FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Like many small businesses around the country, Black-owned barbershops and hair salons have had to adapt to operating during a pandemic.
Many locally have had to evolve to survive, but business remains strong because it's a staple for the Black community.
Hair salons and barbershops are not just small businesses for the Black community but a safe haven.
“I think we make up a small percentage, and when people come into the area, they feel that they can come for culture, conversation, or just being around a commonplace," Nick Jones, owner, Trendsetter Barbershop, said.
Jones turned his hobby of cutting hair into a passion and career, but he says business is getting back to full strength thanks to loyal customers.
Quintina Arnett is another business owner.
After her corporate job was eliminated, she decided to follow her dream of opening up a hair salon.
“When you feel good about your hair to me, it kind of changes you’re whole mood," Quintina Arnett, owner, Glitz Beauty Bar, said.
Arnett has faced similar challenges during the pandemic.
She decided to branch out by selling hair products online.
“I don’t know how long the pandemic will last so, it kind of pushed me to think outside the box," Arnett said. "Like how can I make money when I’m not behind the chair."
Arnett is an advocate of the natural hair movement, which encourages women and men to embrace the hair they were born with.
“Learning how to love yourself regardless of hair texture," Arnett said. "Not just judging people based on curly hair, straight hair. Personally, a person should be able to wear what makes them feel good."
And that’s something the Black community continues to inspire.