Nailed It? Black Women Express Their Frustration And Experiences With Asian Nail Salons
Social media strategist and digital influencer Avielle Amor doesn’t mince words: “I’m ALWAYS uncomfortable in an Asian nail salon.” The melanated beauty admits to so much confusion when she graces these spaces. She explains how the cultural background differences and communication barrier makes for a less than positive experience. “Starting with the language barrier, customers experience immediately stars with uncertainty. This uncertainty comes from trying to determine the service you want and knowing the CORRECT price from the beginning. Many arguments I’ve witnessed online, and in person happens from poor communication on price.” This is exactly what happened in Brooklyn, with the Black woman not wanting to pay for her service because it wasn’t at the standard she requested and expected.
Amor shared a personal example of her uncomfortableness due to lack of communication in a salon. “The nail tech looked at my hand and said something in their language and then another nail tech came to examine my hands and they both laugh. I was like, ‘Excuse me? I want to know what you’re laughing at!’ Now as a customer, I’m on defense. So, it only comes naturally that a conflict will arise at the end with the nail tech servicing you because the total went from $80.00 to $190.00!!!”
Amor talks about the cultural disconnect that occurs: “Asian culture is known to be non-confrontational, someone raised in America might be more direct. So I’ve seen some nail techs adapt to the culture and become more direct with their approach, and then you end up with the situation of violence as we’ve seen in the NY Times article. How is it that our community is so trusting of allowing another culture to come into our neighborhoods and service us ridiculous prices with sometimes less than stellar service and we continue to give them our money?”
Avielle Amor grew up down South and used to frequent Asian nail salons because “that was the only option that was available” and she “wasn’t aware that other races performed nail services.” However, upon moving to NYC and becoming more aware, she tells Madame Noire, “I began to diversify and purposefully seek after nail techs from different backgrounds. Currently, my nail tech is Jaree Vinson, she is a black woman that owns her own nail service business that travels!” She further explains, “The cultural disconnect is no way trying to excuse the behavior, but serves more so as an example why diversity and representation matters when it comes to ownership of a business. That’s why I chose Jaree, so I could do my part.”