Somewhere along my natural hair journey, I developed what I like to call “salonphobia.” Maybe it was the time I spent an hour taking my hair down and crying because I was trying to undo a cornrow that was the tiniest thing ever (the style was gorgeous though), or when I spent 5–6 hours at the salon and ended up showing the stylist how to do my hair, or when they asked me multiple times how often I flat ironed my hair like I was lying, or when they had to re‐flat iron my hair…anyway…I have this dread when it comes to going to the salon. I don’t have a regular stylist and haven’t been to the salon for over a year. Going to the salon is more of a luxury rather than essential, so to me there’s nothing that you “have to” or absolutely “should” go to a stylist for. However, there are some situations in which it may be beneficial to go to a stylist.
1. When you aren’t prepared to fail
I do all types of things to my own hair, from trimming to (finally) venturing out to bleaching it. However, there’s no way I could do these types of things without realizing that well, it may not turn out how I want because I haven’t trained in these practices and haven’t done them frequently. Also, if you mess up your own hair, you might need to go to a stylist anyway to have them fix it (which in some cases can end up costing more). So if you don’t want to chance it, make an appointment.
2. When you don’t have the skills to do it yourself
There are a lot of natural styles that I can’t do like cornrows, flat twists and box braids. And right now I’m not willing to learn. No matter how many tutorials I watch, I’m like, “My finger muscles aren’t trying to do that!” Therefore, if I want these styles, I need someone else to do them for me, and that’s okay. If I really wanted it, I’d go to a stylist. So, if you have your heart set on a style or treatment that you can’t do yourself, have a stylist do it.
3. When you don’t understand your own hair
Almost every time someone asks me for hair advice, I make the point that all hair is unique and what works for me may not work for them. So it’s important to do some research and figure your own hair out before you embark on more advanced hair adventures. But guess who dabbles in all types of hair? Stylists! They may get a better sense of what your hair can take and how it will react after playing in it a bit. But be a bit wary about this one — there are some stylists that develop a basic sense of common diagnosis that may not apply to you, so make sure they actually look closely at your strands.
4. When you’re impatient
Every time it takes me more than ten minutes to do my own hair, I get a little annoyed (see these Curlformers in my hair? I was 100% pissed after doing that set). I think, “Whhhhyyyy did I do this to myself?” At least if you’re at the stylist, you can sit and read a magazine, perhaps watch TV that they have on at the salon, play on your phone, or simply chill out. I know some people who fall asleep at the salon (I mean…do you!) Either way, you might think it’s better than working your biceps with the natural hair workout. So feel free to go to the salon and sit pretty!
Again, this isn’t me saying that you absolutely have to go to a stylist. DIY is great and there are a lot of free resources out there on the web and in the library. But if you aren’t willing to take the plunge yourself for various reasons, it’s never too late to hit up a professional.
When do you feel you “need” a stylist?