Mira! Coping with Black Hair’s Dominican Invasion

The emerging Latino market is creating a demographic tsunami soaking black companies. Here’s why hair maven Glynn Jackson isn’t worried.

Glynn Jackson The Agency

I recently spent a highly caffeinated day with my friend Glynn Jackson as he put the final touches on preparations for the Golden Scissors Awards, the black hairstyling competition which, over the last 17 years, he has built into the Oscars of black hair.

It was a frantic day with him behind the wheel, his ears glued to his cell phone, toggling between calls. He had to check the plastic surgeon who tried to pull political strings to get into the show for free, bark orders to the video crew filming the event, all while darting from radio interview to radio interview plugging the awards ceremony that will take place on Sunday, Dec. 6 at the Washington, D.C., Convention Center.

As we learned here at The Root during our own investigation of the pressing state of black hair, times are rough for black hairstylists, given the recession and all. I thought we were about to see more proof of this as we pulled up to what looked like an abandoned strip mall in the Maryland suburbs near where the Washington Redskins play.

The parking lot was mostly empty. We drove past the bankrupted big box Circuit City store and pulled past a dingy storefront for Shadez Hair Studio where a lone black woman sat waiting to get her hair done.

Then we pulled up to Sintia’s Dominican Salon.

A gigantic white banner screamed “GRAND OPENING!!!!!” and announced their Web site, www.hairhappenshere.com. Elaborate murals, pink and glittery, cheered the walls. Inside was buzzing with women lined up to test out the shop’s claim that “We do a mean blowout.”