Stasha M. Harris
What are the Braid Products by the Power Influencer?
More and more beauty influences are flexing their influence muscles in the market, and beauty supply industry is increasingly cooperating with influencers who understand and personally use the products. It is somewhat obvious that you would know what improvements can be made if you use the products personally. We met a professional braider with 20 years of experience who is also have 320K followers on her Instagram: Stasha Harris. We are here to discuss the braiding products she launched this year and her motivations behind it.
Please introduce yourself briefly.
I am running Magic Fingers Studio in Brooklyn, New York, and I am a natural hair expert with twenty years of braiding experience. For now, in addition to the salon business, I am devoting my time to educate braiders and stylists via braiding education tours and online courses as well as working as a stylist for “The braid up”, providing styling guides to Cosmopolitan magazine on a regular basis. Recently, I collaborated with GOLDNTREE to produce Magic Fingers 3X Pre-Stretched 52″ and with Ampro to produce Shine ‘n Jam Magic Fingers.
How did you become a braider, and what’s behind your success?
Although nobody really taught me how to, I loved and was good at braiding from my youth. It must be a gift from God. Since I was 8 years old, I started braiding my friends’ and families’ hair, and when I was thirteen, I could braid at the level of professionals. I moved to the U.S. from my home Trinidad and Tobago (editor’s note: a southernmost island country in the Caribbean) when I was 17, and I continued to braid. For years I worked hard to open my own hair salon. Meanwhile, I got famous through the words of mouth, and I opened Magic Fingers Studio in my age 21. Today, practically everyone in Brooklyn knows me. The reason that I became renowned nationwide was probably my Instagram page I started in 2012.
Aside from being a usual salon business, your Magic Finger Studio runs a lot of programs. What are those?
Other than a salon establishment, I run online and offline braiding classes and sell my own Magic Finger product line on Magic Fingers Studio’s online shop. We have classes for professionals as well as for beginners. For example, we have “Mommy and Me” and “Daddy and Me” classes for moms and dads who want to braid their kids’ hair at home. These are probably the classes I care the most. There is nothing more lovely than a father braiding a child’s hair. It is sort of personal because I am also a mother of two daughters, 2 and 7 years old.
This is the first product produced by a professional braider. Can you provide the details?
Magic Fingers 3X Pre-Stretched 52″ is made in the optimal length of 52″ for braiding, and it is available in 20 colors. Not to mention pre-stretched, it is made of 100% Kanekalon raw fiber. The most important fact is that I made it myself (laughter). I knew what makes a good product throughout my years as a professional. Of course, we ran many test runs to get the perfect texture.
I included all the good elements of other products and eliminated all the downsides from the product. If the hair is too soft, it becomes slippery, which requires braiders to apply more pressure. If the hair is too rough, you need to use a lot of products to soften it. It required extensive research to find the exact balance between soft and tough. We added conditioner to prevent tangling, which also makes it easy to remove the product later.
Why do braiders prefer Kanekalon raw fiber?
For a long time, Kanekalon has been well known for its good quality. If you put it in lukewarm water, the edge of braids become tender. In addition, it is resistance to catching fire and light material.
You developed magic helper, which show your professional side. What are the benefits?
It not only saves your time but also occupies less space thanks to a compact design. You can hang hair extensions onto the finger-like parts, so it provides a great help while you braid. It can be hung in any place for the optimum positioning for your braiding work. The palm-like parts can be used for storing braiding gels to be used. The hygiene became a particular concern during the pandemic, so putting hands repeatedly into a shared hair gel container is problematic to both braiders and customers. Magic Helper allows you to portion it for a use, which makes it very hygienic.
You collaborated with Ampro as well, what are the standing out features of Shine ‘n Jam Magic Fingers?
I wanted to create a line encompassing all essentials for braiding. I produced the following five products including edge control, setting moose, braiding gel, edge brush, and oil sheen for adding the shine to the completed style. These are the essential products to complete various styles including braid, loc, twist, ponytail, and Senegal twist. The difference from the original Shine ‘n Jam, sold in an orange jar, is that it has stronger hold and moisturizing and conditioning features.
Beauty Supplies seemed to place all the Magic Fingers products in one place?
As a beauty influencer, it is important to maintain good reputation. Braiders who are familiar with my face should have more confidence in purchasing. If you have all the products in one place, it would probably increase the sale. After all, customers can locate all of my products easily. In my own online shop, the bundle products are already sold out.
What are this Summer’s braiding trend?
Three layered pop smoke braid and knotless box braid will be popular this Summer. Especially, the knotless box braid is less stressful to scalp thanks to lightweight, and it is even more popular among customers who love the fact that it can be easily styled.
What would make a beauty supply attractive to braiders with no beautician license?
Currently, beauty supplies offer discount to professionals with beautician license, but 80% of braiders do not hold beautician license. Many of braiders were self-taught or learned at home growing up, or they completed braiding classes that did not confer beautician license. If beauty supplies offer various kinds of promotions to braiders, they could greatly attract many braiders.
Please say a last word for many retail storeowners across the country.
I want to say thanks to all retail storeowners for purchasing and having faith in Magic Fingers products. I am very happy to share this experience with you thanks to the products. I sincerely hope my products, Magic Fingers 3X X-Pression, Shine ‘n Jam Magic Fingers, and Magic Helper not only boost your sales but make braiders’ life much easier.