How Colour is Using Tech to Become the Uber of Haircare for Women of Color
It’s no secret Atlanta’s hair scene has been booming for decades. Now Debra Shigley, the founder of Colour, is taking a dive into the industry with her app. Colour is a “beauty concierge” service that allows users to schedule hair and makeup appointments through its platform.
According to a 2018 report by Mordor Intelligence, the haircare and beauty industry hit $95.45 billion last year, and is expected to reach $116 billion by 2024.
Shigley calls her app the “Uber for hair” because the app pairs users with hairstylists. Users choose from a list of services they want including specific hairstyles, color treatments, and children services. Clients are then matched with a stylist who is in the area and available to complete the work.
Colour is geared towards women of color; however, stylists are trained to work on all hair textures and curl patterns. Clients pay their stylists through the app once their services are completed.
“Black women have this inability to move about the world without thinking about what we’re going to do with our hair,” Shigley said.
Although clients cannot choose specific stylists, they can request names in the notes of their appointment. Colour recently created a feature that allows users to add additional services through the app.
Shigley started her career as a journalist and lawyer before diving into the world of business. She first got her idea of Colour after moving to Mexico with her family.
After returning back to the United States and finishing beauty school, Shigley began her journey to make the app a reality.
She said that creating Colour reminded her of her days in law school and that “it wasn’t what she thought it was going to be.”
“My first day of law school I left crying,” Shigley said. “I thought it was going to be like a hobby where I could do my day job and go to school at night.”
However, the reality of law school prepared her for what was to come.
“It’s kind of like jumping off a cliff into four years of crazy work and your whole life becomes consumed by it,” Shigley said. “It’s very similar to starting a startup.”
Now, Shigley juggles being an author, a mother and a businesswoman making her mark on both Atlanta’s beauty and tech industry. She said making the leap into entrepreneurship took pep talks from friends and the courage to “just do it.”
“Stop with all the business plans,” Shigley said. “You just need to start.”