All Articles Tagged "black salons"
Why I Can’t Deal With Craigslist Posting, Kitchen Sink Conditioning, Non-Licensed Home Hair Stylists Anymore
Dear Kitchen Beautician (as I like to call you),
Let me just throw this little disclaimer out there now for the few of you home hair stylists who are actually about your business. Before you get your drawers all in a bunch, remember the motto: If it don’t apply let it fly! Now for the rest you, simply put, I’m done. I will never patronize another kitchen beautician for the remainder of my natural born life.
I don’t think I’m an impossible person to deal with. I’m not asking for the world! I’m not asking you to make me look like Beyoncé or Halle! I’m just a graduate student trying to make it through school without my hair looking like who-shot-john-and-didn’t-kill-him. Oh, but honey, I will find a way to fit bi-weekly trips to the beauty salon into my budget. I’ll put my little pennies together, put an “H” on my chest and make it HAPPEN because I refuse to deal with the kitchen beautician antics any longer! I don’t try to nickel and dime you. I respect a woman with a hustle and I pay you whatever your price is and what do I get in return each time? Mediocrity. I’d rather pay $200.00 to sit in a salon chair, have a licensed beautician style my hair and have the satisfaction of knowing that she will do my hair in the way that I ASKED her to do and NOT the style you find fit for me to have. And for goodness sake, there is absolutely no future in fronting, so if you know you can’t do a style or have never done it before please say so! I am not your mannequin doll or your test subject. You of all people should know how particular women are about their hair.
Oh, kitchen beautician I would rather go GI Jane and cut all of my hair off than listen to you ramble on and on about how you got five hundred hours left to complete until you get your cosmetology license. Girl, it has been five years, those 500 hours have come, gone, come back, and left again! I’d rather be bald than to have you take three thousand breaks from doing my hair to send text messages or bark at “Tyrone” about what he did or didn’t do last night. I understand that I’m not at some five star beauty salon but I’m paying you! I expect to be treated with decency. I expect you to style my hair to the best of your ability. It is unfair for you to give me some subpar look because you’re tired from partying until 5 o’clock this morning or because you’re in a rush from overbooking. If you are unable to produce do not schedule the appointment, it’s that simple.
Kitchen beautician, I’m not telling a friend to tell a friend jack squat about you, unless I’m telling them about the mess of a operation you’ve got going on. You should be happy I’m not calling WPIX to report you to “Help Me Howard” and reveal that half of the women in NYC are running around with their tracks showing because of you and other women like you. I really wish you would begin to take responsibility when a style does not come out properly. It’s okay to admit that your skills aren’t where you would like for them to be. Don’t blame it on the hair. Don’t blame it on the lighting. Don’t blame it on your nails. Don’t blame it on me: “Girl, I told you to keep your head straight.”
I’ve really tried to be understanding, I’ve given you guys chance after chance. But I’ve learned my lesson: You get what you pay for. The few dollars that I save by coming to you are not worth the headaches that you bring me. I was doing so well in my transition from relaxed to natural hair, oh, but you! You can drive a sister to relapsing, running back into the arms of her Dominican stylist, and going back to the creamy crack.
Kitchen beautician, our time together has been far spent, so I’m off to find a salon that knows how to treat their customers with a beautician that put in the work and the hours to get her license. Peace.
Jazmine Denise is a New York City based Lifestyle & Relationship writer. Follow her on Twitter @jazminedenise
Sound off, ladies: Have you had to deal with these type of beauticians in the past?
by Selam Aster
As I plan to make the move from New York City to my hometown in California, there’s one thing I can’t stop agonizing about: no, it’s not the great friends or the subways (that have spared me from anxieties related to car insurance or gas prices) that I’ll miss most. It’s really all about the Dominicans.
You see, they are important to my life. Ever since I moved to New York, the money and time I spend on my hair has been cut in half. By my own definition, that has greatly improved my quality of life. Less stress, less mess.
As many a Black female knows, going to the hair salon is a time-consuming affair that can drain 25 percent of your weekend. Growing up, I thought trips to the salon would be glamorous and stress-relieving endeavors. I soon found out that unless you have a personal stylist, going to the salon would be experienced as a laborious yet necessary ritual.
For me, Dominican hair salons have alleviated the laboriousness of it all. It’s not a perfect experience but it is a better one for me. There are no appointments and not much waiting around (a signifier of many Black salons). This is how it works: I walk in anytime (including Sundays and Mondays), stand in line for the wash bowl, move to the hair rolling station, sit under the dryer and then get my hair blown out. I’m in and out in less than 2 hours, which is far less than the 4-5 hours I spent at hair salons when I lived in Los Angeles. Don’t get me wrong, it is a trade off. Dominican salons use cheaper products and don’t really prioritize customer service (read: rude and abrupt), but for someone who values getting the job done over customer service, I have been more than satisfied.
What I do miss is the camaraderie between stylists and clients in Black salons. Since I don’t speak Spanish, there’s not much “conversating” going on, and that takes some of the fun out of the whole thing. But since I am still not trusting of the Dominican hair salons when it comes to getting hair cuts and color, I’ll occasionally make a visit to my go-to Black salon and shell out $100+ for my quarterly services.
A friend asked me if I felt guilty for patronizing Dominican hair salons, rather than the Black salons I grew up with. My answer was no. I don’t see many Black salons completely suffering from the competition. If anything, this competition, which really only exists on the East Coast, may only help Black salons improve their way of doing things and becoming more efficient. I can’t discount the fact that some people just really love hanging out at the salon all day, and so, for them, the old way of doing things is no big deal. As for me, I’ve seen what my life could be like with less time spent on hair but am preparing myself for the rude re-awakening when I arrive in Cali. At least, I have an iPad to keep me company on my 5-hour trips now…*sigh*.
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By Yassira Diggs
One doesn’t have to look far for evidence that wearing natural hair is still unacceptable to many in the mainstream. Only four short years ago, a Glamour magazine editor presented a slide show on proper corporate fashion during which she declared the afro “a real no-no” and dreadlocks “truly dreadful.” Despite such negative feedback, more and more African-Americans are falling in love with their natural hair and seeking salons that cater to this interest. Leaders of natural hair care salons nationwide have shared some of their insights into this growing market with us — and their favorite products — highlighting the exciting expansion of this beauty revolution. As more black women (and men) explore their natural hair options in droves, this new aesthetic will become more common in the workplace. Corporate America might have to adjust to our new standard of beauty, as the growth described by these natural hair care salon owners is certain to continue.
400 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY
Despite the market crash in 2008 “the natural hair industry has grown as many women are awakening to the beauty, power and liberation of natural hair,” Anu Prestonia owner of Khamit Kinks in Brooklyn, NY told The Atlanta Post. She has run a renowned natural hair care mecca for three decades, boasting celebrity clients like Solange, who had her hair styled there recently for a Carol’s Daughter shoot. While Prestonia is a natural hair care veteran, “In the last five years I would say that the business has increased 10%.” And the natural hair care industry is still growing, even as traditional black hair care faces a decline. “I think the large, corporate, black hair care industry has dwindled considerably,” Anu explains, “while the cottage hair care product industry is growing exponentially. Almost everyone is bringing to market their own products even if they are only selling them to their clients in the beginning.” Prestonia sees this growth in response to a new kind of client, which is younger and eager to experience their own hair texture without braids or other extensions. These are looks that younger clients are taking into the workplace.
It’s not unusual for me – and I imagine most women – to get stopped on the streets by some random, yet ambitious hairstylist hoping to drum up new business. However, I was taken aback because the “sista” soliciting my business was not the brown-skinned, natural-head woman I had expected, but rather a golden-blonde dreadlock-headed white girl.
As an African American woman living in what some are calling post-racial America, I like to think that I am progressive on most issues related to race and gender. However, my visceral reaction, as regressive as it may sound, was to scoff at the idea of letting a non-person of color play around in my hair. Not that I am against white hairstylists, but could a non-person of color know about the complexity of my roots, when many black stylists are still trying to figure it out?
Apparently, my reaction and feelings about hair segregation might be a thing of the past, at least according to an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, which highlighted the sudden trend of multi-cultural hair salons serving a more integrated clientele.
According to the Inquirer, the recession, along with changing style trends (such as natural hairstyles), has forced hundreds of African American salons across the country to close, leaving many black stylists to take refuge in mainstream hair salons.
The results: mainstream shops like Saks and JCPenney, which rarely courted the black hair care market before, have now become more integrated with white and black stylists working side by side to fry, dye and blow-dry their clientele’s tresses. As wonderfully progressive as it sounds, I wonder if this recent trend is necessarily a good thing.
The general consensus is that hair salons – and barbershops for that matter—have been viewed as the last bastion of acceptable segregated spaces in our society. Historically speaking, these spaces have not only been seen as safe hair havens, but also safe platforms for candid talk about everything from race to relationships.
Black salons and barbershops provide people of color a place where we do not need to bite our tongues for the privileged caste. Because we certainly have to at work, school and every other public space in society that is dominated by the majority.
There was a time when mainstream salons often didn’t want to touch black hair, fearing that they did not have the technical proficiency. In fact, it was recently that a white barber in Vermont set off a firestorm of controversy when he turned away a black doctor out of embarrassment for not being “good at cutting black hair.”
While these examples may denote an air of racial ignorance, it really shouldn’t be that surprising when you consider that many cosmetology certification programs tend to focus on hair technique geared to non-people of color. Moreover, many black stylists themselves learn how to “deal” with ethnic hair only after they have become certified and have been working for some time.
So, is this new trend of hair salon integration, which may hire one or two black stylists to work exclusively on black hair, really about breaking down the racial barrier, or about mainstream hair salons capitalizing off of the misfortunes of black hair salons in a down market?
The reality is that finding a great stylist is a blessing and if a stylist is good than color shouldn’t matter. I have to admit that the white girl with the long golden-blonde locks had wonderful, healthy looking hair. Yet, as we wave the “diversity is great” banner, we must fully understand what we are gaining and losing as a result of these newfound diverse spaces. Besides the lost of a few places where people of color can congregate without inhibition, we are also losing black salon business, which has long been the backbone of the black economy.
Charing Ball is the author of the blog People, Places & Things.
(WSJ.com) — Delshawn Rollins once trusted only fellow African-Americans with the delicate task of styling and straightening her tightly curled brown hair. But that meant enduring hours of salon gossip, ordered-in lunch (and sometimes dinner, too) and occasional mishaps, like the time the ends of her hair snapped off after she had it dyed. Fed up, the 35-year-old respiratory therapist last fall pulled out a flier she had for a new salon that promised to “work magic” using “Dominican styling.” She was in and out of The Hair Co. USA, which displays the Dominican flag in the front window, within two hours, sporting a straight, feathery “do” for $20 less than she had been paying her old stylist.