How Nina Aprile Became Known As That Girl That Did Your Hair
By Yola Robert
Nina Aprile went from celebrity hairstylist to entrepreneur thanks to being known as That Girl That Did Your Hair. Aprile made Manhattan her salon throughout her twenties as the majority of her career was spent as a freelance hair stylist specializing in celebrity clientele, working magazines, NYFW, television and film. Although Nina’s name was clearly stated on call sheets, people weren’t referring to her as such. “At the point in my career when I was freelancing heavily in the media industry, while spending days on set, instead of being referred to as my actual name ‘Nina’, I would hear ‘where is that girl that did your that”, or “I’m with that girl that did my hair”. Several of those moments made something click for me, I took the name the industry gave me and ignited it with wit and humor,” she shared.
Aprile took the undervaluing of losing her name and turned it into her alter ego, a character who embodied nothing but confidence and a fierce attitude. This inspired Aprile to start to write a book about the freelance beauty industry in Manhattan sharing how far standing out can take you. One of the many anecdotes she shares include how hard it was for her to get to a place of name recognition (even if it wasn’t her actual name), “For instance, I bought a gym membership at a Retro Fitness gym just to use the bathroom during the day and when I wasn‘t working I was chasing clients to pay me. I quickly learned the downside of freelancing is your jobs are temporary and so are your paychecks. I took note of every struggle and experience I had throughout this time, and it used it as inspiration for every idea in my book and products I would later come up with.”
The start of turning “that girl that did your hair” into a brand was more of a creative outlet for Aprile in between working on sets for big TV networks like ESPN. “I worked with several big TV networks and during the workday I was really only working in between commercial breaks. I took advantage of the downtime and let my brain work the overtime to create. New York City became the muse for every product idea I created. The real gritty, everyday, NY streets and attitude that makes the city what it is. I took these concepts and added my own twist, connecting my merch back to chapters I had created in my book,” she explained. “Each series I create is born with my vision of Manhattan.Everything I create has a story, details, and meaning behind it. I wasn’t really active on social media at this point because I didn’t want to be known for the people I styled or the jobs I worked for. I wanted to be known as an artist, and not be defined by other peoples names. I wanted my Instagram to become a mysterious mood, and make followers question, who is ‘that girl that did your hair’?”
Putting the brand on social media was the best thing Aprile could have done. Shortly after starting to post on social media, she found herself out of a job due to the pandemic. “My last day at ESPN was March 21 of 2020. Fourteen days later on April 4th of 2022 I went viral from a TikTok video with 1.1M Views simply applying my Mirror Sticker “Objects In Mirror Are Prettier Than They Appear” to my mirror. I sold out that week, then had 4.4M views and sold out of the “Knotty Brush”. This led me to believe if I can sell out during the pandemic, there was something here that could be a successful business. I saw by putting my full energy into this, how far it could really take me,” she shared. That boost from Tik Tok led Aprile to launch several curated product series. Every series she launches is inspired by each chapter of her book based on her career; every collection is its own story.
“The “Blowout Series” was my first launch. I started with a hat. I knew if I could sell a hat I could sell anything. The idea behind my first hat was the fact that you only have certain days of the week after getting a blowout that you wear your hair down but on the third or fourth day you’re almost always in a hat. I created the “Dirty” Hat and “HatHair” hat to wear it in a witty way,” after she launched the hat she launched “1800BLOWME” stickers.I created “1800BLOWME” Stickers to put on blow dryers and gave them away for free to build my following back in 2018. Later on, I launched the “Mirror Series”, “Bodega Series”,“ Vanity Series”, “Salon Series”, “Streetwear Series”, “Hot For Buns Series”. Since 2018, That Girl That Did Your Hair has grown 525% selling out of product drops as many as ten times with stickers, the hats and The Knotty Brush as some of the most popular products.
The success of That Girl That Did Your Hair has led the products to be in department stores in 2023 along with Aprile finally finishing the book she initially started. Little did she know that the products that she created to help support her book would become center stage. “I created a brand that didn’t fit in, because I never fit in. I want ‘that girl that did your hair’ to emit confidence and ego, leaving people to feel the same way they would leaving my salon chair – only now using my products,” said Aprile. As That Girl That Did Your Hair evolves, Aprile will continue to develop and release products you need for your hair, always with a touch of ‘that girl’ humor.
Photo Source: Darren Talent