Hair
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5 Things I Learned About Hair Salons After Going Natural

#SalonFail

#SalonFail

If you’re transitioning to natural hair, you may have noticed that trips to the salon don’t seem quite as fun as they used to.  In fact, you might think you’re going crazy and that your stylist no longer likes you.  Well let me be the first to let you know that you are in fact NOT going crazy.

If you don’t live in a particularly urban and happenin’ city, hair salons that specialize in natural hair care are few and far between.  And the stylists employed there have a natural aversion to natural hair (pun intended). My latest encounters at hair salons have taught me a couple of things and have given me ample reason to learn how to do my hair myself:

 1.  You and your natural hair are an affront to their institution

When I moved to the current city in which I live, the first thing on my to-do list was to find a decent salon that could do my hair (okay–maybe not the first thing, but it was pretty high up on the list).  I called about eight different salons to inquire about their services.  As soon as I used the phrase “natural hair,” I received a lot of “oh we don’t do that here.”

As the week progressed, it was clear that I was not going to have much luck. The responses seemed to be getting harsher and one salon’s receptionist actually reprimanded me for trying to “trick” them into giving me a bad hairstyle by coming to their salon with natural hair. Whaa????  I actually felt like I personally insulted her.

2. They don’t like your hair

I finally found a Dominican hair salon that agreed to try a blowout on my hair.  Before they began the process (which really is just a wash, deep condition, and–you guessed it!–blow dry, and flat iron), about 3 stylists just poked and prodded at my hair and scalp like they were trying to determine if it were alive.  I mean–it’s hair.  They’re stylists.  This shouldn’t be an out-of-world experience for them.

3. They act like regular hair care is a chore

The stylist washing my hair complained that she was going to have to deep condition my hair :-/.  Now, I should point out that even when my hair was relaxed, a trip to the salon generally meant getting a wash, deep condition and either a roller set or blow out–that was the regular process.  So color me confused when this stylist seemed bemused by the fact that she was going to have to deep condition my hair…after shampooing it…???  I failed to see the dilemma.

4. Stylists try to convince you that you’re wrong

At the Dominican hair salon (and other general salons), each stylist that worked on my hair would try to convince me that my decision to go natural was the wrong choice and that I should seriously get a relaxer.  Even after I told them that relaxers had been burning my scalp, leaving scars, and causing bleeding, they’d dismiss my statement like “oh there are mild relaxers for that.” Um…yeah…I know….those were the ones that stylists used on me because I have a sensitive scalp.  Guess what? It still left burns!  Again, even after I pointed out some of the lingering scars on my head, they would say “but wouldn’t you like beautiful hair?” 😡

5. They charge you double (sometimes more)

After defending my choice and eventually getting the service for which I came in, I was just glad I got to leave (save the snickers I received from other clients with relaxed hair at witnessing my inquisition).  The receptionist takes my list of services, rings it up and…oh….wait….that can’t be right????  I was pretty sure I was told that a blow out on my natural hair would cost around $30, which I was fine with.  So when I asked the receptionist why I was paying $70 for a wash, condition, blow dry, and flat iron, I was shocked when she responded with “Well…we had to use conditioner on your head…and the stylist had to work harder to straighten your hair.”  Again, whaaa?????

Now, it would be one thing if I walked through the door, didn’t disclose that I have natural hair and they gave me a quote for relaxed hair.  Fine.  BUT I walked through the door, specifically asked how much it would cost for them to work with natural hair.  They looked me over, looked me straight in the eyes and said, “for your hair…$30.”  So why is it that the use of conditioner (which is part of the regular process) would up the ante to $70?  I have no clue.  Neither do they.

Sound off on your experience with salons and your natural hair below. Was your luck better than mine or is natural hair really a stylist’s kryptonite? Would love to hear your thoughts!

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15 Comments

  1. Smh this is all why I don’t bother with natural hair salons anymore. I’m challenging myself to take care of my own hair with every style that I want to explore. The only reason I will go to a natural hair salon is to get my ends trimmed and even with that I’m still surfing youtube videos to be able to do it myself. It’s crazy how so many beauticians are so anti-natural hair!

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    • D'aller Naturel says

      @letmeberae – Exactly! I am learning to do my own hair and skip salons entirely. I just attempted crochet braids on myself (post to come soon) but I’m definitely not able to trim with accuracy yet.

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      • Yea one day I want to be able to do that. I don’t trust myself 100% to do that yet. With any new styles I’m open for trial and error but not when it comes to cutting my hair lol

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  4. Simi & Temi says

    Oh my goodness, what got me was the ‘don’t you want to have beautiful hair?’ Erm a fully functional scalp is enough for me thanks! I got bad relaxer burns too and people are always trying to tell me that I wasn’t doing it right (i’ve been relaxed from about age 3!!).
    And then the doubling of the price when they had already seen you and quoted their price. Please tell me you just dropped $30 and walked away. *side eye* that’s that nerve.
    I don’t go to salons anymore, just actual hairstylists, its easier to tell them what you want from them, and they’re more likely to listen.

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    • D'aller Naturel says

      I would love to say that I just dropped $30 and walked out the door–they certainly would’ve deserved that! But, since this salon took credit cards, I didn’t even bother bringing cash, except to tip (which they didn’t get since I figured the more than double price was their excessive tip). But yes, they had the nerve to imply my hair wasn’t beautiful in its natural state. And even if that were true, you’re right, I’d prefer to have a healthy scalp and wear wigs the rest of my life! lol

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      • Simi & Temi says

        Well at least you know for next time! All these so called hairdressers trying to be sneaky, tut tut.

        X

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  6. I haven’t been to a salon in 5 years and I must say, it is a freeing experience! I’d rather do my own hair than sit at the salon for half a day for a style that only last a few days. Sorry you had such a terrible experience.

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    • D'aller Naturel says

      That’s amazing, Jane! Maybe you have tips on how to trim your ends yourself?? lol. I really need to learn that. 🙂

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  7. In South Africa you get more salons marketed toward natural hair and locs, but I DID go into one salon where the receptionist told me “We don’t do your type of hair” with a grimace on her face. Hello, fellow black woman! This is YOUR hair too, you know, buried under all the weaves and relaxers. The reason I even tried them out was because I couldn’t go to the stylist I had come to trust with my relaxed hair and I did have to go hunting… it was a hair breakup, if you will (“It’s not you, its me…I think we’re just growing apart. Well, my hair is.”)

    I eventually found my happy salon space in a salon where I have to go to a specific hair dresser who specialises in natural hair, but even she was clueless about how to trim it. For afro trims male barbers are the only way!!!

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    • So true, Ekari. We get the most shade from our own black people about our hair as if they don’t have the same hair. It is a pity that even the natural hair specialist didn’t really know how to trim it. This is why I decided to learn how to do my hair. I don’t have as many options as I would in a bigger U.S. city or in Nigeria (which I’m sure is similar to South Africa in number of natural hair salons), so I just don’t want to waste my money at my hair’s expense. Hopefully, more natural hair stylists start to come out. Thanks for stopping by! ☺

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