Starting this week, ‘Femme Smart’ looks at apps created by or for women. We will talk about newly created apps- Apps that help with social gains and empowerment, lifestyle apps and apps that are used particularly by women every day and apps that are popular with women across the globe.
Tress is more that just a Mobile App. The all women team, the brains behind the App, describe it as a fun, passionate community of black women from across the world sharing and discovering hairstyle inspiration. Tress launched on 25th February 2016 and is a first of its kind app launched in Africa and globally. Tress is popular in more than 70 countries including Nigeria, South Africa, Kuwait, USA, UK, Australia, Japan, Indonesia, Burkina Faso, France, Kenya, Guyana, Haiti and India.
“Tress in English means a lock or strand of hair. In French it means braids. We loved the dual meaning and also wanted a short, punchy name that would stand out in the market,” says Priscilla Hazel, founder and CEO, Tress.
Priscilla Hazel, Esther Olatunde and Cassandra Sarfo are the brains behind Tress. Priscilla has a background in software entrepreneurship, Esther enjoys building mobile applications and Cassandra, the product lead at Tress, has a background in computers.
“We built Tress to solve a challenge that my co-founders and I face as black women. It’s surprisingly difficult to find detailed hairstyle information.” says Priscilla. She tells the story of co-founder Cassandra’s interest in a particular hairstyle. “Cassandra spent many unsuccessful weeks trying to figure out the name of a specific hair extension she had seen online, and many black woman have had the awkward experience of walking up to complete strangers to ask for detailed info about their hairstyle. Since we are software entrepreneurs, we decided to use our skills to solve this problem that hit very close to home.” Says Priscilla.
After building a basic prototype, a community of women in Ghana helped team Tress to test the app and soon after it was ready to be launched globally.
L to R: Cassandra Sarfo, Esther Olatunde, Priscilla Hazel
Once a user signs-up on Tress via Facebook or email, she creates a profile and can then follow accounts that interest her. She also gets immediate access to feeds of current hairstyles posted by black women all over the world.
Whenever a user finds a hairstyle that interests her all she has to do is tap on the hairstyle and she immediately gets access to details such as name, location of the salon/stylists, products used to achieve the desired hairstyle and a price range for having the hair fixed. She can like and comment on any hairstyle and tap on the plus sign on the top right corner of the feed to share her beautiful hairstyle with the Tress community. Since its launch Tress has been able to help more than 3000 women users with rocking a weave or an extension, cornrows, braids, natural, locks, relaxed hair, wig-caps, or anything in-between. It’s become their home for hair inspiration and information.
Tress is currently available as an Android App, considering there are more users of Android in Africa, where Tress is based.
With Tress, women can:
Discover new hairstyles
See detailed information about hairstyles such as the products used, the name of the salon, and price range
Share your favourite hairstyles and get compliments and recommendations from supportive community
Follow fashionable people and discover their hair care secrets
Tress soon plans to expand its app with a lot more information for their users. “We plan to have detailed salon/stylist pages with examples of their work, reviews, and salon contact information.” Says Priscilla. The app will also include a feature to buy hair products directly from the app; and extending the app to other platforms like iOS and Windows.
“Our long-term ambition is a full suite of media products celebrating black women and helping them thrive, including events, magazines, and even TV.” Adds Priscilla.
The inspiring app is focusing on growth and community engagement. “We would be happy to partner with bloggers, journalists and influencers willing to help share the Tress love.” Signs off Tress founder Priscilla.