The space has been transformed into an inclusive place called Naza -- where there is no cutting, no color services but just protective styling and a callback to black hair history where guests gather, talk about the day's news, linger and feel like they belong.
"We specialize in coil-y, kinky Afro-textured hair. We are re-imagining the end-to-end beauty experiencing for black and brown women," said Natanya Montgomery, CEO and co-founder of Naza.
Montgomery spent her career creating "extraordinary experiences" for students, companies and others and wanted to create a special experience for black women who want to get their hair styled.
Operations lead at Naza, Nykol Rudd, says the need for a business like this is tremendous.
"I've been in situations where I'm charged extra because of the texture of my hair," Rudd said. "It's great to finally have a place where I can go and know I'm take care of no questions asked."
The styling chairs inside the space are all 24-inches wide and can hold 500 to 800-pounds so everyone feels welcome.
🚨 Ladies with coily, kinky, Afro-textured hair 🚨 — there’s now a place for all of your protective styling needs: @naza_beauty launches in the Mission soon. Owner @thatnatanya told me she wanted to create a place that “feels like home”. 🏡 pic.twitter.com/OH2p3frCvj— Dion Lim (@DionLimTV) February 20, 2020
Something else remarkable about Naza is Montgomery herself.
She's one of only a handful of black women founders to receive an investment of a million dollars.
One of those investors is Initialized Capital which is co-founded by Reddit co-founder and husband to Serena Williams, Alexis Ohanian and Garry Tan. Ohanian sent us a video message praising Natanya for tacking an industry "that's been overlooked far too long
NAZA also couldn't have come at a more opportune time when discussions about women's hair are happening everywhere -- from the Oscars with Hair Love winning Best Animated Short to California's law known as the Crown Act, which bans discrimination against black people wearing their natural hairstyles.
"For me it was very much a stigma to have braids, especially thinking about promotions," said a stylist at Naza. "I'm very happy about the Crown Act. A little late, but we're moving forward."
The stylist was found servicing a client with a silk press technique which straightens black hair without the damage of using relaxers.
Montgomery hopes to expand the business nationwide and eventually roll out a line of products catered to black women.
Naza is located at 985 Valencia Street in San Francisco and will launch a soft opening Feb. 22.