Monday, April 13, 2009

Is your stylist using her powers for good or for evil?

It’s been a long time since I’ve visited a salon on a regular basis. I’m not talking about going into the salon for a special occasion, I’m talking about entrusting the health and vitality of your precious tresses to another person. I learned many a lesson in my younger days when I wanted so desperately to experience fabulous hair. In those days, anyone with decent looking hair were the one’s who “got their hair did” on a regular basis. I was extremely impressionable and wanted so badly to have great looking hair. That's when I made the decision to get me a stylist!

To me, a hair stylist has so much power. This person has the ability to transform the look and feel of the hair within just a few short hours. If only these people would use their magical powers for good and not evil. I’ll share with you my story and give you some examples so maybe you too can differentiate if your stylist is you hair’s best friend or it’s enemy.

Evil power #1: Your Stylist stuns your hair’s growth.

I can remember it like yesterday, I walked into a local hair salon for the first time. I think the reason why I selected this place in particular was because of it’s presence in the area. The place was large and prominent. It had been there for years. I figured that people liked what they’re getting if such a large salon could remain open and profitable for so long. That’s why I made a point to visit this place early on a weekday morning so I would receive one on one attention. I was right. I walked in and found one stylist eager to help me. Not knowing what I wanted, she offered up a glossy hair magazine to help me make my decision. Back then I was enamoured with the blunt cut bang so I selected a pic of a model who’s look most closely resembled what I wanted. She then proceeded to relax my hair and work her magic. Hours later I had a blunt cut bang………and a neck length bob. During the styling process, I was deterred from looking into a mirror. Otherwise I would have noticed that my trim had turned into a full blown cut and style.

What happened?!?!

The picture I showed her was far from a bob. In fact, I purposely spent ample time seeking someone with at least hair past her shoulders in an effort to avoid any confusion. I smiled grudgingly when I saw my new hair style and proceeded to pay for something I did not ask for. I left the salon vowing never again to return.

If your stylist makes the decision that you have too much hair on your head, she’s using her powers for evil. Stay away from a stylist who appears to suffer from longhairphobia, its time for you to move on.

Evil Power #2: Your Stylist creates false results

One thing I do love about going to the salon is the flawless look I get almost every time. The feeling of sporting silky, flow-in-the-wind hair is like no other. If only that feeling would last forever…but alas the fresh out of the salon feeling soon fades. I’ve accepted the fact that the just stepped out of a salon look doesn’t last forever, what I can’t cope with is experiencing massive amounts of breakage as a result of all of the crazy practices your stylist uses to create the fresh, fabulous hair look. Is your stylist creating healthier hair or just better looking hair? If your stylist has to trim dead ends every month, chances are your hair isn’t getting any healthier. That’s when you have to decide if your hard earned money is working against you and your lovely hair.

Evil Power #3: Your voice is powerless against your stylist

I visited a salon once at the recommendation of a friend. When I sat in the chair the stylist asked me what I wanted to experience during my visit. Impressed by her level of interest, I decided to proceed with my desire to have a rollerset done after the wash as a setting method. The stylist then proceeded to talk me out of a rollerset stating that my hair would not benefit from this practice. I tried to reiterate my request to no avail. I remember on another occasion I asked a stylist to rollerset my hair in a certain way in order to produce a different result. She responded simply by saying “no” and proceeded to go about her business like I hadn’t even said a word.

Evil Power # 4: Your stylist knows not of healthy hair

I firmly believe that the purpose of visit a salon and paying your hard earned money is to obtain beautiful, healthier hair. Your stylist should have a vested interest in the overall health of your hair. He or she should talk to you about what you’ve been experiencing and what you want to accomplish with regards to your hair. Does your stylist inspect the health of your hair regularly? Does he or she care about how your hair is acting between visits? If your stylist is using her power for good, then your hair should be reaping the wonderful benefits. If you are not reaping the rewards, you are better off cornrowing your hair, buying a wig and using the $50-$75 you spend every other week on full body massages instead. The person doing your hair has (hopefully) spent a countless number of hours training in the art of hair. You should not feel anything less than sheer bliss every time you visit your stylist. If he's using his powers for good, your hair will show it.

I'm not saying that all stylist are evil. In fact, I've come across a few that were very supportive to the health of my hair. I'm here to just make sure that you are selective in who you chose to take your hair to the next level. If your stylist is not taking your hair to new lengths, cut her out of your life.
  1. Great post! ITA, sometimes I have to pay a little bit more to go to a stylist with appointments and consultations, but I find that it is worth it. The last stylist I went to listened to me and didn't shun my healthy hair techniques and products. She dusted as needed and I was happy b/c I have had so many hair stylists in the past who do what they want to do. Ladies, you know we get what we pay for.

  2. I'm thru with *stylists*. Too many bad experiences and mediocre results. I've had a few good ones, but it's not worth the time/money IMHO. To each his own. I can take my time at home and get the job done just as well (if not better), and use what I want. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Either way, I'm in charge of my hair and that works best for me :)

  3. Lately I only go to the stylist for just a relaxer and the rest of the time I find I prefer to do it myself. If I could do my own relaxer I probably wouldn't even go for that! I actually like my stylist for the most part because she is quick and is able to work with your schedule, but she is somewhat old fashioned in her techniques. I wish there was a site or a place where people could share stylist that were good since my area(CT) really doesn't have as many stylist who do black or "ethnic" hair.

  4. I like this post very much as I can relate to it a lot. Why? My aunt happens to be a hairdresser/stylist and boy oh boy, she just does whatever the heck she wants with my hair at times. I've had a similar experience of showing her a hairstyle only to see my lopped off hair as the end result. Whenever you ask her for a steam treatment she never has the time. she always wants to blow-dry my hair and then flat iron it, but then does not dry my hair completely. She's generally not tolerant or patient enough to deal with my thick hair. The really funny thing is that now that I barely go to her (only for relaxing every 8wks or so) she asks me all jealous and pissed off 'who is doing your hair for you now?' LaQT said we get what we pay for...well I guess because I'm not paying I'm not getting anything in return :(

  5. I stumbled upon your blog last week. Of course, I was due to get a relaxer after 6 months and what can I say, but this was the LAST time I will let anyone touch my hair. I made up my mind to write a serious letter and send it to beauty schools about the really bad job they are doing training these hair dressers. There's a whole new world of hair care and these people are literally in the Dark Ages. I will include your web address in the hopes that maybe they will read and get some real info.

    Thank you for this blog. It's nice to hear that other black women are taking charge of their hair.

  6. My stylist won't give me hair advice because she doesn't know how to take care of black hair only how make it look good and appear healthy which has really come to irk me recently, all of this deception. Every time I manage to sneak away a product that I spied her using on my hair, it leaves my hair stripped of moisture. She gives me no advice therefore I hardly visit anymore only to get a relaxer which she seems to mess up lately as well. Only when I took a stand for my hair did it start to improve and doing a lot of research like you seem to have been. Thanks to your article you have reminded me why it so important to look for these kind of traits in stylist and not hope to depend on them for the health of my hair. Your hair progress has also been really inspiring and I wish you the best on your journey for beautiful, HEALTHY hair.

  7. The best stylist I ever had was a girl that worked out of her home and was all about healthy hair.

    I've had so many bad experiences that I learned to do my own perms. Every 2 weeks I go in and let them trim up my cut and that's it. You really have to take authority over your hair or go bald.

    My experience is that stylists usually start out well to get your business. Once you're a regular what usually took an hour and a half starts taking 3 hours as they start doing favors, walkins, and double bookings and then expect a tip.

    I've come to the conclusion that most are greedy and incompetent. Kudos to you for going in with your hair full of conditioner. Maybe that will teach them to do a better job.

    Like you my perms aren't perfect but I like the fullness on top and can live with my results. It's not any worse than if I paid somebody to screw it up and most days it looks damn good.