Allow Me To Vent: Why I Can’t Take The Black Salon Culture

May 31, 2012  |  

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.

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