Never in my twenty-something years of life have I felt more upset, disturbed and mortified by a hair appointment! This had to be the WORST hair appointment in my entire life! It all started Saturday morning when I was scheduled to get my hair professionally straightened by a stylist who "claimed" to specialize in healthy natural hair care and blowouts. Before I dive into this story, let me give you all some background details my hair journey.
Three years ago, I kicked the "creamy crack" habit and decided to go natural with my hair. In the African-American hair community, "going natural" is when you no longer use chemical products (better known as hair relaxers/perms) on your hair so that it will relax or lay straight.
While becoming natural wasn't an easy journey, I am happy everyday that I no longer depend on chemical products for my hair. My hair has been the healthiest it's ever been and I truly enjoy my curlicious locks. Additionally, since I've gone natural I've saved tons of money and time that would usually be spent at a salon.
With that said, let's get back to the story! While I've been natural for three years I have somewhat experimented on my own in straightening my hair but never had a professional touch my hair since I've been natural. So today was the day, I was going to give a stylist a chance to work their magic. I was already nervous because I don't trust just anybody with my hair but I said was I was going to be open about the appointment and the experience.
I got there on time and she was just finishing up a client right when I walked in. I waited for like 10 mins then she says to me, "you should really comb out your curls while your hair is dry." This was my first red flag and I challenged her by saying "it's better to detangle my hair when it's wet with conditioner." She said, "oh so are you tender-headed then?" I reply, "not really, it's just that my hair detangles better when it's wet with conditioner."
In my mind, I'm thinking that this lady has it all wrong when it comes to basic natural hair care 101. Even if you claim to have over 20 years of experience in hair, it doesn't mean you really know about MY hair let alone natural hair. After challenging her technique, she decided to just wait till I got in the shampoo chair and this is where things went really LEFT...
I hopped in the chair, she puts the apron on me and she begins to aggressively go to town on my hair. If you know anything about curly hair, it's highly advise that you wash curly hair a certain way (usually in sections) so it won't end up a knotted, tangled mess but no, this lady just scrubbed my scalp something crazy. I was already a little perturbed with her and I felt like it was getting worse as she washed my hair. She then proceeds to say,"see, I told you should have combed your hair out while your curls were dry because now I can't run my fingers through your hair. I asked you to comb it out because you've never had your hair blown out and the cuticle of you hair is really curly so it's going to be difficult and time-consuming to finish you hair." She really TRIED to chastise me y'all! -_-
At this point, I was literally appalled by her comments. It took everything in me not to just hop out of the chair mid-washing and slap her but I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt but it got worse. She then says, "In all my years of doing hair, I've always asked girls who are getting blown outs for the first time as a natural that they comb their curls out while their hair is dry to prevent this issue. I say, "even if I combed out my curls dry, my hair still would have reverted back to curls." She then says, "well, this is really taking up my time and time that I don't have because I have other clients. I book clients every half hour and I'm spending too much time on yours now."
Meanwhile, her noon appointment walks in so I'm sure she's annoyed now. She puts conditioner in my hair and says, "well, since you said it's easier to comb your curls out with conditioner, I'm going to give you a comb to begin that process." She passed me a wide-tooth comb and let me do my own hair. I was floored and I couldn't even utter another word to her because I was going to lose it with her. I quickly hopped out of the shampoo chair and rushed over to a hair station to begin detangling with a wide-tooth comb. The whole time I'm thinking, I'm PAYING YOU to do a service for MY hair and you are asking me to do MY own hair at this appointment? Where do they do that at?
This was terrible customer service and there is just no way in hell that you believe that I'm going to pay for an appointment when the hardest part (detangling) is what you have now asked YOUR client to do their self. She then rushes over to me at her station and I guess calls her self helping me "detangle" my hair. She says, "you detangle the section and I'll braid it so it doesn't get in the way." I didn't say a word. She picks up a brush which I told her not to use on my head and tried to detangle my hair, "I prefer to detangle it with a wide tooth comb, thanks," I say. She starts trying to make small talk and say nice things about my curls but then she proceeds to talk about how once again this process is taking up too much of her time. I don't say a word because at this point I'm fuming. Y'all I would have given her a piece of my mind but I have my reasons as to why I couldn't...just know the thoughts were in my head ok!
We get through maybe like 4-5 sections and at this point, I am so mad with this entire experience that tears started forming in my eyes. I was THAT mad! I just saw CHUNKS of my hair just coming out of my hair I couldn't take it anymore.All that time and hard work to grow health hair just seemed like it was getting stripped away as she raked through my hair with no care in the world. This may sound harsh but I literally felt like I was getting "hair raped" and that just didn't sit well with me one bit. I knew I had to stop it or I was going to walk out of that salon bald and with breakage. She asks, "is there something wrong?" I say, "yes, I had a change of heart, I can't do this." I got up with conditioner and braids in my hair and sat in the waiting area taking the braids out.
Once I was done, I walked out and I didn't pay a dime! I was so livid that I just burst into tears on my way out because I couldn't believe that I experienced such a horrible hair appointment. I called a friend and told her everything that happened (she's also a natural girl so she can relate) and she too was upset that I had to go through such a thing. The more we talked I learned that she too has experienced similar antics from stylists in her area. It's a sad y'all!
This experience has truly tarnished my thoughts and my trust towards stylists who claim to specialize in natural hair! BEWARE my curly girls!
For the record, while I am a huge advocate for natural hair, I have no preference on what people decided to do with THEIR hair. If you relax it, braid it, weave it, wig it, twist it, loc it, color it, cut it, grow it out, shave it...it's YOUR hair and you have the right to do whatever you want with it. BUT if you are ever at an appointment and the stylist expects YOU to do your own hair, LEAVE!