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Natural Hair Stylist: First Visit Tips

There comes a point in every natural’s journey where they must visit a salon. Some people choose a salon that offers Dominican Blowouts, some choose all natural salons that cater specifically to naturals, and some will only enter a salon just to get their ends trimmed. Whatever the reason may be, knowing what you want when you walk into the salon is key.

(Photo Credti: http://bit.ly/1sOytm0)

– Research Stylist & Salon Reviews
Several sites offer honest reviews from customers of a business, and offer ratings on a scale of 1-10 or 0 stars to 5 stars. Companies that offer reviews on local business are Google Places, Yelp!, Yahoo! Local Listings, Citysearch, Facebook, MerchantCircle, Insider Pages, Angie’s List, Foursquare, and Local.com. Now you may ask “What if the reviews on these websites are fake?” While all reviews – whether good or bad- aren’t the customers true opinions on the company, majority are. These websites have clauses that ban users writing fake reviews, etc… Don’t be discouraged when the business doesn’t have a 100% positive review. No business is perfect and their differences make them unique to the consumer.

– Say No If you’re not comfortable with the service
Just because you entered the salon and sat in the stylist chair, don’t feel obligated to stay and let them style your hair if you don’t believe that their services will benefit your hair and give your hair what it needs. Now I’m not saying leave without paying after the stylist has already washed, deep conditioned, and styled your hair… that’s illegal and you will go to jail. All I’m trying to say is don’t feel pressured to stay and take services that aren’t benefiting you.

– Go In with a list of questions you may have for your natural hair stylist.
One thing that benefits me when I go to my natural hair stylist is having a hair journal. In my hair journal I write about experiences I had from different products, results of my natural hair styles, and other questions I may have. To some this may seem extreme, but just like a person trying to lose or gain weight tracks their food and weight to see patterns, so should a natural to see what works and what doesn’t work for them.

– Make sure they have their natural hair license

Some hair stylists are just capable of doing natural hair through personal experience, etc… but don’t have a license to do it. Instead of a regular Cosmetology license, make sure they have an actual license that abides by the rules of your local hair license bureau. Anyone/ any shop that claims to do natural hair should have a natural hair license. Now, you may ask “What’s the big difference between a natural hair stylist and a cosmetologist?”

Cosmetologist: “A cosmetologist performs, for compensation, arranging, dressing, curling, waving, cleansing, cutting, singeing, bleaching, coloring, or similar work on the hair. A cosmetologist may care for or service wigs or hair pieces; manicure; massage, clean, stimulate, manipulate, exercise, beautify or perform similar work upon the hands, arms, face, neck, or feet with hands or by use of cosmetic preparations, tonics, lotions or creams; place or apply artificial eyelashes, give facials, apply make-up, give skin care, or remove superfluous hair by tweezing, depilatories, or waxing.”

Natural Hair Stylist: “A person who uses techniques which result in tension on hair strands such as twisting, wrapping, weaving, extending, locking or braiding of the hair by hand or mechanical appliances, which work does not include the application of dyes, reactive chemicals or other preparations to alter the color or straighten, curl or alter the structure of the hair. The techniques include providing or offering to the general public for compensation any of the following services solely for development or improvement of physical qualities of the natural hair structure: intertwining in a systematic motion to create patterns in a three-dimensional form; inversion or out version flat against the scalp along the part of a straight or curved row; or extension with natural or synthetic fibers.”

Overall, you know what’s good for your hair. Whether you like going to an all-natural salon, or a salon that caters to individuals with processed hair, the main point is to be comfortable.

Be open to suggestion, but not taken over by them.
At any initial consultation with a hair stylist, the hair stylist tells you what they think is harming your hair/ will help your hair. It’s up to you to determine if you agree with them. Realize that they went to school to learn and perfect their trade, but also that you are with your hair 24/7 and know the ins and outs of your hair better than anyone else. As stated before, be comfortable, be aware, and be open.
What did you experience your first time at a natural hair salon?

Outside Sources
McPeak, Julie Mix. Department of Commerce and Insurance. n.d. 20 06 2014 <http://www.tn.gov/regboards/cosmo/licReq.shtml>.

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Moriah Banks

Moriah Banks, Intern for CurlyInCollege, is a college freshman at North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University. She’s known for her involvement in her community, and her love for natural hair. In her spare time she travels the country and spends quality time with her loved ones. To see more of Moriah, follow her on Twitter and Instagram under the username moriahashleyy, or on her personal blog at moriahashleyy.wordpress.com.

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