Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Best Ways to Ensure a Happy Styling Experience

 Let's talk about bad salon and/or stylist experiences.  We have all been there.  Ask for a trim and walk out with a full fledged hair cut.  Go to get our hair braided or weaved and two days later have to take it down due to improper installation and unbearable pain.  I've addressed this a few times because I really don't want anyone to be a victim while PAYING to get their hair styled.  There is only one way to ensure you will not be a victim while sitting in the chair and that is to be a part of the process from the consultation up until and during your styling session.  If the stylist doesn't require some type of in person or over the phone consultations...BEWARE.  There are too many different types of Afro textured hair therefore a good stylist in my opinion, is going to want to touch, see, and hear your hair (yes I said hear because damaged hair and healthy hair sound completely different). The consultation process should be viewed by the client as an interview process and by the stylist as well.  I know for a fact I am NOT the stylist for everyone.  I have made mistakes and had to do hair over again based on my own errors or taking on a job where I miss judged and extensions were added to hair that really was not strong enough or healthy enough.  I’ve had to do hair over again based on lack of communication on the client’s part expressing what they wanted. Doesn’t happen often but it has and I made SURE I corrected it.  A good stylist should be humble enough to acknowledge errors on their part, yet still remain confident.  A good stylist will know how to lead and direct a client down the correct path to reach the clients personal hair goals without ego coming into play.   Being proactive and involved is the key to not be victimized in the chair and leaving with a horror story to tell.  Before you book your styling session make sure to ask the potential stylist questions like:

1. How long have you been styling hair?

2. Do you work solely on Afro textured hair?

3. Asses the look and condition of the stylist hair.  If the stylist hair looks, damaged broken, unhealthy and/or poorly groomed, think twice.  If the stylist is wearing braids or weave to where you can’t see what their real hair looks like, ask to see a photograph of their real hair.  If he/she declines or say’s there are none to show…BEWARE.

4. Ask what types of combs are used while styling and if the consult in in person ask to see them.

5. Ask what hair handling practices they follow when combing through Afro textured hair.  A stylist familiar and comfortable working on Afro textures will always comb from the ends to the roots on wet or well moisturized hair.

6. Ask what shampoo, conditioner, and types of styling products are used.

7. Ask an approximate time frame for the style you desire to be completed on your hair.

8. Bring the products you use on your hair to the consultation to see if the stylist is familiar with them and ask for ingredient clarification, even if YOU already know it…the point you want to make sure of is if the STYLIST knows good from harmful ingredients in the products you are using.

9. Ask if they work on children.  I’ve learned through experience not all but most stylist who work on children tend to be much more patient and gentle with hair handling practices.

10. Ask to see photographs of their work.  Don’t settle for one photo either.  In my opinion, good stylist should have multiple photos of their work showing what they have done on various Afro textures, not just one.

11.  If the stylist doesn’t ask you any questions about your hair and/or your personal hair goals, BEWARE.  Although the stylist is the professional it should be their main concern to help you reach your goals by empowering each and every client with knowledge on how to care for their hair in between your styling sessions.

This face is the one you want to have when your styling session is complete...not the first image and again the ONLY way to ensure you will have this expressive smile is to be PROACTIVE from the consultation on...Don't be a victim to poorly trained uneducated hair stylists whose only concern about you is to collect money and move on to the next victim.  Peace and blessings to all!!


Monday, October 8, 2012

Disinfecting with Reetha (Soap Nuts)

Reetha a.k.a Soap Nuts
Frequent cleansing of combs, brushes, hair clips and other styling utensils are a daily part of my duties as a stylist.  One of the state requirements is for all styling utensils to be disinfected by soaking in a solution known as Barbisol.  I was looking for natural ways to clean and disinfect my styling utensils and learned from visiting a YouTube channel called HennaSooq.  I watched a video on how to foam soap nuts and the person in the video stated they are very good for cleansing hair brushes.  I sent her a message asking if she thought using soap nuts instead of Barbisol would still provide the same disinfecting properties and she advised they would and since the soap is all natural using it makes it the better choice.  I'd seen Reetha a.k.a Aritha powder before when casing my local Indian markets on henna and ayurvedic powder hauls, and the henna brand I use has a small amount in it as well, I just never purchased any.  I decided on my last visit to buy a small bag of these ayurvedic soap nuts to see just how clean it would get my styling utensils. They were really inexpensive which was good. I purchased a 3.5 oz bag for $1.99.

The state of Texas mandates stylist must use this method to sterilize all styling utensils.  What alarms me about using the solution is the warning on the bottle:

 Barbisol is so potent you only need 2 oz. per 32oz of water.  Utensils must be immersed in the solution for 10 minutes and then allowed to air dry.

Styling utensils must soak in the Barbisol and water solution for no less then 10 minutes to make sure any blood borne diseases are removed or any other type of contamination is removed.  I hold consultations prior to booking clients so anyone with sores or open wounds would not be seen by me and would be referred to a dermatologist for help correcting the scalp issue. The back of the bottle also suggests gloves be worn and no direct contact with skin or eyes.  Any contact with eye's will lead to irreversible damage.  Now why would I want to use that?   Thank Goodness for soap nuts!!

Benefits and Uses of Reetha (Soap Nuts)*
Cleans and brightens jewelry and metals like gold and silver.
Shampoo for the hair for thickening and to control hair loss. Should be used in moderation for those with excessive dry hair issues.
Treats eczema, psoriasis and is noted for removing freckles.
Removes lice from the scalp with it's gentle insecticial properties.
Used in treating contaminated soil.

Cleanses and removes all fungus and infection from the scalp, or anything needing to be thoroughly cleaned without adverse side effects.
*Direct contact with eyes should be avoided
Laundry Soap

How to make Natural Liquid Soap

What you need:
1 bag of soap nuts- 15-20 for shampoo or laundry strength
nut cracker or small hammer
4 quart stainless steel pot
6-10 cups of water
Instructions: remove inner seed from nut by cracking the shell.  Place shells only into pan of water setting stove on high until water comes to a rolling boil.  Turn stove down to medium setting and allow to boil for 25-30 minutes.  Strain Reetha shells from the liquid soap.  

Shells begin to saponify on contact with water.

 Bring to boil and  turn stove eye down to a medium low setting; allow to simmer for 30 minutes or so.

 Strain shells from liquid. Shells will now feel very soft and flexibale in the inside, slightly firm on the outside shell.

 Allow pre-rinsed styling utensils that are free from shed hair and/or product so soak for 15-20 minutes.

 Store combs, brushes, clips, clamps etc. in plastic container with lid...that's it and that's all!! If you are a natural hair stylist and want to use an all natural cleansing agent for your styling utensils ...this gets the job done!!