This Business Woman Knows How Hard It Is To Get Proper Haircare Being Latina —So She Opened Her Salon And Fixed It
I don’t know about you, but I have definitely dropped hundreds of dollars on haircuts and color treatments at boujee hair salons, in hopes of attaining a honey caramel ombré on my coarse, dark mane —courtesy of my Latina DNA. Most of them played out as horror stories. More often than not I’ve walked out of a salon with brittle, over-processed, damaged hair after too many hours with foils in it, because “Your hair is so thick! let’s wait a little longer.” After too many failed attempts that made my hair look orange rather than ‘caramel’, I gave up on coloring my locks with technicians who didn’t know how to work with hair like mine. That’s why when I heard that there’s a Chicana out there cutting and coloring hair of every texture; my damaged mane and I, almost booked a trip to Dallas.
The Latinx community is obsessed with beauty, yet the industry does not cater to our needs.
We all know that the beauty industry has rarely catered to women of color. Which is a huge paradox if you think of it because, it’s common knowledge that there is an undeniable obsession with beauty amongst the Latinx community. A study in 2015 called Hispanic women “the foundation for beauty sales” because it found that beauty sales increased by 8 percent among Hispanics, while it dropped almost 2 percent among non-Hispanics. Likewise, skincare and hair care increased within the Hispanic community and dropped among non-Hispanics.
The study also found that Hispanics were spending approximately $44 on a single product, while non-Hispanics were spending almost half that price for a similar product. These numbers make it pretty clear that we have the spending power —and the need for beauty is obviously there, so why are so few brands, technicians, and businesses betting on us?
Jessica saw a gap in the market and —thankfully for us— she decided to act on it.
Jessica “Jake” Tafoya, is the entrepeneur behind The Mod + Body Labb, a salon that takes care of the skin and hair of women of color in Dallas. And not only does she cater to every hair texture, length and color that walks through her doors, most importantly she builds upon what her Mexican family taught her by creating an atmosphere for other women of color to feel welcome and taken care of —hallelujah!
Tafoya dreamt of opening her own beauty business years before she actually took the leap of faith and opened it.
The gap of time between dreaming about opening her business and actually opening it, is just one of the things she credits for helping her build a business worthy of her dreams. Tafoya also credits her Latinidad, taking pride in it and embracing it, is what helped her get to where she is now.
“I embrace my Latinidad as my identity and additional fuel to give me the strength to overcome every failure and detour set on my path,” explains Tafoya in an interview with Forbes. “Through the close bond of my family, I have been able to remain challenged and fully determined to reach my goals. Our culture is one to celebrate and learn from as we carry certain characteristics that will help us flourish from both a personal and career perspective.”
Jessica “Jake” Tafoya is now a full fledged businesswoman who empowers and celebrates beauty.
Jake now has three salons for skin and hair, offering a full-service beauty experience for women of color in Dallas, TX. “I saw a significant gap within the beauty industry and wanted to create an environment where we celebrate every hair texture and skin tone while empowering the multifaceted woman,” shares Tafoya.
‘We strive to give our guests a place where they feel welcome and where their needs are understood and met. We encourage each one of our customers to strive for self love, to feel confident and love who they see beyond their reflection in the mirror.”
At Mod Labb, you can get all done up with services that cater to your specific hair texture and skin tone.
Mod Labb offers curl cuts and hair extensions in addition to all other hair services while the Body Labb is all about skincare and cosmetic services including brow shaping and makeup. “As part Native American and Latina, my hair texture and skin tone is unique. It had always been difficult to find a professional skilled enough to know how to cater to my long, coarse hair and olive skin,” shared Tafoya. “After a couple of years of experience under my belt, I decided to transform that gap into an opportunity and create my business.”
Tafoya doesn’t only cater to people of color, she makes sure to put her money were her mouth is, and employs only people of color, too.
The Mod Labb started as a 400 square-foot space that she opened three years after graduating from hair school in 2010 with only two employees at just 25 years old. She later opened the Body Labb across the street and now she’s opening the Mod + Body Labb in Arlington in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Not only does Tafoya cater to people with hair like hers, what’s more,100 percent of her staff is made up of people of color. This gesture is more profound than the average salon goer might realize when women of color continuously struggle to find adept stylists.
Visit The Modd Lab at 1316 West Davis Street and The Body Lab at 1319 West Davis Street, open everyday from 9am to 9pm.