#NaturalHair Salon Tips
I'm in Nigeria at the moment and decided to go to a salon yesterday to have my hair washed and steamed (deep conditioned). It was a small salon and it was obvious that the woman did not really have experience with Natural hair. I sat in the chair and took my hair out of the high bun it was in and the first thing she tried to do was comb my dry matted hair. I stopped her immediately and told her to go ahead and wash it and de-tangle it in sections once the conditioner was in. She graciously complied. The whole process took a little longer than normal but my hair is clean, moisturised and it hasn't started breaking so mission accomplished.
Salon trips bring on bouts of anxiety for a lot of naturals. We feel like no one else is going to be able to take care of our hair the way we do because no one else knows our hair they way we do. You worry that you may leave the salon with damaged hair if your stylist doesn't know how to work with natural hair. I've even read a story about a woman who went to get her hair done and ended up with relaxer on her hair in the guise of a 'special softening conditioning treatment'...
I get very anxious myself. Which is why I thought it might be helpful to share some tips/ideas/things I do when I'm going to a salon. Some apply to salons that cater to women with natural hair, some apply to salons more generally.
- Don't be afraid to speak your mind. Tell the stylist exactly what you want. Guide them through step by step if you have a process that already works for you. Most salon disasters and mishaps are the result of people watching the stylist doing something wrong and keeping quiet. It's your hair and your responsibility at the end of the day. A friend of mine recently went in for a trim and ended up losing abut 5 inches of hair. Speak up if you can see that something is wrong and speak up if you're not happy with the end result.
- You can bring your own products if you want to. If you're trying to avoid silicones and/or sulphates and you're not sure the salon you're going to offers products that don't contain these ingredients, bring your own. It requires a little extra effort on your part but it might make things easier for you in the long run. If you want to use your own conditioner or whipped butter mix, take it along with you. If you have special Ghd flat irons (straighteners) and you prefer them to the salon ones, ask the stylist to use them. Again I say, it's your hair.
- If you've had any issues with your hair or scalp; dry, itchy, damage, breakage etc, let your stylist know before you start. Keeping them informed may give them a better idea of what your hair needs.
- Don't rush the stylist. Give yourself plenty of time. This will reduce the chances of them cutting corners.
- Make sure you have their undivided attention. If your stylist is doing 3 other people's hair, it means they're distracted and they could make a mistake. For this reason I try to visit salons during the day on weekdays. Saturdays are a nightmare. Go when it's quiet if possible.
- ASK QUESTIONS: Ask what products they have, what products they're going to use. Ask them how they plan to use them. Ask then what the products do. Ask ask ask. If you're unsure of anything, ask. You should be completely aware of what is happening to your hair. Use it as an opportunity to learn more about the hair care process.
- Don't forget to be polite. Yes, you should be assertive, yes you are a paying customer and the stylist is providing a service but there's no need to be rude. Be patient and make sure you explain yourself clearly.
- Be clear on how much everything will cost BEFORE they touch your hair. It's the best way to avoid any nasty surprises at the end.
So that's it! Some quick tips that might be useful if you need to go to a salon. I still prefer home care. I can do everything at my own pace with my own products, my own way. But every now and then you might want a break. Hope this helps!
That's all for now folks!
Stay healthy, stay happy, stay blessed