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Is Natural Hair The End of Black Salon Culture?

Avatar • Jun 15, 2012

There was a discussion recently on the HuffingtonPost.com about whether the rise in natural hair spells the end of black salon culture. The author, Cassandra Jacson (who herself is natural) says:

Yes, there are salons for natural hair, especially in major metropolitan areas, like Atlanta, D.C., and New York. But the natural journey is not salon focused. In fact, natural hair allows for a certain amount of freedom from salons, which is good because many natural salons cost significantly more than traditional ones. For some who are natural the cost of certain curly salons is prohibitive. In addition, there are regions where natural hair salons are few and far between. The focal point of the natural hair community seems to be online message boards and YouTube, rather than beauty shops.

My experience with salons and natural hair is vastly different from the beauty shop culture. I go to the salon no more than twice a year. Recently, I crossed one of the most powerful color lines in America: I let a white girl do my hair. She gave me a good cut, and I was back on the street in 20 minutes. In comparison, my mother whose hair is chemically straightened goes to the beauty shop every two weeks for a couple of hours. She comes home smelling of oil sheen spray and full of news. She knows everything, from the platform of candidates for the school board, to the proposed sight for the new grocery store, to who was admitted to the hospital last night. She is not just informed; she is engaged, full of laughter, concern, and outrage.

My mother is part of a powerful community that I remember fondly. When I was teenager, my hairdresser’s abusive husband showed up at the beauty shop demanding that she come outside. My mother looked up from her chair and told him to leave. A dozen heads, some in rollers, others dripping with hair dye, nodded grimly at him, before he scurried out. We could not stop what he did at home, but the beauty shop was our space, our time, our community.

Jackson goes on to say:

Right now, the beauty shop is still there, but I am not. I will not take my daughter there because I want her to love her perfect springy curls. She will hear me laugh with my sister about the time that she ‘kissed’ my ear with a hot straightening comb, but my daughter will never know how such a tool of pain could evoke such warm intimacy. I want her to love her hair as it grew out of her head, but I also want her to know a place where tired black women can shame a man with a word and look. But I cannot have it both ways.

Hmmm.… I see what Jackson is getting at. But I think the decline of the black salon has far more to do with intense competition from Brazilian, Dominican and Egyptian salons — which black women are flocking too — and far less to do with natural hair. What are your thoughts ladies?

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Dolores
Dolores
8 years ago

My memories of hair salons are not fond, so I am not shedding any tears for the decline of the “beauty shop culture.” Here’s what I remember: 1. having a room full of unsmiling faces stare at me when I walk in 2. waiting at least 1 hour before I am seen for my appointment 3. listening to negative comments from the stylist about my hair 4. sitting there while the stylist watches t.v., chats, and barely pays attention to what she’s doing to my hair 5. not being happy with how my hair looks 6. paying an obscene price 7. leaving after 4… Read more »

DeeJ085
DeeJ085
8 years ago
Reply to  Dolores

I feel you. I’ve been natural since 2004, but in my whole life I only visited the salon once when I was 18 right after high school to try a new more grown up look. The stylist cut my hair to my chin in a slight bob, and put light brown high lights. I was in that salon from about 10am to 5pm. Even though I got there first, she was doing two or three other peoples hair at the same time. That was my first and last trip, a few months later I started transitioning. The salon is so… Read more »

dh
dh
8 years ago
Reply to  Dolores

I agree. I remember all of that, too, plus 8. The pain of a stinging relaxer 9. Wishing I looked like a white girl so I wouldn’t have to go through this. Who needs it? I suppose I could mangle some of my memories into fond reminiscence if I were so inclined, but it wasn’t worth it. It was just a huge, time-sucking, expensive pain in the butt. The day I realized I had a choice in the matter (I was 18ish) was the day I stopped torturing myself trying to make my hair into something it wasn’t. That was 12… Read more »

LBell
LBell
8 years ago
Reply to  dh

Except for the fact that 1) I never wanted to look like a white girl, 2) I was 30 when I realized I had a choice and 3) it’s been almost 17 years since I went natural, this is me to a tee and this is the primary reason why I went natural. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been to a salon this century. There is no reason why black salon culture has to end. Stylists and salon owners simply need to GET WITH THE PROGRAM. More and more customers are refusing to fall… Read more »

jjleb85
jjleb85
8 years ago
Reply to  LBell

Amen!

Ausert
8 years ago
Reply to  Dolores

Ditto/+1. I didn’t go to salons very much when I was younger. My mother spent every Saturday doing our hair right before church service on Sunday. When I would go to a salon, I hated how long you had to wait and how much you had to pay. Even when I got my locs retwisted at a natural hair salon, I ended up hating the products they used on my hair and hating how much I paid for something I could easily do myself. The closest I got to a “salon” experience was when I started my locs and I… Read more »

Denise
Denise
8 years ago
Reply to  Ausert

Ausert

Usually when a stylist tells you can’t have something it’s because they don’t know how to do it! I had a stylist tell me he couldn’t cut my hair with electric clippers because I had an odd-shaped head and it wouldn’t look right!!!!!!!! :-). The next stylist assured me(I was young and of course devasted about my newly idendified weird head) that my head was fine, cut my hair, and sent me happily on my way!!!! It’s a serious mental experience in the salon.

soulsentwined
soulsentwined
8 years ago
Reply to  Dolores

I agree. I have many negative memories of being bored senseless spending 5 hours in a salon. It was very common for stylists to complain about my hair being too thick and imply that whomever had done my hair before them did not know what they were doing. I’ve had stylist eat meals, work on multiple heads, not start working on me until 1–2 hours after my scheduled appointment, and not show up for my appointment.

Anya
Anya
8 years ago
Reply to  soulsentwined

I have a dream…that one day, black women and white women will be able to visit the same salons to receive quality hair care.

Muriel
Muriel
8 years ago
Reply to  Dolores

+1!! I feel you, that is exactly how I remember it, and I don’t miss it one bit.

albeautiful
albeautiful
8 years ago
Reply to  Dolores

I agree.

Mango
8 years ago
Reply to  Dolores

Amen!

Denise
Denise
8 years ago
Reply to  Dolores

Ooooh Dolores Girl-Talk about it-lol! You brought me back‑I remember those things well. Some salons were ok, but others were just as you described-well said :-)!

Emme M
Emme M
8 years ago
Reply to  Dolores

Things I don’t miss…

Number 8: Eating your lunch while working on me.
Number 9: The smell of burnt hair.
Number 10: Being gawked at by other patrons because “all that hair” was mine.
Number 11: Bootleg movie man hawking his wares.

Auset
8 years ago
Reply to  Emme M

LOL @bootleg movie man. I had someone braid my hair while eating. Disgusting. I have sat around ALL day just to get braids that cost me close to 200 dollars to get. Also, is it just me, or does this “decline of hair salons” sounding a bit like “Blame It On the Naa-aa-a-aturals.”?

Alisha
8 years ago
Reply to  Emme M

Bootleg movie man! Bwahahha! I also got harassed by Bootleg Purse & Jewelry guy!

Randomosity
Randomosity
8 years ago
Reply to  Alisha

Shoot that’s how I was entertained my whole freshman year of college. Each break, got a new purse and a load up on CDs and VHS tapes(yeah I was in college when having a VCR was still cool lol). I worked in the shop as a shampoo assistant, and I remember my stylist was actually good at keeping my hair healthy. She would scold me if I didn’t wrap it correctly, or if I used too much heat on my hair. She never understood why I had a relaxer, and would actually stretch my touch-ups. The stylist prior to her was… Read more »

surVIVEr2801
surVIVEr2801
8 years ago
Reply to  Emme M

lol @ Emme. you go girl, especially with number 10. I mean, dang at least say, ” your hair looks good.” I used to have to speak first and the women would just grunt back. Maybe they were mad about spending 4 or 5 hours there or their beautician eating lunch near them. LOL.

Alexia
Alexia
8 years ago
Reply to  Dolores

Couldn’t have said it better.

Natalie
Natalie
8 years ago
Reply to  Alexia

I agree with you girls, I can recall 3 occasions where I have left a salon without my hair been finished because I couldn’t take the behaviour of the stylists, they act like they are doing you a favour but forget you are paying for a service.
I think the black barber shop will survive but the black hair salon I think there will be fewer of them, there are always people who want to get their hair done. Going to get your hair done should be a much looked forward to treat not something you dread.

Pat
Pat
8 years ago
Reply to  Natalie

The barber shop will survive, glad that I don’t need the services of the quote beauty salon anymore. I don’t miss it and the cost either so glad that I can do my own hair.

Rochelle
Rochelle
8 years ago
Reply to  Dolores

ditto.….LOL!

jen
jen
8 years ago
Reply to  Dolores

I feel the same way

surVIVEr2801
surVIVEr2801
8 years ago
Reply to  Dolores

OOOh Girl Yes, to all of those, but i do think that the decline has more to do with competition and lack of professionalism. I couldn’t wait to go natural because it meant i would have to deal with the stuff that you listed once I learned my hair.( and I will add one: 8. You beautician having to leave due to a baby or being sent to another location to help them start up and your hair going straight to pot and you paying obscene amounts of money just to get it back together again. And 9. searching for… Read more »

devans00
4 years ago
Reply to  Dolores

I feel you Dolores. Every single point. When I got sick of burnt scalps because of #4, I became a natural.

I was a military kid who moved around often until well after college. I was never a local at any salon and I often felt taken advantage of (charged more) because I wasn’t a regular.

So add me to the list of those who won’t shed many tears for the disappearance of the black salon.

BlackOnyx03
BlackOnyx03
8 years ago

You know, I was beginning to think there was “nothing new under the sun” for natural hair blogs to discuss, but this is the first topic in a while where I’ve thought — “That’s a really good point!” When I first went natural 10 years ago, I lamented the fact that there were no natural hair salons in my area. But now that I’ve chopped my locs and am natural again on the other side of the Youtube/blog explosion, there’s much more of a sense of personal empowerment when it comes to dealing with our God-given textures. I was so… Read more »

Annie L.
Annie L.
8 years ago
Reply to  BlackOnyx03

+1

and totally agree about “there’s much more of a sense of personal empowerment”.

Krys
8 years ago

I do not believe it’s the end of the salon culture. While many woman are making the choice to go “natural” there are just as many who are adamant about remaining on the creamy crack (and that is their choice).

It will probably impact the the salons a bit, as I’m sure it has already done with others, but just like the relaxers are trying to appeal to us by throwing around “shea butter” and “olive oil”, I’m sure the salons will try to appeal to naturals in some type of way as well.

Natalee
Natalee
8 years ago

Although I don’t go to the salon, I don’t think black salons are on the brink of extinction, but I do think they’re forced to step their game up and become more efficient and effective. First, not everyone is natural or is willing to be. Despite the rising numbers of natural women, not every black woman wants to give up their relaxers and texturizers. Second, some natural women like to straighten their hair and aren’t necessarily comfortable doing it themselves. My sisters have been natural for much longer than me (over a decade) and prefer to straighten their tresses once… Read more »

devans00
4 years ago
Reply to  Natalee

Where is this magical salon? I’d like to try them out. I’ve never seen such a place in my life.

The last stylists that I went to a couple of years ago specialized in natural hair and was incredibly helpful and efficient, introducing me to products and taking less than an hour”

Tahirah
Tahirah
8 years ago

I agree it is really a Shame for the beauty salons. However like many other businesses. They need to up there game and learn about our natural texture. I no longer attend the salons in fear of them ripping that tiny rat tail comb through my 4b hair. Which is exactly what happened to me when I did my big chop.
I left in pain. And now I’m at shoulder length I would love to go to the salon on those lazy days but I just can’t.

devans00
4 years ago
Reply to  Tahirah

I don’t understand the stylists who insist on trying to pull small tooth combs through natural hair. It’s true that they can do it but I get lots of pain and hair loss from the unnecessary yanking.

Even when I ask for a wider tooth comb, I get ignored as if I don’t know that I’m talking about.

Leslie Mac
8 years ago

I did feel the need to switch salons when I did my big chop as I could tell that my former salon would not have any idea what to do with my natural hair. But, I found a great salon where the owner is a black woman with natural hair that provides both natural and relaxed hair services. I have been going there for about 6 months now, every 5–6 weeks just to get a trim and a good deep conditioning. It is a great atmosphere with women talking about the events, laughing together, relaxed women complementing naturals hair styles… Read more »

Goldeelocks
8 years ago

I don’t think so. I think it depends on what you want and or need which is dependent apon where you’re going to decide to go. I’ve been natural for 12 years and still go to the “beauty” shop. Being natural, I dont feel like I need to go as often as I did when I was relaxed. Now.. granted… I did have some expereinces EXTREMELY horrible experiences close to what the ladies above described that made me not ever want to go back but, once I found a great stylist that was the antiphrasis to to the descriptions above,… Read more »

anonymous
anonymous
8 years ago
Reply to  Goldeelocks

what is antiphrasis? did you mean antithesis?

abi
abi
8 years ago

Hi i love the topic Let me give my POV from France. We do have a corner of black salons and the same issues of not be able to find a good saloon for natural hair. But as the majority of black people are childrens of immigrants, the hairstyle that are still very popular are braids. The good thing with braids is that even if the hairstyler is not good with natural hair, she knows how to braid. so i guess even with the rise of natural hair, these saloons are still full.

Sue
Sue
8 years ago
Reply to  abi

I was going to make a similar point but from a slightly different angle: Long before relaxers and perms became so popular in Kenya, where I grew up, salons were always packed on weekends. Even with natural hair many women came to get their hair braided with extensions, or cornrowed or threaded. I remember those days with fondness. So, just because many women in the U.S. are going natural does not mean salon culture has to die. I think the main reason many natural-haired women don’t go to salons anymore is the prohibitive cost when it’s labelled:“Natural hair salon”.The bad experiences… Read more »

stylistkendria
stylistkendria
8 years ago

I’m a natural hairstylist. I got licensed to be a natural hairstylist. I am also an educator, one woman support system, and textured hair image consultant. I make it my business to be on time, attentive, and supportive of my clients. I, and salon owners like me, am the new generation of cosmetologist. I think a lot of these ladies need to experiance the type of salon I run.

yoco
yoco
8 years ago

Wow. I thought about this the other day when I ran into my former every 4 weeks stylist. While she was very supportive when I decided to ditch the relaxer 3 yrs ago, I think she thought that I would just go the blowdry/flatironed route. While I did do that for about 2 months post natural decision, I soon decided that I wanted to totally embrace my natural hair. I do get my hair flat iron about 2xs per year (length check and just for a different look) but what I find weird is that a Black hairstylist has ‑0-… Read more »

Sue
Sue
8 years ago
Reply to  yoco

Most Cosmetology courses don’t teach about the proper care of natural hair. To make matters worse, many women in the past have used chemicals in their hair, so people were also not learning this at home. It’s no surprise that many stylists have no clue!

yoco
yoco
8 years ago
Reply to  Sue

If only for the $$$$$ Black hair salon owners had better get on board w/ the “natural movement.” If their stylists don’t have the training in styling natural hair it would be profitable to teach them. I wouldn’t mind being able to come into a spa/salon sometimes to give myself a treat and have someone who is knowledgeable about natural hair, as well as uses styling products that are actually good for my hair. But, the days of me coming in on a regular basis are way over.

Jaune Banane
Jaune Banane
8 years ago
Reply to  yoco

I totally agree,my old salon had great customer service but the overbooking did get annoying at times and i just feel i would be charged extra because my hair is natural and i am not a child as they have cheaper prices for natural children. 🙁

My message is to salons,stylists out there reading this is to stay up to date.I don’t have anything against you but I wish natural hair would be understood and treated with TLC! 🙂

yoco
yoco
8 years ago
Reply to  Jaune Banane

Yes salons do seem to charge you more as some sort of punishment if your hair is natural or long (relaxed or natural.” If you have long (anything past shoulder length), thick natural hair like I have, you sometimes get looks of disbelief that you expect to have your hair styled in a salon and stylist whispering to each other to come up w/ some ridiculous price to charge.

Khadiya
Khadiya
8 years ago

I hate going to the hair salon. It has always been the most uncomfortable experiences in my life. The waiting, the awkwardness, the dissatisfaction. I don’t miss it at all.

NashNatural
NashNatural
8 years ago

I do not miss salons and have found natrual ones to be just as reprehensible. Case in point, Nappy Rootz salon in Nashville, Tennessee. A friend of mine had her hair done there and walked out at 10 p.m. from her 5 p.m. appointment — no apology, no follow-up, no price break. They even asked an hour into her wait time if she could come back in a few days instead. she has natural hair and just went to have it twisted up.

honeybrown1976
honeybrown1976
8 years ago

I don’t miss the salons. If anything, it’s the fault of the stylists/owners who let it fall to the wayside with their atrocious practices.

Cacey
Cacey
8 years ago

My last salon experience was amazing. I’ve had mostly good experiences, the handful of times that i went. would i go now? no, because i know that i prefer that my hair be handled a certain way that i doubt the stylists would cater to, so why risk it just to end up disappointed? but i do think that many are becoming progressive. there are still many black salons around here where i’m at, that are traditional and cater to the traditional relaxer crowd…and there are only two natural salons that i’m aware of, but i think most naturals prefer… Read more »

briquelle
briquelle
8 years ago

after leaving Cali to a “large” city in rural Illinois out side of Chicago, i was at a loss without a good beautician. after experimenting with 6 stylist i decided to go natural. i dont have 4 hours to spend in the beauty salon, not getting my hair done for 2 of those hours. the lack of professionalism and inconsideration sent me to the drawing board. i too, go to a white stylist for my trims. and i love the fact that im in and OUT of there. its a family affair because my babies can get their cuts and… Read more »

Nakia
Nakia
8 years ago
Reply to  briquelle

Awwwww!!! Your babies are beautiful! And so are you! 🙂

Annie L.
Annie L.
8 years ago
Reply to  Nakia

+1 very cute!

Alisha
8 years ago
Reply to  briquelle

Your babies are too precious! Love the pictures!

Cherise
Cherise
8 years ago

The better question is, would that be a bad thing if it was?

Ang
Ang
8 years ago
Reply to  Cherise

I personally wouldn’t want anyone to not have their career, but the black salon’s (at least in my area) need to give better service; customer service is lacking.

ladyluo
ladyluo
8 years ago

You could look at it that way but it also provides a great opportunity to now learn how to cater to naturals. But a lot just do not want to since they are so committed to methods that alter the natural state of black hair. It is great to know how to do your own hair which is usually out of necessity for many naturals because of the lack of truly natural hair salons but every now and then it would be great if there was a salon where I could go and get my hair pampered without having to do… Read more »

Landy
Landy
8 years ago

OVERBOOKING– that is the primary reason I do NOT miss going to the hair salon. I am 9 months natural (after a 10 month transition) and the last time I visited a salon was when I received my last relaxer in November of 2011. I used to get so frustrated when I would arrive at the salon and the stylist (I visited several) would be rotating between 3–4 people at one time. I don’t mind waiting, but there is a limit. The only time I see myself visiting a salon as a natural is if I wanted to get kinky twists… Read more »

Denise
Denise
8 years ago

My first experience at a natural salon was great. The stylist was great, and I was floored when she said she wanted to teach me how to do my own hair(what, teach me so I won’t have to always come pay you????). She told me she’d started doing natural hair in a regular salon. She was located in the back half, so her customers all had to walk past all the people getting relaxers. Her main motivation for getting her own shop was to save her clients from the abusive comments from the other stylist and customers-things like “Girl, when… Read more »

Leo the Yardie Chick
Leo the Yardie Chick
8 years ago
Reply to  Denise

Her main motivation for getting her own shop was to save her clients from the abusive comments from the other stylist and customers-things like “Girl, when you gonna come let me do somethin with that head?” Terrible.”

Terrible is an understatement. >=(

Nakia
Nakia
8 years ago

I have wonderful memories of the salon I went to growing up. It was full of strong Christian women, since the owner and her daughter were both ministers. We talked prayed, listened to gospel music, and in general had a good ole time together. I’ll admit that sometimes I was there for hours, but I didn’t mind ’cause it was like visiting with family. My big problem is, now that I don’t live in a major city, there are very few salons that cater to my natural hair, and I am just not one of those people who is very… Read more »

Chels
Chels
8 years ago

I, personally do not miss the salon for the main reason that I spent hours, some a whole day to get hair done. Yes, it was nice to get pampered but not for the time that I would have to spend to get that. I do think that black owned unnatural salons are sufferring b/c of the many face paced yet horrible hair treatment of other ethnic owned salons.

Chels
Chels
8 years ago

Plus I love taking care of my hair 🙂

robbi
8 years ago

With the decline of the black salon comes the rise of natural hair meetups which are way better than sitting in a hot salon for 6 hours for a style that only take 2 hours to do ‑_-

p.s. has anyone seen the Everybody Hates Chris episode about Tanya and hair salons? filled with gossip!

robbi
peacelovenhair.blogspot.com

Alisha
8 years ago
Reply to  robbi

I saw it! Yup!

Nikki
Nikki
8 years ago

I used to go to black hair salons when I had relaxed hair. I had all the problems that many of you have described above. I went natural and still continued to go to a salon but instead it was a natural salon (out of habit). I moved and found a new natural stylist. I would still be with her now if she wasn’t as janky as the stylist in the salon: overbooking, complaining about the thickness of my hair, tardiness, etc. I tried to find a new stylist in my area and the first one I found was Queen… Read more »

Arika
Arika
8 years ago

This is an interesting discussion to watch because I’ve never been to a salon black or otherwise. When I was relaxed, my mom or various members of my family did my hair. (Perm,styles, and everything else.) I’m the only one who gets to touch my hair now since I went natural because as much love and patience my family showed towards my relaxed strands, they have no idea how to handle natural hair. Anyway, it doesn’t look like I missed anything in the salon atmosphere.

Annie L.
Annie L.
8 years ago

Egyptian salons too?! I’ve had great experiences at 3 different natural salons, moderate to expensive, I’d go back. The rest — natural, braid and perm salons — were mainly nightmares REGARDLESS of the price, experience and renown of the stylist(s). Institutions are being affected by a resurgent DIY self-empowerment for everything including hair. I made a headboard a few weeks ago, Lol! And I’m doing things I GLADLY paid others to do in the past. I feel more creative, informed and productive and less like an unskilled, passive consumer only. So I think natural hair, competition and especially DIY culture… Read more »

Andys
Andys
8 years ago

I have both positive and negative memories. My first stylist was a genius but she overbooked. I got frustrated and left. My current stylist is a man. He is wonderful. He has been encouraging me for years to go natural. He salon is a haven. In and out in up to two hours depending on what i want.

dara
dara
8 years ago

I don’t miss salons; I go maybe twice a year for a flat iron, and until I switched stylists, even that was taxing to my patience. Why do you need to make an appointment for a specific time, when your head will not be touched for another 2 hours? The lack of regard for customers’ time and money is rampant in black beauty shop culture; I simply decided to be a smart consumer and save my money and sanity by becoming proficient in doing my own hair. Part of the turning point in my going natural was the realization that… Read more »

IrisN
IrisN
8 years ago

I really enjoyed reading all the comments. I have been natural for over 3 years and would never dream of going back. My 17 year old daughters are 9 months into transitioning. Just thinking back to the days of having my hair chemically straightened I can remember coming home after being on the road all week and heading straight to my hair appointment only to walk in and see numerous other people waiting to be seen. It was obvious my stylist had overbooked. I would tell him that I would be back in two weeks. Even though my hair was… Read more »

tapiwa
8 years ago

Th last time my stylist combed my hair so much she was handing me the breakage! I have sworn to go to her in two strand twists shrunken and short so she can put a weave over them instead.

yoco
yoco
8 years ago
Reply to  tapiwa

I agree that many Black stylist do not know how to handle natural hair and in fact are very rough on the hair. When I was transitioning, for about 2–3 months, I went into the salon and got my hair flatironed. The over shanpooing, leaving my hair with that “squeak” when running my hand over it, and excessive pulling with the comb while wet was a definite no-no for my hair. Now almost 3 yrs in, I only go to the salon once or twice a year for a different look — usually straight because I’m now a pro at… Read more »

Maryam
Maryam
8 years ago

The salon I frequent does it ALL! Braiding, dreading, twisting, weaving, pressing, perming. They have a dominican that does hair in there as well. My daughter and I are both natural and go once a month. Her to get braids and me to get twist. We are still apart of that culture and remain natural to boot!

Maryam
Maryam
8 years ago

[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/grad2.JPG[/img]

Alisha
8 years ago
Reply to  Maryam

Awwww! Love this! Your hair color is great.

coffeeandfingernails
8 years ago

It may be true that black salons are fading, but if it is true I think there are two important things to keep in mind 1) as the post points out, this is probably owing in part to more and more multicultural salons (I got my big chop done by a talented stylist at an Aveda salon) and 2) the decline isn’t leaving a vacuum–think of all of the message boards, blogs, social groups that have formed around the natural hair journey. One thing I don’t think you have to worry about is black women (or any other women for… Read more »

imani
imani
8 years ago

I always hated going to the salon. It was never my favorite place so I went as infrequesntly as possible preferring to do my own hair and I became quite good at it just 2 avoid going! I remember never being taken at my scheduled time, wasting half my saturday in the salon, the smell of buring hair and chemicals, the impersonal way they treat you unless you are getting an expensive service, hating the pain of the perms, the chemy burns, the over dry scalp, hair so super light it blew in my face, annoying the hell out of me… Read more »

Evon T.
8 years ago
Reply to  imani

Totally, Imani. I agree, and I think for me the struggle is getting over the fear that I wouldn’t be able to maintain healthy hair. I don’t care much for “hair styles” per se, but I’d certainly like to be able to cleanse, condition, and detangle my future natural hair with efficacy before taking on the challenge of learning 2‑strand twists etc. I believe that fear is what keeps many of us (people like me) going to salons on a regular… we’re afraid that we’ll do something wrong and all heck will break loose on our hair. But if we… Read more »

Demetreanna
Demetreanna
8 years ago

I never really thought that black hair salons were being affected. I dunno if the “natural hair movement” is making that much of an impact. I myself haven’t had a relaxer (which my mom did) since middle school but during my second through fifth years of college I went to the beauty salon every few months to get my hair pressed because I was tired of braids. Fortunately my experiences were positive; in fact, my hairdresser taught me how to care for my natural hair. Yeah there was waiting but it wasn’t too bad. I’m really not sure if it’s… Read more »

Evon T.
8 years ago

I am still relaxed, but doing research on natural hair before I transition again, which was about 15 years ago. During that time, I was seeing a stylist who specialized in natural hair and even had her own products developed to soften natural hair and keep it at it’s healthy, normal pH. I was amazed at how easy my transition was going, and the spiral sets that I wore during my transition to natural were beautiful. Ultimately, I stopped going to this stylist because she had me sitting and waiting one night for HOURS before even shampooing my hair. My… Read more »

Phoenix
8 years ago

Wow, it seems that MANY ladies here have had very negative salon experiences, which I’m guessing aided them in the decision to go natural. I’m relaxed, and I do not plan on transitioning, but I follow BGLH because hair is hair and I appreciate advice from all corners in my own personal HHJ. Firstly, where I live (Namibia) we don’t call salons beauty shops, it’s simply called hair salons. A beauty shop is a place for everything — hair, nails, facials, make up, etc etc. Secondly, I have had a couple of the experiences talked of in the comments, namely the… Read more »

IsaKe
IsaKe
8 years ago

I am still salon lady. Not as often as when I had a relaxer…every 2–3 months or so. I see lots of naturals in the salon…so much it’s hard to get an appointment. My belief is you don’t stop maintaining the upkeep of your hair due to going natural. It still needs attention and care by a professional. And I can’t stand those you tubers! But at the same token I am an old natural…natural since 1997.

janjan
janjan
8 years ago

I do not miss hair salons one bit and walk by proudl with my natural hair as others are having relaxers and flat irons passed through their hair. I am free, I had more money to pay off my credit card debt and more time on Saturdays to hit the gym and hang out with family and friends. I LOVE BEING NATURAL and I feel beautiful.

Michelle Spice
Michelle Spice
8 years ago

I don’t think so! You have some sistah’s and brothers’ that will still go to a salon. We still need to support our sistah’s and brother’s who are in the business of taking care of our beautiful natural hair, most of them they do own salons. We must get back to our roots no matter what… We can’t keep on hiding and running away from ourselves or our hair and the many textures of them! Our curls are beautiful and soft and we must learn how to take great care of our powerful hair the natural way. I embrace being natural. I… Read more »

Zariyah
Zariyah
8 years ago

So many negative comment about the Black salon…Anyways I have been natural for about 2 1/2 years but I personally liked my salon. My hairstylist told me in advance if she was behind, was honest with me if she could not do an hairstyle, and worked fast for doing three heads at a time and I respect that. Sure there was gossip but no one ever talked down on me and my head and how thick my hair was. My beautician was professional and s sweet lady. I feel sorry for all these women who think negatively about salons…And please… Read more »

Tracee
Tracee
8 years ago

Let me first start off saying that I love this site and have been coming here for a few years for tips and all sorts of knowledge on natural hair. As far as the women on here who have had negative exeperiences with beauty shops, I feel you. Because of my negative situation, that led me to become natural and not depend on anyone to do my hair for me. But I also remember the days when I would go to the beauty shop with my mom and we would just hang out with the other women and gossip and… Read more »

maryse
maryse
8 years ago

i guess i have mixed experiences with the black salons. my mom’s old school salon is where all the gossip happened. once though, another woman told everyone in the shop that she caught my sister sneaking out of her house while she wasn’t home. She claimed that my sis was fooling around with her son. My mom was mortified. She didn’t know what to say and didn’t feel she could defend my sister without knowing the facts. Found out later that it was the wrong “Carol”. NOT my sister. That was an awful memory. Black salons always did my hair… Read more »

EmmeJ
EmmeJ
8 years ago

From what I’m reading the reason why most people are not going to the salon is not due to the fact that they are natural. It seems like it has more to do with finding a good salon. One with good customer service, affordable prices and can provide timely service. Truly, as a New Yorker, there are many salons out there but very few that offer the three things listed.

nikki
nikki
8 years ago

now that i’m natural i don’t go to the salon often. about every 2–3 months to get it trimmed and for when i want to get my hair colored professionally. i think that people just have to find the right salon & stylist for their hair.

Shonda
Shonda
8 years ago

As a stylist, salon owner and a natural girl of 10+ years now, let me say first I LOVE MY CURLS! My hair has been down my back long and 2 inch short all over I love ii love it love it. As a salon owner I don’t believe the black salon is going anywhere because for every woman that a natural hair lover there’s one that one that is not! As stylists and owners we need need to change the way we run business. Over booking, inappropriate conversations and lack of professionalism are all the reasons so many have… Read more »

Ariella
Ariella
8 years ago

I am part of a team conducting research on women’s relationship with their hair. Please take a moment to fill out our short, 3–5 minute survey. We would really appreciate your input. Thank you for your time.

http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/WEB22GF5TZA92S

Tabatha
Tabatha
7 years ago

You can go to the salon and still rock natural I have a friend that does it all the time. She goes for the scalp massages and after the wash her hair dresser lightly blow dries her hair. Just enough so she isn’t dripping out the door. You can have it both ways you just have to tell your stylist what you’re doing. I do. I’m transitioning, so my hairstylist does very minimal to my hair. I need to blow dry my hair that is just the stage that I’m at right now, but he does it on very low… Read more »

Shirl
Shirl
7 years ago

Before I began transitioning again, I used to go to the salons all the time for a wash and set. At first I wanted to show support to the Black salons but with the Caribbean hair sylist. Those places were always loud and the ladies would act as if they did not want to do a customer’s hair. The stylists would always use a flat iron a lot or cut my hair when I would ask for a trim. Or they would specialize in overuse of the weave glue. Then I started going to the Dominican salons and they were… Read more »

Leah James
Leah James
5 years ago

I only go to the salon to get my real hair braided in a braided updo other than that I wash, moisturize , deep condition , and detangle my own hair . I only have to pay 50 dollars for that style and I love it .

Leah James
Leah James
5 years ago

I had a lot of bad salon experiences that’s why I only let them braid my hair and I take care of everything else . I had to change salons and stylists alot of times . Last year this Dominican lady gave me heat damage and a bad hair cut . Lucky I restored my afro curls and my hair grew back . The only person who trims my hair now is my mom . She use to be a hair stylist I also make sure I stay away from the heat . I would only get it flat ironed… Read more »

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