It’s Complicated: A Black Woman’s Love- Hate Relationship with the Salon

Written by Jasmine Williams, Creator of TheCrowningGlory

I’d like to start off with a disclaimer.  We have all had nightmares when it comes to getting our hair done.  No matter what I did on my part to avoid certain issues, sometimes stuff still happens.  Most of us have also had plenty of pleasant experiences when we left the place with our hair whipp’in.  unfortunately for me, I’ve had more bad incidents than good.  So much so that it was one of the deciding factors of me going natural.  I’m a lazy natural though. I’d like to have someone else do my hair for me sometimes, but I refuse to pay for subpar service.  A lot of times I think issues occurred because of lack of communication, which I take full responsibility for.  I am wrong to assume a stylist knows what I want if I did not explicitly tell her.  I also believe stylist are wrong for assuming a client knows certain things, especially if she has never served that client before.  

 I am not here to bash hair stylist, I just believe there are some things that can be handled differently. For example, please don’t double book me.  When the stylist and I have discussed being early and I am supposed to be the first client… there should be no other clients ahead of me.  I’d appreciate it if stylist would be honest about what they can and cannot do.  It would save both the client and the stylist a lot of drama.  

As a client or customer, there are a few things a lot of us can improve on.   We can be on time as well! No one likes their time wasted.  As a business owner, I would appreciate clients who understand that time is valuable. We also should keep the cancellations and no-shows in check! It is common courtesy to let someone know if you are not able to make an event if we are expected to attend.  This includes our hair stylist.  The time slot that you took could have went to another client, causing the stylist to lose money. No one likes losing money.  Also, let’s not complain about prices and respect the Stylist’s craft.  Obviously, she is providing a service that you cannot or do not want to do, so don’t be that person.  

I used to keep a standing appointment for my relaxer services from the same stylist for years. Back then I didn’t have much choice in the matter, but I never could understand how the stylist would run late every time and keep us all day. I remember bringing snacks to get us through a couple skipped meals.  I always had chemical burns no matter who did it.  You know we like to let that perm “sit”. So, when folks ask me if I would every relax my hair again, I’m like, “Hell Nah!” But I digress.  

One summer I took a break from my standing appointments and let my cousin Tee take care of my hair for the summer.  We kept a very simple regimen, wash condition, moisturize, oil or grease the scalp and then flat iron the hair.  My hair grew like weeds during that time and I got so many compliments. Sometimes less is more and I didn’t know what I was essentially doing was transitioning to natural.

As I stated above stylist need to be mindful of how they are treating their clients.  

Story time:

As maid of honor in my best friend’s wedding, I wanted to take care of all my duties to make sure my friend had the day she deserved.  I also wanted to be on point standing by her side.  I made my hair appointment more than a month in advance and sent pictures for reference.  After looking at the pictures the stylist said she could do it and we set an appointment.  As a client I should not have to double check to make sure we are “still on” but I always do. I checked with her several days ahead of time to make sure we were good.  This is my best friend’s wedding we are talking about.  To my dismay shawty forgot about me and we had to reschedule the appointment.  Ok.  Deep breaths.  

Fast forward to appointment day.  The stylist was not at the shop when I arrived nor was she answering her phone.   When I finally got in touch with her she told me she had to handle a family emergency, and I can completely understand that.  However, when we make mistakes as a business owner, whether its providing services or products, it’s the businesses’ job to fix the problem.  Most of us understand things happen so a little common courtesy can go a long way when mishaps occur.  She was wanting to reschedule, but it was too late at that point.  I’m not going to chase you down to make an appointment, then pay for subpar service.   Bruh I blacked out.  All I could see was a raggedy looking fro or something like that on the side of my best friend and she already let us know how she wanted the hair.  Luckily my little sister came through in a clutch and hooked up a wedding hair style for me.  

A lot of stylist are simply misinformed about natural hair.  

Yeah, I said it. I’m so thankful I did my own research so that I could be informed on what is right.  

I appreciate everyone who has helped mine along the way.  My momma ain’t know how to do hair. Sorry mama. So, I had to pick up a lot on my own and learn from the stylist when I did go.  I’ve never even relaxed my own hair. But I always researched how to grow healthy hair.   I only started doing my own hair most of the time when I went natural in 2012.  

Let’s see how we can make this better.  Almost every time I get in hair talks with women the conversation drifts to salon horror stories.  As I stated above, I can take care of my hair, but sometimes I need a break.  At the end of the day, I love to see women working together.  

Stylist: what are your request from clients to receive a better experience?

Clients/ customers: Tell us ONE thing your stylist can do to have a loyal costumer for life.  

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Jasmine Williams is a wife, mother, natural hair lover, health care professional, (Certified Pharmacy Technician), educator, travel enthusiast and creator of The Crowning Glory.  She is an alumna of Southeastern Louisiana University with a BS in Nutrition. Some of her passions are: My crown (natural hair), family time, reading, crafting, and healthy living.   I also love deep conversations, traveling, great food, and a good concert.  

Her mission is to share the knowledge she has gained along the way during her hair journey and her life journey so that it may motivate and inspire others.

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3 thoughts on “It’s Complicated: A Black Woman’s Love- Hate Relationship with the Salon

  1. Going to the shop can be so nerve wracking! I haven’t been to a shop in years because my sister does hair, but when I did have to go, I hated waiting for hours and being catty. I think hairdressers have to stop double booking. I know they gotta eat but it pushes out other people’s timelines and create some hostility towards others who are getting their hair done.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As a stylist, I do all types of hair. I started out doing natural hair because my hair is natural. For natural hair clients please have realistic expectations for the time that is allowed in a professional setting. If you are a lazy natural and you did not prep your hair for the haircut you want please book your appointment accordingly. Ex: wash, treatment, blow dry, flat iron, and haircut.. not just a simple haircut. For the natural hair clients please be willing to pay the price for the services and not expect a discount because we both have natural hair. It requires work that you are too lazy to do or can’t do yourself time is money. Working commission as a hairstylist we do not get the full $50 for doing all the work so please tip especially if your hair is slayed better than the way you walked into the salon. If you don’t want to be double booked please allow someone else to wash your hair and detangle your hair before sitting in my chair. I know my hair can take hours if I just wash and go and have tangles galore. If you know you need a deep conditioning treatments to start of detangling your hair be prepared for the extra charge for the product and the time. If you don’t want the salon experience do it yourself like I do. (I’m tender headed)


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