For over 22 years, Melanie Nickels has been a tireless trailblazer in the professional Hair & Beauty world.
After earning two college degrees in Accounting & Business Management, Melanie went on to Cosmetology School and graduated top of her class at the #1 Aveda Institute in the United States. Afterward, she was personally trained one-on-one by a U.S. and British National Hairdressing Champion who worked side-by-side with Vidal Sassoon.
Soon afterward, Melanie worked as a Professional Stylist on the hit Broadway show “42nd Street”, and was a SAG union member.
16 years ago, she earned the designation of American Board Certified Master Haircolorist, and soon after became an educator for the organization. Melanie was the very first person to introduce non-toxic and ammonia-free hair color to the ABCH organization. Melanie is a former judge / exam evaluator for the ABCH (one of only 19 people to ever be awarded that designation ).
She is the founder of the Raw Hair Organic Salon in Naples, Florida, one of the very first organic / non-toxic hair salons in the U.S, and is widely regarded as one of the top Curly & Natural hair salons in the country, with a daily world-wide clientele.
Melanie has created over 75 natural & organic hair, beauty, skin, and pet products, sold in over 100 countries world-wide, including the Raw Curls organic brand for curly & natural hair, and RH Organics Skin Care, a line of the highest quality natural & organic anti-aging products in the market, at an affordable price.
She is the founder of the Raw Curls Academy, a professional stylist training program that teaches licensed stylists how to cut, color, and style curly hair.
Melanie is the Expert Panelist on the award-winning weekly Curly Hair Q&A Show, that was recognized as the “#2 Hair Industry Podcast that you Must Listen to in 2019”.
"Devacurl, Curly Hair Artistry, Raw Curls: What do these 3 companies have in common?"
The answer, I have taken classes with all 3 of them.
Following is my honest review of each of these companies.
Devacurl⭐⭐½ : 7 stylist in the class: This was a 4 hour class:
The instructor was new and we were her first class and she did fine. We had 2 girls in the class who could not get the process of the cut and because of that we never got to the full wash and style. I wasn't shown the clipping technique and we didn't get to even finish our styling. That said I got a clear enough picture to do the cut okay. But 4 hours was not enough to learn a cut well. However I will be forever grateful for a new door opening up in my career.
Curly Hair Artisty ⭐⭐⭐½: 30 stylist in the class: This was a 2 ½ day event:
I learned a cutting technique that I haven't used since. The styling info was very valuable though. Wafaya Abdallah and Ron Suriano were very genuine and I enjoyed learning from them.
Wafaya is super professional, kind, and has a wealth of info that she is willing to share.
Ron is quirky, vulnerable, and real, a true artist in our industry. They are both extremely talented.
The 3 day class was good, with a lot of business management and success info. A year and a half later I really feel like the cut itself wasn't a tool I'll ever use.
Let me say this, Melanie lost money on this class. $600 was way under priced for what they offer, they should raise their price to $1000.
Melanie keeps her classes small, 4-5 stylist at a time. For her it isn't about the money. It's about sending out qualified stylist. Melanie spends 1 on 1 time through out the process with each of us. I learned a full cut that involved numerous techniques, techniques that I will use every day of my career! We did the cut 3 times and then got to cut each others hair. Melanie has been, by far, the best teacher I have had. There was no pomp and circumstances, no ego. She was kind, patient, clear, and dedicated to our individual success. She walked us through the processes step by step. I came out of this class a better qualified stylist.
Ken Nickels, Melanies husband, is so proud of his wife. They make a great team. Ken is a wonderful and passionate man, he loves doing all he can to support his wife and us as stylist. These 2 sacrafice a lot to bring useful knowledge to our curly girl community. Together they have developed the best curly haircare line I've used. Their Anti-frizz spray and conditioner are game changers. It's funny cause I was told in one of my other classes, by an instructor, that their conditioner wasn't moisturizing enough...WoW was that person clueless.
I hope many of you will give them a try. Melanie's resume is impressive, it is only exceeded by her humility and calming nature.
"I'm so grateful I stumbled upon them. My life has been enriched!
"I have to say the knowledge and growth established from this experience is only beginning to flourish!"
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Fantastic experience in Naples Florida with the one and only Melanie and Ken Nickels! I have to say the knowledge and growth established from this experience is only beginning to flourish! I can’t wait to share everything from techniques to new products to my new found confidence in this field of artists! The humblest of people in this industry with such a passion for health and watching/helping others grow Melanie is by far one of the sweetest in the industry in my book!
"This was hands down the best class I've taken so far."
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Don't you just love getting some new training? Here's some highlights from my class with Raw Curls Cutting class with Melanie Nickels & Ken Nickels. This was hands down the best class I've taken so far. Not only did I learn a lot, the tone they set was supportive. You know the classes you've been to where the instructor was like an arrogant rooster strutting around a stage? This is not how they are. Melanie presents her knowledge confidently yet with humility. If you're considering adding another class to your toolbox I highly recommend this one.