Stylist Flips Wigs to Survive COVID-19 as She Waits to Reopen Her Salon

May 19, 2020

Hair salons and barber shops have been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis, but a North Philadelphia stylist has found a way to not only survive but thrive, while her doors are shuttered. And it’s all about wigs.

Karen Kilby is particular about her ‘do.

“I’m used to a certain standard, as far as my hair is concerned,” she said. 

Her normal style is weave extensions. For the past decade, Kilby has maintained her style through regular visits to DD Daughters Lace Wig and Hair Boutique

“I never do anything to my hair,” she said. "Aanything that I get done, Myisha does it for me.”

Stratton, who is known for her custom-made wigs, had already planned a wig party on April 5. Instead of doing it in person, she did it on Facebook live.

“I just could not fathom shutting down,” says Stratton, who opened her salon in 2008.

She put the wigs on to show her clients what was in stock, and it was a huge success.

“It was very lucrative, so I’ll do more of it,” says Stratton, who works with a number of clients who suffer medical hair loss and alopecia. 

Myisha Stratton styling a wig
Photo credit Myisha Stratton

“This is part of my retirement plan,” Statton said, giggling.

But she’s savvy. DD Daughters has used its website to sell wigs for quite some time. Stratton also applied for SBA relief and received it. In addition, she’s been able to tap into unemployment funds as well to offset any losses and to help her employees as her shop remains shuttered.

“I definitely feel blessed,” says Stratton.

She also runs Vinsanity Prints, a company that makes custom-printed t-shirts and other items, including masks. With the demands of the pandemic, Stratton says she’s busy.

“I started making blinged-out masks,” she says, “I made $1,000 in one day. People love them.”

Karen Kilby and her wig
Photo credit Karen Kilby

But while she waits for the shop to reopen, she’ll keep working to keep her clients by giving them a way to look good on lockdown.

“The wigs are really convenient,” says Kilby, “and it’s easier than the weave, and great for the summer.”

Kilby named her first wig, a black short, pixie cut, “Mary.”

“Mary definitely needs some friends,” Kilby says, laughing.

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