Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Bad Things Do Happen at The Hair Salon: The Coily Hair Edition

"So here's my dilemma, do I say anything--or do I let her continue to destroy my hair--and all of the progress that I've made so far? What would you do?"

 Photo Credit:

If you've ever had to ask yourself that question while at the hair dresser, then this post is for you.

So today is a follow up to yesterday's post where I vent about our salon visit. Yes, the plot thickened, and I can honestly say that I was "ready" for the usual crud that goes on in these salons.

You see, unfortunately, learning about techniques and products that address all of the different types of curly/coily hair is NOT required training for a salon to be able to accept naturally coily haired clients. That being said, much goes on that makes absolutely NO SENSE in the curly world.

I have a friend who washes, conditions, and detangles her hair BEFORE she even steps foot into a salon. That way, all that's left to do is use setting lotion and roller set her hair. This master plan helps her to avoid damage to her ends, avoid lots of pain, and avoid regretful tomorrows. She says they always give her the "stink eye", and some stylists are straight up rude to her for doing this. I don't see why anyone should care, she's still paying good money. If there's any problems with the roller set (such as product build-up, hair not cleansed properly)--they can always let her know that was done by her.

I wish I had done this before I went to this salon. In all actuality, I wish I had never went to this salon. Going to a Dominican Salon in a "country" part of town is most definitely risky business. How much practice they've gotten with caring for coily hair may not be suitable for the best experience. I don't want a stylist "practicing" on me--while acting like they are a "pro".

That's exactly what happened in this instance. 
Not only could this stylist not manage my length, thickness, and tightly coiled hair--she could not detangle it, nor could she lay it down on the roller. By the time she wrapped a big mess of hair around the roller, the section was dry and puffy. You WILL NOT get a proper "set" with dry hair--it has to be soaking wet. So by the time I got from under the hair dryer, my hair was still a bit thick, and ashy--not sleek and bouncy as a wet set is supposed to be.

How Disappointing.

In regards to the improper detangling (using a wide tooth comb, starting from the roots, ripping and pulling), what did I do, you ask?

I asked her if she had a paddle brush. When she showed it to me, I asked her if I could show her an easy way to detangle my extremely curly hair. She was not happy, but I did it in a kind way so as not to "embarrass" her. I was the one being embarrassed by the way she was looking like my hair was breaking off her arms.

I showed her how to wet the hair, start from the ends and slowly work the way up the hair shaft. She seemed to have filed away a new tool for detangling coily hair in her mind--but she definitely wouldn't let me know that I knew better than she did. After all...she's the professional.

Would YOU take the brush away from a "professional" and detangle your hair? Or, would you sit quietly and let the stylist finish detangling (no matter the breakage, pain, and destruction to your hair). 

NOT ANYMORE. I sat by quietly for too long, while letting these professionals damage my hair. Most of the time I had to go home and cry (or be very upset). This applies to relaxer applications, hair trims that turn into haircuts, bad color jobs, and much much more. This is not limited to coily hair types...any woman can experience bad service at a hair salon. 

I just know now that I will keep my eyes open, and respectfully relate my wishes. After all, it's my hair.


Until Next Post................................................................................................................Tia


  1. Wow this is so unfortunate that I keep hearing this same story no matter where in the world it is!?? Its just crazy that commercial stylists don't have the training they need to properly care for and style naturally coils and kinks in that state. Many will say they do it but they are blowing it out and flat ironing it. I feel because the industry has shifted drastically they should make them go back and take some kind of certification course if they are going to be accepting these kinds of clients. Because you are right, they have not been trained on this. I was told by a stylist that when Afro-textured hair is mentioned in their text books it says straigtening it is the best way to deal with it. And of course you know ALL of the mannequins have straight hair? Many of these stylist have been doing hair for over 20 years and they are stuck on doing relaxers, press n curls, and roller sets(on straight hair). I am actually a natural hair care provider. And I hear so many stories from my clients about this same exact thing. Somebody need to do something. There are too many women that are going natural and staying natural and having no where to go? I actually took my preferred comb for detangling to the last stylist I went to, because the one before her was installing box braids, prior to, she was using a paddle brush to detangle my already blown out hair, so my hair was dry? She was beating the MESS out of my head with that brush. It was hurting so bad I told her okay now you have killed my head with that brush? And she apologized. I really think they believe that because of the kinky coils etc the hair is tough and can take this kind of treatment. This is why so many naturals are just left to do their own hair because not only can many stylists not do it, they don't want to! And if they do offer services the prices are getting jacked way up.. at least they are here in dallas. lol smh..

  2. Jacked up prices, terrible service, bad attitudes, minimal knowledge/training. You summed it up girl LOL! It's a crime shame. When I told them that the detangling was hurting me, You know one of the employees (may have been the owner) said? She said that since I have natural hair, that's what I can expect. I had to tell her that she didn't know what she was talking about. Oh well, I had no business thinking that I could have a salon experience. I haven't had one in years anywhoo. Why start looking now. You have summed up the problem, now prepare a curriculum based on your vast knowledge (and even more importantly, your experience). And shop it to the powers that be in the industry. There needs to be industry standards that are not from 1982.

  3. If you will notice it hasn't been but in the last 2 years that the commercial product companies have shifted. The beauty industry probably thought it was a fad that wld pass. And I feel that when our women started seeing All of us from 5 to 7 years natural who have been growing long beautiful hair and wearing healthy styles that were natural and not flat iron it made them realize it could be done? So now all of a sudden our women are coming out of the wood works wanting to try their natural hair and the beauty and Cosmo industry is trying to catch up or scrambling to meet the demands??

  4. I replied to this and it didn't show up :(

    Anyways, so I said that back when I went to hair salons, the stylists would do that, I politely tell them how to detangle my hair better and they give me such a mean look and because I was younger than them, they act like I'm some silly kid and their way is better. Oh my! And when they continue ripping my hair right out of my scalp and I'm like, "OUCH!" or "IT HURTS!" their "SORRY!" sounds more harsh that a string of insults and cuss words being said to a totally innocent person.
    Remember this post on my blog, Tia?
    Anyways, salon owners don't like me because they tend to lose customers after I walk in with my big curly hair (their customers decide to try going natural after seeing my hair, talking to me and getting tips). There was a salon owner who once told my mum, "very soon, she'll get bored of it and demand for a relaxer." Three years later, I'm still natural and won't even consider getting a relaxer. That salon owner is natural (but usually has a wig or weave over her hair). I don't get why she won't just train her workers on caring for natural hair.

    1. That all sounds about right, baby girl. I don't think it even matters the age, because they treat me (grown as I wanna be) the same way. Like we found out--the credentialing process does not require that they academically learn about natural hair, but they are quick to take our money and rip up our hair. I know that sounds drastic, but that's been my experience (and obviously the experience of many others). And until I experience otherwise, I will keep on talking about it. Talk to you later babes.

  5. well I never go to salons. I stopped years ago because the last time I got the whole ripping my hair out thing and was even told my hair is "frizzy" All because I didn't want it blown bone straight.

    I unfortunately would be the one that may not say a word but just never go back but then damage is done so now I just do my own hair.

    1. Hey Beautiful. I stopped going years ago too! Just a moment of thinking that things had changed. It's about time that things change. Until it is mandatory for hair dressers to actually properly learn about natural hair, I guess things won't change.

  6. great information, thanks for sharing it..

  7. Tia......
    Your subscribers are missing you!!!!!!!

    1. We miss everybody too. We won't stop sharing. Thanks choppa

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  9. This is a nice end to this story. If you read my comment on yesterday's post, you will note that I am also a comb snatcher. Side eye? I am too old to be thinking about somebody else' side eye when it comes to MY hair. Quiet in the chair? No way. But those days are over for me. My hair is my privilege to do and I am very very picky about who also gets to enjoy that privilege. It has been 6 years since I've step foot into a salon . . . not sure I'll be changing that anytime soon. Maybe but definitely not today.