Where are the natural hair salons? And not the ones that only offer services catering to locs, braids or straightening natural hair. But the natural hair salons where there are multiple stylist who know how to really style natural hair. The ones where creative stylists are anxiously waiting to get their hands into a head full of curls and come up with an amazing hair creation.
Is this all just a fantasy?
A few years back I began to notice salons marketing natural hair styling as part of their service packages. Twist outs, flat twists and bantu knots made their appearance on price lists of black salons. At the time I was natural and I had been for a couple years. And although I didn’t go to salons to get my hair done, I did still pop into salons I had frequented when I wore my hair relaxed.
While there, I watched. While I watched, I took mental notes. While I took notes, I tried to calm my rising anger. Why so mad, you ask. I’ll tell you.
What I saw were marketers, not stylists. Salon owners had taken note of the popularity of the natural hair movement. What they did in response, was make a business move. Initially, the rise of the natural hair community was thought to be something that would come and go. Once it had been accepted as something that was here to stay, stylists and salon owners looked at how they could earn money from what was taking place with black hair.
During one session, I watched a stylist comb out a head of 4c hair with a paddle brush* and rat tail comb*. She parted the hair into sections and took the brush, followed by the comb, and starting at the root of the hair, she proceeded to forcefully yank through the naked strands of hair. No conditioner, no moisturizer, no detangling, nothing.
When I looked at the front of the salon, there was a prominently displayed sign, advertising ‘Natural Hair Stylists Available’. I was so irritated. That led me to think about if going to the salon for natural hair services could be beneficial in any situation. Are there natural hair salons that really know about and care about the health of natural hair?