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A Stylist Speaks: Healthy Hair Practices Were Banned at My Salon

Avatar • Sep 28, 2013

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via Strawberricurls.com

Before I was a hair stylist I was a DIY kitchen chemist just like many of the women who subscribe to the various online hair forums and blogs. I lived for mixing and trying new formulas and posting pictures to my Fotki account to chart my growth. My passion for researching, executing, and achieving amazing results quickly evolved from a hobby to a career. Once licensed it was off to the salon I went. I was looking to marry my years of hair forum mixology and kitchen styling with the professional beauty industry. I quickly found out that in SOME salons this combination would’t mix.

My first real job was as a shampoo and blowdry assistant at a well known hair salon that caters to African American women. Of course I tried to care for the clients as if they were my own. I talked to the ladies as I shampooed them about their scalp health, styling options, and what kind of pillowcases they slept on. Because of the factory style set up of this shop, these ladies were “everybody’s client” so I didn’t feel as if I was stepping on anyone’s toes. Unfortunately I was wrong. The manager pulled me to the side and let me know I was not allowed to fraternize with the clients and to stop using all the “good conditioner” on them. He offered me a watery alternative and said that, even for deep conditions, to only use the “good conditioner” on the people he instructed me to.

That was not the last encounter I had with this particular manager. I was rudely reprimanded for using a heat protectant on the clients prior to blowdrying. On another occasion I got the relaxer brush snatched out of my hand while trying to apply the chemical to the new growth only and was shown to part, slap, and pull. Gently detangling coily, curly natural hair was also frowned upon. And it hurt my feelings to watch improperly detangled natural hair end up on the floor and wrapped around brushes.

Click for the full story on Strawberricurls.com

Whoa. This is crazy! Ladies, what are your thoughts?

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SJ
SJ
7 years ago

This IS crazy! I knew the watering down of conditioners was a common thing, but those other practices just sound terrifying. I now understand why I used to be terrified of my salon appointments…It’s crazy how quickly this stylist was silenced. Just think of a customer like myself who always wants to request things done to my hair differently but is quickly intimidated into accepting whatever the stylist offered. Asking for gentler detangling would make them comb harder. Asking to not yet trim my hair would result in 2 inches on the floor without my consent, all to make an… Read more »

LBell
LBell
7 years ago
Reply to  SJ

Agreed…Not only is it important to pick salons and stylists carefully BUT it’s also vital that you get educated about your own hair so that you know when to question and block certain techniques, products, and even advice.

Ultimately WE are the only true experts on OUR particular head of hair. And over the last few years or so we’ve been seeing the impact of this on the industry: There’s a dividing line between the professionals that get it and the professionals that don’t. The horse is out of the barn and news flash: he ain’t coming back…

stephanieb
stephanieb
7 years ago
Reply to  LBell

So agreeing with this @“There’s a dividing line between the professionals that get it and the professionals that don’t. The horse is out of the barn and news flash: he ain’t coming back…” I am glad that the person who wrote this article did so, because this is proof positive of how some stylists can be, particularly black stylists, and how many are only in it for the almighty dollar! I have been to at least 9 or 10 different stylists since I was a teenager, and honestly, only 2 or 3 were truly “professional” and knew what the heck… Read more »

321
321
7 years ago
Reply to  SJ

I had my hair straightened for the first time in many years by a young woman who was recommended by another natural. It took her nearly 3 hours to straighten my natural hair because she washed and conditioned pretty gently, steamed and deep conditioned my hair, then blow dried my hair in very small sections with a soft round brush. She then went over the hair pretty quickly with a flat iron. For her 3 hours of work, I paid 55.00. Meanwhile, in the chair next to me another stylists whipped through 3 clients during that same amount of time… Read more »

ADRZ
ADRZ
7 years ago

wow… manager better have reasons in explaining why she ain’t allowed that

TWA4now
TWA4now
7 years ago

The article is old but was updated. I do believe things like this happened and still is happening! Not all but most salon either don’t know, don’t care to know, or the ones that half way do now charge so much and insist you do what they say not what you want done to your hair. A lot of them simply aren’t taught nor want to learn…again not all but most. Most say (or the ones I visit) there isn’t any real money in natural hair. If they can’t get the person in a service like a weave or relaxer… Read more »

Flynfab
Flynfab
7 years ago

That’s really too bad, I hope she works in a better situation now. This article reminds me why I’m DIY. I followed the links to the page about her and her services and although she seems to know what she’s doing as a stylist, her prices are still pretty expensive even for Chicago, which is where I live too. Good luck to you hun, but I can do my own flat twist updo for free…

taylor
taylor
7 years ago
Reply to  Flynfab

seriously!! $70 for a twist/braidout??? girl, bye…
I actually follow her on instagram and she’s really good with presses/cuts/color, but the prices on those natural styles..just, no…

not trying to knock her hustle, but i think she’s charging higher prices b/c its sort of a monopoly on natural hair due to lack of adequate stylists, but that’s really just not ok to me…

Jack
Jack
7 years ago
Reply to  taylor

$70 for a twist out/braid out sounds cheap compared to the prices I’ve seen in salon. That price would only get you a shampoo.

Netta
Netta
7 years ago
Reply to  Flynfab

Her prices are more expensive, but you also have to look at the fact that she’s constantly educating herself and teaching others what she knows. Most stylists that I run into (I work in a salon, btw but I’m not a stylist) won’t look into more education unless it’s time to re-certify for something. She does a lot of things other stylists won’t do and will educate you about it 100% of the way through.

EmJay
EmJay
7 years ago
Reply to  Netta

Y’all think that’s bad. I’m newly natural and was looking at some of the rates at salons in the NYC area for my big chop. Some of these salons are charging almost $300 for an updo and 100–200 for a twist out. I was floored! Why pay someone that type of money when I can do it myself with the same (sometimes better) results.

Shak
Shak
7 years ago
Reply to  EmJay

$300 for an updo???? Uh, heck no! DIY for life! I’d rather buy a couple of movies and snacks to occupy me while I spend the same amount of time doing my own hair (and in my PJs too!).

Lauryn
Lauryn
7 years ago
Reply to  Netta

They’re charging that much because booth rent in NYC, LA (where I live) and other major cities is OUTRAGEOUSLY HIGH… just like regular rent. With that said, yes, at a certain point I would definitely do it myself and figure it out after a couple trial and errors instead of pay that kind of money. I’ve never liked paying for styling anyway — only cuts, color, and chemicals (although we can shorten that list to only cuts now).

Tracy Jones
Tracy Jones
7 years ago
Reply to  Lauryn

It’s funny because people were looking at me sideways for paying $90 for a blowdry and trim… BUT, the woman who does my hair is a true professional and I would be willing to pay more for the wonderful service I get.

Part of it is you do get what you pay for when you understand what it is you need!

Hair Salons
7 years ago

its very stunning hair styles…

gapch
gapch
7 years ago

not all salons are bad. can the next article posted on salons or beauticians actually highlight some of the goods ones that exist?

clar esa
clar esa
7 years ago
Reply to  gapch

Good hair salons are few and far between. And the “good” ones are usually too expensive. Its unfortunate that even salons that cater to our hair don’t take care of it cause “there is no real money in natural hair”

...
...
7 years ago
Reply to  clar esa

I think a lot of these natural hair salons are opportunists. Many of the natural hair stylist do not know much about natural hair themselves. Their idea of caring for your natural hair is wash, condition, blowout,…add extentions. 2 years ago I went to a “natural” hair salon in my area. She didn’t know what to do with my hair. I left there with dry frizzy hair. I researched this site for weeks before going. Looked at the pictures of former customers, read reviews. It wasn’t untill after I had left their salon I got back on the site and… Read more »

Nappy4C Rocks
Nappy4C Rocks
7 years ago
Reply to  gapch

do they exist?

gapch
gapch
7 years ago
Reply to  Nappy4C Rocks

of course…

ayisha
ayisha
7 years ago

WOW.….If i find myself in such an unpleasant and bad customer care situation.
I will consider opening my own natural hair care saloon. Offering the wrong service to people when you know is wrong, is heart breaking.
OPEN YOUR OWN SALOON, DO IT TEN TIMES BETTER AND DO IT WRIGHT.

Knotty Natural
7 years ago
Reply to  ayisha

You will hair the very first Natural Hair Saloon, so that alone will get ladies to do-see-do in the door!

Netta
Netta
7 years ago
Reply to  ayisha

She’s working on it! 🙂

Annie
Annie
7 years ago

Unfortunately, this article speaks the truth. I live in the Philly area and the natural hair salon market here is horrible! I have had to walk out of a hair salon because she wanted to use a fine tooth comb to detangle my hair. At another salon, the stylist got a major attitude when I asked for a roller set instead of a press and curl. I am soo done with salons. After I stopped going to “professional” hairstylists and learning what works for my hair, it has flourished.

pw
pw
7 years ago

I feel more frightened of hairdressers now then when I was a little girl! SMH…but like I mentioned in another post a lot, not all, but a lot, of black stylists are going to make themselves extinct. Remember black nail professionals and how few there were of those? And in my case how SLOW my girl was and I had to make an appointment then wait for her to eat, etc? She’s been gone!! And asians took over the market. And like black nail professional its just a matter of time before many of our black stylists are out of… Read more »

...
...
7 years ago
Reply to  pw

I always wonder why don’t we expect more from other black people. We complain when other races treat us poorly, but then some of us get into places of authority, and then want to start treating their black customer like they aren’t any goood either. Let a white customer come in though…you’ll hear the “white” accent come in. “Hello ma’am may I help you” and trying to make sure they have everything they need.
When they lose our business then they want to complain how black people do not support black business.

ScriptTease
ScriptTease
7 years ago
Reply to  ...

Why do we that BS. Always trying to make white folks happy.

Chanda
Chanda
7 years ago
Reply to  ScriptTease

It’s about that money (and the tip).

Nappy4C Rocks
Nappy4C Rocks
7 years ago
Reply to  ...

it’s sad, will only get worse unfortunately

stephanieb
stephanieb
7 years ago
Reply to  ...

You guys are so right! Sometimes I swear we are our own worst enemies. We let each other get away with any and everything, but know good and well that if a white person did the same thing to us, we’d be livid.

Netta
Netta
7 years ago

This is the only Chicago stylist I let touch my hair. Point blank period! Yes, her prices are a little more expensive, but considering that she is continuously educating herself on her craft and teaching others one on one and through events, I will gladly splurge on her care. People don’t seem to realize that the higher pricing comes from superior product usage, passion, and know-how. You can tell she loves what she does, because she will definitely educate you on what needs to happen for your hair to flourish your entire appointment.

ScriptTease
ScriptTease
7 years ago

…and that is why I don’t go to the Salons. My hair is relaxed, long, and healthy. My last encounter at the salon was around February. This guy styled several relatives, which was nice, so I decided to try him out. After he shampooed and conditioned, he blow-dried it with the hand-held, and he was a little rough. Next, he flat ironed it, and then trimmed it. Then he used the curling iron to style it (although it fell about an hour later…but I digress). My hair shedded through a month of shampoos. I realized the styles I’ve seen of his… Read more »

Lydia
Lydia
7 years ago

This is why I only trust my hair to to myself and my mother! Because of a bad stylist, my hair went from virgin and waist length to shoulder length and relaxer damaged. Thanks to my mom, its past APL and texlaxed, healthy and on its way back to WL!! Never again will I trust a stylist.

yahya
7 years ago

ths why I, and many healthy hair care girls, don’t like to go to the salon. you can’t trust them ad they only care about styling the hair, not the health. too bad it’s hard to find good hair salons. thanks for sharing!

http://pocahontas-secrets.blogspot.com/

Ray
Ray
7 years ago

I’m sorry but washing and conditioning are the basics of hair care, and if you can’t wash and condition your own hair, meaning you know how to do it yourself, then something is wrong. I understand letting a salon do some creative and intricate style, but take care of your hair…I wouldn’t expect anyone to care for my hair more than I would. Youtube, forums and blogs are great education hubs for us natural ladies to learn how to do our own hair. I feel like you can’t complain when you let someone else (who is in the business of… Read more »

Sweetie 06
Sweetie 06
7 years ago
Reply to  Ray

Right you should be able to do the basics of washing and conditioning, but what many, many people feel is that they do in fact just want to go to a stylist for more intricate styles (updos, cuts, straightening, etc), and in the process they are getting the rough-and-tough treatment (fine toothed combs, harsh blow drying, etc.), and inadequate washing and conditioning. Besides, some people (not me) can afford the luxury of getting their hair done by a stylist every 2–4 weeks and it would be nice if they had a large pick of stylists who REALLY took care of… Read more »

Wlawson
Wlawson
7 years ago

I had a stylist who was a master at her craft buttttt I had to cut her loose. Because going to her because and wash and set could be an all day event. She had to eat , answer of cell phone, give her kids money etc. she lost a lot of good clients. We when see each other, we all say the se thing. “She’s a damn good stylist “but so unprofessional. It’s a shame!

Tisha
Tisha
7 years ago

This is why I stopped going to salons even when I was relaxed. I remember when I had my very first relaxer the lady let my whole scalp burn and she cut almost half the length of my hair and justified it as a trim. I did try a couple of other salons after, but I never liked the experience : from the waste of time, to the generic/bad quality products and the rough combing,blowdring and overcutting. I have had enough so, I decided my mom and sisters would be the only ones to touch my hair. Let me tell… Read more »

Deedeemaha
Deedeemaha
7 years ago

I trust myself. If I cut to much, I did it. Last time I went to a salon (4 years ago) I ask for a deep condition. She said she does not charge extra. Great! She used Aveda Damage control. The only thing is I have used their products at home. The bottle said Aveda, but everyone knows Aveda products have so great smell. I said, hmm. Don’t smell good like Aveda. She went to the back for another bottle. My nose was right this is Aveda. Bottom line you may not pay, and you may pay extra, the question is… Read more »

TT
TT
7 years ago

This is why I have not been to a salon since I went completely natural.(3 years)

Kinky me
Kinky me
7 years ago
Reply to  TT

This is also the reason I have not been to a salon since I went natural 9 yrs ago. I do my own trims, washes, and deep conditions. All it takes is one trip to a bad stylist and u r suffering some sort of set back. This could be to negligence or just plain spite on the stylists part. Not all stylist are bad of course! But I’d rather not take my chances

lolawantz
lolawantz
7 years ago

I’m not surprised. It’s sad, but I’m not. We were kitchen people in my house. My hair was washed and pressed by my mom in the kitchen and it grew long and thick. But she took care of it. Hot oil treatments, hair masks, conditioning treatments. When she went to work full time when I was 8, she took me to get my first relaxer and my hair fell out. My mom never forgave herself. I couldn’t even JOKE about it. We kept relaxing it at home and it was always shorter than it could have been but convenient. My… Read more »

Katelin
Katelin
7 years ago

This is exactly why I will NOT EVER be going back to a regular salon, unless it is fully investigated. I remember the horrors of getting my hair done before I was natural at the salon I used to go to and it reminds me of what she is talking about. And now that my hair is natural and growing I do NOT trust these people with my hair. I will keep on being home beautician for now

darkchildlovethyhair
7 years ago

I thought it was only in nigeria that hair stylists don’t know jack about caring for natural hair or any kind of hair.Its amazing what I have learnt from you tube and black hair care blogs in the 9mnths since I began my HHJ.I don’t think I will ever go to a salon again except to braid and I WILL speak up if I feel my hair is being rough handled.I’ll continue to care for my hair in my bathroom!

Moni
Moni
7 years ago

I LOVE your username!I’ll be going to Nigeria next week and the only thing I’ll let stylists do to my hair is install mini twists without using extensions. I know they might complain about my coarse hair and tell me I need a relaxer but am prepared to give them lip.

lisa
lisa
6 years ago
Reply to  Moni

um are you Nigerian? or have you ever been to Nigeria?

lisa
lisa
6 years ago

are you Nigerian?

Nakita
Nakita
7 years ago

I’m 19 and I remember when I went to get my first and only weave done early this year by a well known hairdresser on my island. I was so happy I wasn’t going to get a blow out or anything. She had just finished washing someones hair when I arrived and she didn’t part the woman hair or anything she just started ripping that dryer with the attachment in the woman’s hair. Hair was flying everywhere. I was mortified especially since I just had learned about heat damage. When she was doing my hair had to keep reminding her… Read more »

wow
wow
7 years ago

It’s nice to hear from a stylists perspective.

The key if you go to a salon is communication. If they are unwilling to listen leave as if I pay I expect the person to listen. No drama needed jus explain you are not confident that your wishes will be adhered to so you will not be continuing this styling session. 😉

Tiffanie
Tiffanie
7 years ago

Exactly why I dont and will NEVER do salons. I’ve only been to a salon 2 times in the last 3–4 years…now I remember why. I had a beautician who specialized in natural hair, sell me a really expensive shampoo, that was “great for natural hair”. Later I read the ingredients and realized it contained sulfates. I was duped, and done with salons. They don’t care about your hair. They only care about money. Total rip off.

Valerie
Valerie
7 years ago

Another alternative find a happy medium. After hearing this I’d opt to bring my own supplies or blow dry my hair in advance. Some styling I just cant do on my own

Erika
Erika
7 years ago

I prefer to wash, detangle, and moisturize my strands myself because I went to a natural hair stylist who, don’t get me wrong she gave a great style but she knew nothing about caring for the hair itself! After she washed it she went straight for the blow dryer and comb with no heat protectant and to add insult to injury she didn’t add leave in conditioner nor oil before she started twisting my hair. Did I mention she braids WAY too tight? I went in for a twisted fauxhawk and walked out with a looking Chinese with a face… Read more »

Hadassah
7 years ago

This is awful! In Nigeria, the problem with the stylists is that they are still stuck in the ‘dark ages’ concerning haircare but in this case, the stylists do know about healthy hair care practices but refuse to implement them just to save a buck…this is the worst! They should realise that customers today are becoming more aware of healthy hair practices and I think if we keep demanding and insisting that the “good products” be used on our hair rather than sitting down passively on the chair, they’d begin to wake up! Since these rogue salons are trying to ‘save a buck’.…well… Read more »

Nkem
7 years ago
Reply to  Hadassah

Well said.I do this every time, that is go with my own hair products. And in addition to that, i tell them how i want my hair to be treated during the washing and styling process.

Tara Kamiya
7 years ago

This is why they going out of business!!Idiots

PMS
PMS
7 years ago

Am I the only one who feels like names and places should be called out. Bad behavior is only corrected when a light is shown upon it.

Ashley McFarland
Ashley McFarland
7 years ago
Reply to  PMS

This is really stomach churning to hear that the salon out sister was at was being reprimanded for actually doing her job… “Watery alternative” “only you the good stuff if you’re deep conditioning” the insult. I feel hurt that our own society and culture won’t look out for our well being when it comes to hair care… It’s also called customer service.. Where is that?!?! This is exactly why I bring my own hair products IF I want to go to the salon and that’s rare… ????????
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/image-47.jpg[/img]

Elle
Elle
7 years ago

I can SMELL that picture, Lol! Memories.….

neli
neli
7 years ago

No big shock here! We knew this ladies, many of us gave up on salons years ago! That why this site and youtube blew up on haircare. Ppl were fed up with the bs and salons and searched and investigated healthy hair practices! We appreciate this whistleblower!

Sassy
Sassy
7 years ago

This is why I stopped entrusting my hair to stylists. After 2 awful salon experiences with 2 different people who claimed to know about natural hair care, I just stick to doing my hair myself.

Asha
Asha
7 years ago

I say Expose them. find some other natural hair junkies and start your own shop.. You have the power.

Maria V.
7 years ago

Time is money. They don’t want her to be careful because it’ll take a longer time. THAT is why I do my own hair…I can take all the time i want!

Chanda
Chanda
7 years ago
Reply to  Maria V.

True. They don’t have time to gently detangle hair or blow-dry hair in sections all day. They trying to get it over with before they move on to the next head.

Nkem
7 years ago

I almost cried while reading this. What? Well for them its business.“Make the money”.

Monica
7 years ago

And this is why I do not patronize salons anymore. If you visit a “blow and go” salon you will be out in less than 45 minutes, but your hair will be shredded from heat damage and rough handling. If you go to a “love and care” salon, cancel all plans because you will be there for 16 hours.

Hairdresser Hawthorn
7 years ago

They are craftsmen and craftswomen just like any other trade. They will either excel at their speciality or not. It depends on how much they love what they do, how much training they’ve had and whether or not they want to continue working in this field.

fatimah
fatimah
6 years ago

Just like any other industry, we expect integrity but this is just not the case.Their businesses will continue to suffer until they change their ways. God is just.

Pseudonym
Pseudonym
6 years ago

I feel like too many stylists have become so accustomed to working with fake hair, that they don’t know how to care and maintain real hair that’s not going to be replaced in a few months. It’s so bad that I have to detangle my hair myself b/c so many seem to just snatch through my strands with the comb as if I’m not going to have that same hair 6 months and a year from now. Also, b/c the most lucrative clients usually pick very fancy hairstyles and go regularly, a problem that I’ve always had with hairstylists (even… Read more »

thembelihle
thembelihle
6 years ago

Wow, all your experiences remind me of all the bad salon trips i had. I had a hairstyles wash my hair with and all purpose shampoo and then without putting any type of hair product on my 4C hair rip through it with a blowdryer. And that was my first blowdry in 3years. I had to cut my dreadlocks in January because i had a stylist decide to start his own partings all though my hair. I had to inches of loose hair everywhere and no choice but to BC. Ive decided to braid and treat my own hair until South… Read more »

naturalintellect92
naturalintellect92
6 years ago

I think some of these “never again” comments are alarming. Do your research before you try any salon, ladies! Nothing is wrong with going to a salon, the key is just finding the right ones with the right beauticians behind the chair. Going to a good salon can do wonders for your hair, you just have to find the good ones. Also know that if you are expecting good styling + good hair care its going to cost you. Don’t go in a place that offers a 25$ blowout and curse all salons because they didn’t treat your hair right.… Read more »

Kristen
Kristen
5 years ago

Even though I totally agree with you, I just Googled 2 salons I had bad experiences with and they were given good reviews. I don’t know if they were paid off (ha!) or what, but one of them isn’t in business anymore. Or you may even get a horrible stylist but the salon overall is a good one. Sometimes you just have to take the chance.

Leo the Yardie Chick
Leo the Yardie Chick
6 years ago

I can believe it. Like with many other businesses, someone aim to please customers while others just care about getting a great deal of money for a pittance of service. There was a salon here that was shut down after an investigation into why so many clients were losing their hair. What were the hairdressers doing? Washing their clients’ hair with DISHWASHING LIQUID.

Pure Estrogen
6 years ago

Wow. This is so sad. How can you intentionally damage someone’s hair?

Kristen
Kristen
5 years ago

I couldn’t read all of the comments but it’s amazing to see how many of them start off with “…and that’s why I stopped going to the salon…” or “I stopped going to the salon because…” Way too many of us have this same experience and that’s sad! I’d love to put money back into the Black community but it’s a shame how we don’t even know what to do with our own hair other than weave it up or perm it. Also, since going natural a few years ago, I’m putting more money into the Korean pocket. They are the… Read more »

Antonia
Antonia
5 years ago
Reply to  Kristen

That’s cause Koreans know whats up. Their beauty supply stores have my quintessentials

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