Hi there kinky krew!
If you’ve been a reader of mine for a few years, you’d know that I had a TERRIBLE Salon experience about 3 years ago, when visiting a local hair stylist who claimed to specialize in natural hair.
At this time in my hair journey, natural hair was just becoming super trendy. So we began seeing more and more stylists try to capitalize off us newly naturals eager to make a quick buck. All of a sudden every beauty salons had “Specializes in Natural Hair” plastered across their shop doors but 9 times out of 10 they had no training and knowledge to back it up.
Most times, when a stylist says she specializes in “curly”or “natural hair”, that doesn’t always mean 4C hair, it’s our job to go the extra mile to find out if their salon is inclusive to all curl types — or not.
So with the stage that i’m currently at in my hair journey, I thought why not share a guide that would’ve helped my former self and also any of my fellow 4C naturalistas when choosing a stylist
1. Research! Research! Research!
Who does things these days without doing the proper research? Pull up their Instagram, look at yelp reviews – do whatever you need to do to make yourself feel comfortable. This is the first step in weeding out the stylists who aren’t familiar with kinky hair. 9 times out of 10 their social media platforms will say it so they don’t have to.
2. Phone Consultation
Now this is something I wish I’d done, and plan on doing if I ever visit another hairstylist again. Call the stylist and ask her process on whatever service you plan on getting done. Getting a blowout? Allow her to walk you through the entire process and if she isn’t specific, ASK QUESTIONS. Ask her what tools she uses and what setting her flat iron is typically on. If she’s combative, it’s on to the next. If you’re a bit shy just remember this is a service you’re paying for and you have the right ask these things. IT’S NOT JUST HAIR and the worst thing you can do is waiting until you’re in the chair to find something out.
3. Detangle Before
I know this might be a little extra to some, but detangling before your service will save you and the stylist some grief. Simply doing a light detangle with some leave in and an oil before could be the difference between a simple salon visit and a natural hair horror story.
4. Speak Up!
I know we’ve already done our research, had our phone consultation and pre-detangled – but what if you see your stylist reach for that fine tooth comb to detangle your soaking wet hair, what do you do?! SPEAK UP! I know it’s easier said than done, but think of all the progress you made along your journey, and you’ll regret it if you sit in silence!
5. Make Sure to Use Protein
This tip is if you just want to be extra cautious against breakage or if you’re getting a chemical or heat service. It’s best that your stylist gives you one during your visit but just to be on the safe side, make sure your last wash included a protein treatment.
Remember, speak up ladies!
Share any stories, tips and comments down below!