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.12. MOST IMPORTANT!: DO NOT BE AFRAID OR TIMID. SPEAK YOUR MIND WHILE YOUR HAIR IS BEING STYLED IF TOO MUCH ROUGH HAIR HANDLING IS GOING ON OR BRAIDS, WEAVES, STYLES IN GENERAL
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!!