“I feel like natural hair is something you have to be passionate about because it’s something that is so daring to the black community that you have to approach it with kindness and love.”
It was one simple post in October of 2014. Miguerlande “Mimi” Maitre, then a bridal attendant, went viral overnight after she posted an image of a crocheted hairstyle she did to her Instagram. The notoriety inspired her to shift careers and open her very own natural hair care salon, I Am Nubian. Her salon quickly developed a national social media following with over 100K followers on TikTok and Instagram. This was the beginning of Mimi’s journey to helping women in the black community embrace their hair, shed the narrative that “that straightened hair or a wig is the only presentable look” and work toward achieving a healthy hair lifestyle. Now, 7 years later, she continues her mission at a scale greater than she could have ever imagined.
“A lot of women are looking to actually wear their natural hair… I noticed that my salon is doing so well, because there’s not many places that the ladies can turn,” Mimi said.
Mimi’s passionate about motivating her clients to explore natural styles that are healthy for their hair. Her stylists work closely with their clients through full-service appointments to find alternative ways to rock natural hair. Styles like a rod set, twist out, wash & go, and crochet locs are just a few of the different looks Mimi offers her clients as they travel their healthy hair journey.
“A lot of people do not know what they need and what they want before they come,” Mimi said. “It could be a rod set full service or a twist out full service but upon coming, we do an assessment, we check out your hair to see if your hair is capable of doing that service.”
The ‘I Am Nubian’ team pairs natural styling services with the techniques used to enhance healthy integrity and protection. Their hydration machine allows products to better penetrate the hair and pairs great with a relaxing scalp massage. For clients that struggle with alopecia they offer inflammation treatments using a red or blue UV light to kill any type of fungal that may be growing on the scalp. Clients can continue the spa experience by adding on a soothing eye mask to any service, one of the unique details and service touchpoints that makes ‘I am Nubian’ unique.
Mimi’s success may have started with her social media, but at its core is servicing a massive market for natural hair that is under-served by today’s salon models. From educating clients on their hair journey to adding specialized techniques, Mimi’s reversing the negative stigma her clients once had, from a healthy hair goal to a healthy hair journey.