"I would tell my younger self to take more risks... give myself more grace, and that I am enough."
We are thrilled to introduce Carline Dargenson, a second-generation hairstylist, and passionate entrepreneur driven by a family legacy and a love for styling. We have invited her to share her story, thoughts and ideals on self-care through haircare. Join us for an engaging and thought provoking piece that we hope inspires you on your own haircare & self-care journey!
Q.Can you please tell us about your background and what inspired you to start your natural haircare business?
I am a second-generation stylist, which means I grew up in the salon culture because my mom was a hairstylist and owned a salon and beauty supply store. l obsessed with her trade publications, cosmetology textbooks, and her industry when I was younger, although I didn’t want to be a hairstylist at the time.
I always wanted to be an artist, which morphed into wanting to be a fashion designer but being from a Caribbean household, they didn’t see a future for me in those fields and wanted me to be a – you guessed it–a Nurse, of course!
Fast forward to me following my mother’s footsteps and becoming a hairstylist, which I genuinely love.
Q.Being a black female business owner in the haircare industry can't be easy. What are some of the biggest challenges you've faced and how have you overcome them?
I have to balance being a mom, an entrepreneur, marketing, admin work, purchasing & ordering supplies, taking classes, and being a videographer. In addition to having a personal life. I am practicing relinquishing control and past traumas to enroll help and teaming with other professionals now that I have some time to do so.
Q. What's something you learned about yourself through those challenges?
I’ve become more guarded than I thought due to those experiences working in the hair industry. It’s time to re-establish a new narrative.
Q. It's not always easy to push through obstacles. Can you share some of the ways you've managed to stay motivated and continue pursuing your passion?
What keeps me motivated is my genuine love for what I do. I love encouraging my clients to give their hair a chance and to teach them ways to care for it when they are at home. Not only do I want them to look good when they leave the salon, but I want them to look good without my help besides maintenance.
I also pray, meditate and journal. When I get too busy to do either or all, I feel out of sorts, and that’s when I know to regroup.
Constant hair education motivates me and the desire to have women embrace the actual texture and beauty of their hair before loving braids, wigs, and weaves. I believe it helps your self-esteem and how you see yourself. I’m always learning, and when I know something new to add to my hair knowledge, I’m genuinely excited.
Q. We'd love to know what makes you passionate about haircare? Do you have a favorite hair story or product that you can share with us?
I’m passionate about Haircare because I’ve been in the chair and grew up in the salon, so I know both worlds. I’ve had my share of salon horror stories where I was the client in the chair, and I promise myself that I will do my best to treat my clients like I would want someone to treat me.
Also, what I would like to suggest for the Natural Girl is the product Uncle Funky’s Daughter Curly Magic Gel. If you’re looking to start your wash-and-go journey and need a great gel, this is a great one. Please don’t use Eco Styler Gel. It is full of silicone, which mimics plastic and coats the hair. In the long run, it does not help or add to your natural hair journey.
Q. Have any of your client's stories touched you personally?
Yes, when a client broke down in my chair because she didn’t like seeing her hair in its natural state. At the end of the visit, we gave her a haircut she loved, and she started her road to self-acceptance.
Q.What sets your services apart from others?
What sets me apart is that I instill haircare in my client's routines. I don’t style your hair; I teach you how to maintain it so you don’t depend on me. Learning and understanding your hair empowers you to love and handle it.
Q. What gets you excited about haircare? Is there a particular style or technique you love experimenting with?
I am excited about cutting and coloring. It mimics creating art. For me, it’s another form of art since I wanted to be an artist growing up, but my parents were against it.
Q. Do you have any advice for women who want to wear their natural hair but don't have the confidence or struggle to maintain their hair?
I advise women to pair with a professional to work as a team towards their goals for their natural hair. Everyone doesn’t have the same texture, so you want to work on a regimen that works for your hair.
Q. Why do you feel that haircare is vital to self-care?
It’s vital to self-care because it boosts your self-esteem. I believe most women who want to wear their hair out more often are frustrated with their results. An excellent cut makes such a huge difference in a woman's look if women can look past the fear of scissors and see that a shape can't happen without a cut.
Q. What are your own personal self-care routines?
My personal care routine is mainly skincare and self-care. I'm a girly girl. I'm meticulous about my skin. I use various cleansers, serums, toners, and eye creams. I love lipstick, so I always have my lippie on. When I’m sad, I go in the mirror and try on my lipstick…lol. I make sure to get my manicures and pedicures always. When I don’t do these things, I feel off.