Kim McCargo Dukes stands outside her shop, Tresses.
(Updated 02-02-2015) Like fashion, the hair industry evolves every day. What’s in vogue today, could be out the next day. But Kim McCargo Dukes, 42, owner of Tresses hair salon is no stranger to change.
“I’ve been in the industry since 91′. I started working in different salons and I started my own salon with a partner about ten years ago.”
It was in her last year of high school that she, “really started to do hair and I just kinda decided at the last moment that I would just go ahead and pursue a career in it. That was the best decision I ever made,” said Dukes.
Since that time, much has changed within the hair industry. In particular, the natural hair movement, that has impacted Black hair salons.
“It has definitely affected our business, for sure,” said the mother of two.
The movement was partly pushed by the notion that relaxers are bad for the hair. She stresses that with proper hair maintenance such as shampooing and conditioning, one can achieve healthy hair.
“I think it’s a lack of education as it pertains to relaxers; that’s where my issue comes. It has hurt the industry because a lot people aren’t going to the salons anymore. You can still get it done, even if you’re natural without putting chemicals in it,” said Dukes.
With this major shift and an ensuing separation from a former business partner, Dukes proves she is in it for the long haul. “I try to keep my self educated and my clients as well. I’m timely, I have good customer service, and the skills to back it up,” said Dukes.
“Whether you’re relaxed or natural, I say go to a professional, if at all possible,” Dukes said.
“If your budget is the problem, then at least bi weekly and have your hair treated. The best hair care is to go to a licensed professional.”
Find Kim McCargo Dukes on Facebook or at Tresses, 20 W. 25th Street, Baltimore, or call 443-803-3897.