All Articles Tagged "hair salons"
About a month ago, I stopped by my co-worker’s office for our daily morning chat, when she dropped some salacious news! She found a new hair stylist in Brooklyn, not too far from where we lived (we’re in close proximity of each other)who charged damn near nothing for a full weave and style; didn’t talk too much, kept her appointments and didn’t do the price switcheroo! The cost of the do’ was the cost of the do’. I couldn’t believe it!
This was a black salon in Brooklyn, a black salon in America? No way! I immediately asked my girlfriend for her info but before I got the chance to pay the place a visit, she came bearing bad news. Two visits later it turns out the gem salon was indeed a dud. After two uneventful but very professional-like visits, things started to go south. My girlfriend being very much like myself, never went back and is once again on the search for a new salon and once again my dream of finding a salon that fit my sensibility was gone.
For as long as I can remember I’ve always dreaded going to the salon. I’m not a fan of salon gossip; I’m not into the culture of the salon. In the perfect world I would go into the salon, get my hair done, pay and get out within an hour or two. I don’t consider the salon a haven to luxuriate in for hours but unfortunately the culture of black salons -in my experience- makes me feel like I’m the only one who has a problem with the way things operate.
Why does it have to be like this when it comes to hair, especially black hair? I get my nails done every two weeks and every two weeks I call Lily, make an appointment, and get things done. Lily takes about forty-five minutes in total to thread my eyebrows, gel my nails and give me a pedicure. The price is always the same, I tip her the same and I go home happy but hair day, never, ever, goes this way.
Getting my hair done has really taken a whole day. My hair day begins a few days prior to the actual appointment. Currently I’m in my third phase of transitioning from processed hair to natural hair mainly due to my “salon issues.” Before I arrange to get my hair done, I have to figure out what I want to do with it. And you would think that what I decide is dictated by my wants. In honesty, I want but low and behold it’s dictated by how much of a day, I think, it’s going to take and what kind of salon atmosphere, I can stand.
Do I want to walk into the type of place run by mean girls, filled with women serving up side eyes, instead of a customer friendly space? The kind of place where being kept waiting for half an hour doesn’t get an explanation? Maybe I want to go natural, have a few women tug at my hair at once, while hollering into their cellphones straight into my ears. Or maybe I go somewhere, where none of that is an issue and pay more than my mortgage to bypass the bad customer service.
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.
(Examiner) — For generations African American women typically frequented a “black salon” to get their hair styled because non-black stylists were not familiar styling kinky curly hair textures in a pleasing fashion. Lately, there has been a rapidly increasing trend for African American women to go to a Dominican hair salon. Many wonder if the end of the tradition black is near because of the popularity of this trend. What is it about the Dominican salons that are so appealing to many African American women? Saonny of Judith’s Dominican Style in Washington, DC stated that African American women come there “because of the technique.” The Dominican hair technique, known as the Dominican blowout, has become popular for getting curly to kinky textured hair straight as a chemical relaxer without the chemicals, and with much more volume. To do this technique the stylist roller sets the hair, then blows it out using a round brush and blow dryer.
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.
(TribLocal) — Carol Fuller, mother of three, is a social worker by day and a hair salon owner by evening (and all day Saturdays). At 6:30am, Fuller starts shift 1: Mother. She wakes her youngest children, ages 10 and 14, and gets them ready for school. Then she starts shift 2: outreach social worker at Thrive Counseling Center, where she helps the homeless find shelter and mental health services. On Mondays she works until 9 p.m. at a homeless shelter, before heading home to resume shift 1. Somewhere in her hectic schedule she is also a wife, friend, and active community member.
(Philadelphia Inquirer) — You would certainly expect black and white women to shop at the same stores, luxuriate in the same spas, even frequent the same makeup counters. And more than five decades after Rosa Parks held on to her bus seat, they do. But there was one beauty barrier that was never breached: hair salons. All things being equal, women’s hair was not. Because no one, according to the conventional wisdom, could style a black woman’s hair except another African American, salons were the only institutions more segregated than church on Sunday mornings. It’s a well-known scene: African American women gather at their beauty parlors for everything from straightening to socializing.