For decades, Blacks and Latinos in the United States have had to manage with a remarkably lackluster selection of cosmetic accessories and hair products, an issue recently brought to mainstream attention through avenues such as the documentary Good Hair by comedian Chris Rock. This dilemma has extended to Cornell’s campus, whereby students have commonly cited difficulties finding suitable – and physically present – solutions for their specific hair needs.
Introducing Grooming Therapy, a venture founded by College of Agriculture and Life Sciences student Darron Irving (‘17) in 2015 to fill in that void. Grooming Therapy provides students at Cornell University with more than just a haircut, but an experience. “I wanted to be more than a community barber, I wanted to be a style solution” says Darron as his customers can expect a spa-like ordeal that goes beyond the traditional haircut and incorporates services such as sponge treatment, hairline restoration, and custom designs. Its slogan – People receive haircuts, Bosses are groomed – demonstrates the more individualistic approach Grooming Therapy prioritizes.
Grooming Therapy’s customer base has increasingly grown loyal as word of mouth remains the main form of advertising. In fact, Darron claims that in 2016 a major milestone was achieved – a majority of customers became unfamiliar faces. With humble beginnings of solely grooming a select group of close friends, recently business has been booming.
However, this has posed some difficulties for Darron, who stands as the lone stylist and employee of Grooming Therapy. Although he has to decline the occasional customer in order to focus on his academic studies and other entrepreneurial enterprises, including a photography and videography business, Darron doesn’t view this as a pressing issue. Grooming Therapy is moreso an avenue of showcasing skills and experience in a more real way. “I didn’t want my entire time at Cornell to only be accumulating intangible skills. I wanted to leave here with something real, something that others could be shown rather than told” explains Darron.
To book an appointment at Grooming Therapy, go to its website at StyleSeat.com/GroomingTherapy