North Philly stylist flips wigs to survive COVID-19 as she waits to reopen her salon

Wigs at DD Daughters Lace Wig and Hair Boutique
Photo credit Cherri Gregg/KYW Newsradio
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Hair salons and barbershops 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.

“I’m used to a certain standard, as far as my hair is concerned,” said Karen Kilby, who is pretty particular about her ‘do.

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. "Anything that I get done, Myisha does it for me.”

That’s Myisha Stratton, owner of DD Daughters on Chew Avenue in North Philadelphia. Her shop, like others in Pennsylvania, was shut down on March 16.

“I was walking around with a scarf on my head, and I panicked,” says Kilby, “I didn’t know what to do. It was just awful.”

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,” said 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,” said Stratton, who works with a number of clients who suffer medical hair loss and alopecia. 

But even those clients without hair loss have opted to purchase wigs to help get through the bad hair days that have become emblematic of quarantine life.

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

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,” said 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 has been busy.

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

“We were already doing all the things the CDC is asking people to do,” she added.

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,” noted 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 laughed.