Friday, 25 January 2013

Salon Nightmare – Lesson Learned

Over the holidays, I was in one of my very good friend’s wedding. It was a beautiful day and I’m overjoyed for them.

During the preparations for the wedding, I actually decided not to do my own hair and have my friend’s stylist do it. As a bridesmaid, I wanted to participate in all the pampering including getting my hair done. Well, let me tell you that it was one of the biggest mistakes ever.

Although the stylists were black, they had no idea how to take care of natural hair, except to press or relax the hell out of it. I wanted a simple cornrow style in the front of my head and either twist or roller set on the rest. As some of you know, I’ve had trauma on my scalp from my dermatitis, but my hair is in a much better place now and can definitely withstand cornrows as long as they aren’t too tight.

After washing my hair, my hair was pulled and tugged in horrible directions with sometimes a small tooth comb. Let me tell you my hair is not used to being treated like that. No gentleness or care was applied.

When it was time to do the cornrows I was told, that extension hair was needed for a fuller braid. Needless to say I had cornrows in for Halloween and they were fine with only my hair.
Me as a leopard for Halloween - loving my cornrows :-)
I am allergic to extension hair and I would not let them use it. They didn’t like that. I ended up sitting in the chair for count’em FIVE hours only to have flat twists in my hair and bantu knots in the back. Throughout the nightmare, I got comments from the stylists like, “I can’t do it, because I only braid tight – I’m confused”, “since your hair is SO NATURAL, we can’t do this or that” and “because you have a curl pattern this it taking me longer to do” the best one was “if your hair was relaxed, I would be done by now”. CRAZY right. They made me feel like my hair was a nuisance for them and that is not how you should feel when your are paying customer and when they are providing a service. That was the hair prep day.
Needless to say, I finished my hair myself the next day and tried to put as much love as possible into it. I was not happy, especially since I know I could have done a better job myself, instead of paying someone to treat my hair like crap.

My wedding hair - not my favourite, definitely could have been better.

This experience made me realize that doing your research about a stylist is very important. You can’t just let any “black” person touch your hair. You cannot assume that because they look like you that they know how to respect your precious curls.

Lastly, even though the experience was traumatic, it made me realize how proud I am be natural and that it’s important for more black women to let their curls be free. We need to put the pressure on our people who are stylists to learn the proper way how to take care of the natural hair that grows out of our scalps, instead of focusing on learning ways to manipulate our natural hair.  

Have you had a similar experience? Share your story ...

Blessings and Curls, 

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