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This Hair Company Is Giving Its Customers Free Weave Installs - Is It Worth It?

I Tried Mayvenn Install and got my weave installed for FREE. Is this is a marketing scam or a deal you don't want to miss?

I Tried It

There's nothing like the confidence that can come from a bomb, fly new hairstyle. I love my natural hair in all its beautiful and diverse glory, but I also love the versatility that comes from rocking hair extensions. Buying hair and then having to pay to get it installed, however, can be an extremely pricey and stressful experience. Who's the best stylist? What's the best hair to pick?

As someone who is NOT skilled in the hair styling arena and cannot do my own installs, I save getting a hair weave for special occasions only. When I heard about minority-owned hair company Mayvenn's new Mayvenn Install program, I knew I had to try it. The program allows customers to buy hair online and then get matched with a local licensed salon stylist who will shampoo, condition, braid down and, install the hair free of charge to the customers. Customers receive a pre-paid voucher via email that is scanned by the stylist, enabling them to collect payment from Mayvenn instantly.

To bring this service to fruition, Mayvenn raised $36 million in funding led by Andreessen Horowitz and Essence Ventures. "Now with Mayvenn Install, customers will be able to buy hair and the installation service for probably 40% less than what they normally would have paid," says Diishan Imira, Mayvenn CEO and co-founder. Though the program is marketed towards consumers, the company is dedicated to helping hairstylists develop their entrepreneurial talents and grow their own businesses. 25,000+ in-network stylists in over 250 cities are now being directly connected to customers in need of service, with Mayvenn fronting the install price. The company reports that some stylists are averaging 20-40 new clients a month because of Mayvenn install. In four months alone, the company has paid out over $20 million in commission to stylists who are part of the program.

As part of xoNecole's I Tried It series, the Mayvenn team allowed me to review the Mayvenn Install process. Read on to learn more about my personal experience, thoughts on the program, and whether or not I'd recommend it to our xoNecole readers.

Please note, this is not sponsored. The hair was provided free of charge for an honest review of the program.

The Mayvenn Install Process

Mayvenn

Customers can access the free install program directly from Mayvenn's homepage. Once clicking "Get a free install", you are directed to a user-friendly customized webpage. The three-step process was simple and easy to walk through. First, I chose my desired hairstyle type, which was a closure. (Easy maintenance, please!) Then, after inputting my location, I was given a list of participating local stylists to choose from. I was able to read reviews and years of experience and choose the stylist that fit my preference. Finally, it was hair selection time, which was the most impressive part of this process.

As someone who wasn't sure what I wanted, I opted for the "show me looks for inspiration" button. I chose the "deep wave" texture option and scrolled through the multiple hair styles to choose the look that spoke to me the most. After browsing through several pictures of women rocking the deep wave texture in different styles and lengths (and since I love big curly hair), I decided on a 18" closure and 20", 22", and 24" bundles. After ordering, I received an email confirmation and pre-paid voucher that the stylist will scan in order to get paid.

Scheduling Your Appointment & Receiving The Mayvenn Hair

After payment is complete, you're connected with a Mayvenn assistant via text who helps you book an appointment with your chosen stylist directly. I was asked to send over time and date preferences to initiate the scheduling. To be honest, this is the part of the process that wasn't my favorite. Due to my stylist availability and the customer service lag time, it took me about one full-day to secure a date and time for the install. Being able to view the stylist's calendar directly without a third party would have made the booking much smoother.

The closure and bundles arrived in less than three business days and came in beautiful individual Mayvenn-branded satin-lined pouches. The hair was soft to the touch and the closure looked well-constructed with a realistic-looking part. A curly-hair maintenance guide was also included in my hair package. Having a FAQ booklet was helpful, especially when it came to knowing how to properly prep the hair for install.

The Mayvenn Hair Installation

Writer Rana Campbell

I chose NJ-based stylist Lucky a.ka "The Weavemaster" to install my bundles. I arrived at her Union, NJ salon ready for a few hours of hair pampering. Her assistant, Anjail, meticulously detangled my hair and gave me an ultra-relaxing shampoo and condition. She then took her time (a major necessity for thick-haired naturals like myself) blow-drying my hair and painlessly braided my hair in flat, neat cornrows.

Then, Lucky put in work. In less than an hour, she installed all three bundles and even tweezed my closure part to make it look more realistic. After the install, she defined my curls and did a light style, making sure my hair was LAID - baby hairs and all. (Now, I know why she calls herself the weave master!) The sew-in wasn't tight and I felt like I'd still have edges when I decided to remove the extensions. At the end, Lucky scanned my voucher. Though the service was free of charge, I made sure to tip both her and her assistant, per Mayvenn's recommendations.

The Verdict: Is Mayvenn Hair Good?

Writer Rana Campbell

So, would I recommend Mayvenn Install? HECK YES! The process was fairly simple. I already knew Mayvenn was trustworthy when it came to hair quality. I liked that I didn't have to worry about buying hair and then finding a qualified stylist to install. Lucky came highly recommended from the Mayvenn platform and the actual install experience was pleasant and relaxing. What surprised me was how popular the service was. Both customers before and after me were also Mayvenn clients.

As a hair stylist, Lucky appreciates being able to be part of the program. The ability to attract new clientele has positively impacted her business, she told me. She sees being part of the program as part of her overall marketing strategy. Though the money she receives from Mayvenn isn't as much as she normally charges for a regular sew-in, the sheer number of new clients she's able to bring in monthly and re-market to, balances it out. I now have a trusted hair weave technician that I'd love to support again either using my own funds or by participating in the Mayvenn Install again.

Overall, here are some of my personal noted benefits and potential limitations of the Mayvenn Install program:

Benefits:

Writer Rana Campbell

  1. The hair purchasing and stylist selection process is very user-friendly. The program is great for people who want to try weave for the first time. The technology allows users to have a customized experience when selecting a style and stylist.
  2. Mayvenn hair quality is up to industry standard. Their 100% virgin hair is gently steam-processed and can last up to a year. I've had my hair in for about two weeks now with minimal shedding or tangling.
  3. You're directly supporting a local licensed salon stylist. Instead of buying hair and having it sit around, you're able to empower and economically fuel a local stylist by scheduling time to get hair installed.
  4. Free installs means you're saving a lot of money as well. Most stylists can charge upwards of $150 for a simple install. If you're a frequent bundle buyer - or even want to customize the hair, you'll still save hundreds over the course of a year.
  5. There's a 30-day guarantee! Even if you wear, dye, or cut the hair and are not satisfied, Mayvenn will still exchange the hair and allow you to try another stylist.

Limitations:

  1. In order to qualify for the program, you have to buy three bundles. If you want to buy less, then you can't take advantage of Mayvenn Install.
  2. You have to use a Mayvenn-vetted stylist. If you already have a trusted weave installer, they cannot scan the voucher and collect payment from Mayvenn.
  3. Installs are limited to installs only. If you'd like added styling, cut, or coloring, you are responsible for paying the service balance.
  4. The booking process can be a bit frustrating depending upon your and the stylist's availability. Plus, booking is limited to Mayvenn's customer service hours.

To learn more Mayvenn Install or to try it for yourself, visit https://freeinstall.mayvenn.com/.

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

This article is in partnership with Staples.

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