Photo Credit: Samantha Tyler Cooper
A Look Inside Brittany Barnes' Oakland-Based Beauty Oasis, GoodBody
On October 2, 2020, Brittany Barnes opened up her beauty bar, GoodBody, in Oakland, California with larger plans to service the predominantly Black community that thrives in the Bay Area city. Barnes’ dreams came to life with a single mission to provide a sanctuary for Black women of all hair types to feel welcomed, celebrated, and assisted by her hair experts. From twist-outs and braids to various textured hairstyles, Barnes has built her very first cosmetic business that is all-inclusive and uniquely designed to stand out from other salons in the area.
“Community is at the foundation of GoodBody,” Barnes tells Travel Noire. “It’s a space that celebrates Black and brown beauty and empowers women. We’ve found our footing in a city that has so much rich history as a whole and for me personally. I still have fond memories of traveling the two hours to the Bay Area from rural California because there were no Black salons in my hometown.”
Opening a modern and chic beauty salon during the midst of the pandemic proved to be challenging for the new mom and young entrepreneur. Barnes gave birth to her baby in late summer 2021 and has been running her business through it all. Feeling inspired by her upbringing growing up in Northern California, Barnes knew she wanted to lead her own beauty oasis for Black women to get proper haircare.
“Finding the location for GoodBody was tough. It took more than a year of searching. But finally, in fall 2019, I found this gem of a location. I’m so honored to share this block in Oakland with other amazing Black women-owned businesses, like McMullen Boutique, Sweet July, Brown Sugar Kitchen, and Taylor Jay Boutique. We have formed such a beautiful community here and I’m so inspired by each of them.”
The accented community sofas, warm-colored leather salon chairs, shimmering floors, and illuminated mirrors provide a promisingly luxurious haircare experience that shows you are in good hands. The physical interior and atmosphere curated by Homework Design Shop in San Francisco nourish the eyes as much as the staff will nourish your curls. Barnes is fully aware that textured hair isn’t only found amongst Black women. The salon caters to anyone who may require their services.
“Although we started with Black women like myself in mind, GoodBody aims to be an inclusive establishment,” Barnes reminisces. “We know that all deeply textured hair is not Black, and we love that we have been able to welcome such a diverse clientele. We also know that it’s not just women who are marginalized in the beauty market.”
“It crosses over to Black male-identifying and non-binary individuals who also are looking for an elevated full-service haircare experience. Because of this, we have really been able to create a culture of diversity and self-love in our space. We welcome all textures, all identities, and empower all of our clients to love the hair on their heads and the beautiful body that grows it.”
Deep conditioning treatments start at $25 and quick blowouts are affordably priced at $32 and up. Barnes acknowledges the fact that many salons charge not-so-affordable prices and she is fully aware that she is creating space for more individuals to take advantage of self-care. Other provided services are lash extensions, facial treatments, and brow tinting.
The beauty bar is open Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is located centrally on 430 Grand Av.e in the heart of Oakland. GoodBody’s forum, The Wave, provides guides for Black women to read guides on topics like how to style their baby hair and follow seasonal hair routines to upkeep healthy and full curls.
“The possibilities are endless! We are continuing to perfect the Oakland salon, expand our clientele, bring in new, quality products, and tell the important story of Black people deserving a beautiful space to be themselves,” explains Barnes.