industry for over 30 years
How have you seen hair trends change over the years?
Hair trends are continuously evolving and changing, though you could say you have your primary styles and everything is an off shot, or new version, of that. 10 years ago in Afro there were lots of weaves, relaxers and perms. Today it’s not about chemical services, as clients want to fall in love with their God-given textures. They want that opportunity of discovering different natural styles.
Do you think Instagram & social media has had an impact on Afro hair trends?
It has most certainly opened the minds of a lot of creative individuals and created a platform to connect with a group of people who may have the same hair textures as themselves.
Would you say Instagram has helped or hindered in creating more diversity in the hair and beauty industry?
It is certainly helping awareness and visibility by creating visual libraries of hairstyles, tips and hacks. It’s a great platform for building an audience of followers which could in turn become clients.
To what extent do you think Instagram has had an impact on driving hair trends and techniques?
As I mentioned earlier, it’s helping to create hair tutorials demonstrating various techniques and visual hair libraries. I can speak from experience that these days, a growing number of my clients will email me images of hairstyles from Insta & Pinterest that they would like to try out, so it’s certainly having an impact.
How important do you think it is for hair stylists to keep an eye on what is trending on Instagram?
It’s always important to be up to speed with the latest hair trends. If a client comes in after seeing a style that’s been trending online, then as a professional, I need to be able to facilitate that request.
Do you think social media has changed the way the hair industry works?
Yes, for certain parts of our industry it has changed the industry. For example, there has been a surge in hair related videos going viral. Some of these videos are attracting over a million views; I had one myself on natural hair that I shot in Ghana. Just on Instagram alone these quick and fun hair videos have now become our online hair commercials
In what ways do you think hair stylists can benefit from using social media when promoting themselves?
Instagram is an amazing platform for building an audience of followers in a relatively short period of time. Hair stylists should dedicate time towards building their online presence as well as engaging with their followers by regular posting of images and videos, whilst also replying to comments and DM’s
What up-and-coming trends do you think will next be an Instagram hit?
Natural beauty. Encouraging more and more women to embrace the wondrous texture of their hair and celebrating its versatility, whilst also helping the next generation to express themselves through their hair.