My Hair Salon Nightmare: Scissor Happy and Rough

before-and-after-trim-300x300A few weeks ago I decided to go to the same hair salon that my sister frequently visits to get her natural hair blown out. It had been a while since my hair had been trimmed by a professional (I usually trim my own hair), so I figured why not? A nice trim and a blow out would be nice. I don’t get my hair blown out often, last time was 4 years ago and I wanted a change.

Normally, I’d steer clear of a Dominican hair salon because I’ve had bad experiences in the past. However, since my sister visited the salon and her hair always looked great after, I decided to give them a shot.

Before I go any further, let me say that my hair needed a lot of TLC. Although healthy, I have naturally very dry hair that soaks up everything it touches. This is why I do weekly deep conditions and hot oil treatments. It’s what my parched hair needs.

My hair also tangles easily and shrinks very quickly. In order for my hair to retain length, I detangle with my fingers while it’s sopping wet with conditioner. This eliminates breakage for me and I’m not ripping through tangles with a comb or paddle brush. Like I said previously, I usually trim my own hair twisting my hair in small sections and snipping off frizzy ends and stray hairs sticking out of the twists with my sheers.

This has worked well for me for years now, so I’m not sure why I had the bright idea of going to a hair salon to get this done. Keep in mind, I had already lightly trimmed my ends a month before my salon visit.

Red flag number one was when I sat down at the wash bowl and the woman started washing my hair aggressively with shampoo that was in an unmarked bottle. What exactly is in that bottle? No one knew.

They just knew that it was shampoo. Next, a different woman asked me if I wanted a deep conditioning treatment. My response was, ABSOLUTELY! The lady put a thin and runny conditioner on my head and sat me under a dryer. I already knew what was going to happen next.

Like I said, my hair soaks up everything it touches so I knew that it had already soaked up this runny no-name conditioner. I felt my hair under the dryer and it had already started drying because my hair wasn’t saturated enough. I tried to tell someone, but I was met with stares and head nods.

Originally posted 2015-01-19 15:00:45.

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About Portia Cole

Portia is a wife and mother who enjoys making things and people look pretty! As a graduate of Rowan University, Portia has an insatiable craving for natural hair, beauty, and fashion, but she also enjoys traveling and home decor. If you'd like to know more about her, visit her blog at You can also follow her on Instagram (huneybflyy) and twitter (@huneybflyy).

About Portia Cole

Portia is a wife and mother who enjoys making things and people look pretty! As a graduate of Rowan University, Portia has an insatiable craving for natural hair, beauty, and fashion, but she also enjoys traveling and home decor. If you'd like to know more about her, visit her blog at You can also follow her on Instagram (huneybflyy) and twitter (@huneybflyy).


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  1. Faith Abbey
    Faith Abbey

    After they had gone to town with the shampooing my black arse would have been out of there sharpish!!

    1. Tashonda Ford

      That’s exactly what I was thinking.

  2. Estefani Rodriguez
    Estefani Rodriguez

    I have had this happen to me before with relaxed hair it was cut more than i needed if to be ….. then with my natural hair 10 months since i big choped i weng to get my hair done wayyy too much heat was used because not all my hair could be put in rollers so i had to get the blow drier and flat iron with comments that my hair us too rough and that i should straighten it more to make it softer???? … no mh hair was roughg because you used bullshit products for it and didnt evdn have deep conditioner just a leave in ..i was scared they would offer me to cut my hair but i was good

  3. Chelsea Lowe
    Chelsea Lowe

    she should have left immediately after the shampooing! if it started out bad, what makes you think it will miraculously end well??

  4. Enez Laurendine
    Enez Laurendine

    So many red flags and all were ignored! One thing I don’t tolerate is me paying for a service and it not being done correctly or to my liking! After that aggressive wash with the no name shampoo I would have been like here’s your $10 thank you & have a nice day!

  5. Tamara Perkins
    Tamara Perkins

    My thing is, why when i read these salon horror stories is there always one common thread, WHY AREN’t THESE WOMEN SPEAKING UP?! Every time its the same. The red flags are noticed and ignored and they let these women butcher their hair in silence then pay them afterwards?! Um no…whats the point in sharing these stories because at some point everybody has heard at least one if women still aren’t speaking up? SPEAK UP SPEAK UP SPEAK UP!
    If u want to know whats in that shampoo bottle then ASK, if your questions and requests are being ignored then leave..IF you are not completely comfortable THEN leave!..PERIOD.

    1. Santosha McGee-Revels
      Santosha McGee-Revels

      I agree. Shoot prior to returning natural, if the shampoo smelled different than what I was accustom to, my head was popping up out the sink..and I was asking…is that new? What’s in it….why you change etc..! LOL

    2. Dark and Lovely

      Tamara I agree with you. Assertiveness training is seriously needed because too many sistas just swallow mistreatment and second class treatment. Whoever said that BW are strong, etc was lying as clearly this topic willl bring many replies and many ‘they done me wrong’ tales.

    3. MsKat

      RIGHT! When she tried to get someone’s attention and was met with head nods under the dryer, why didn’t she lift the dryer from her head? Someone would have had to stop and come over then. Furthermore, and I am saying this as a former stylist, she did not mention the most important part a new client to any salon should look for before any styling begins, regardless of if your sister, mama, daughter goes there already and has great results: THERE SHOULD HAVE BEEN A CONSULTATION BEFORE ANYTHING ELSE BEGAN. She should have been asked what she wanted, what issues she may have been having, and her expectations for the end result. Ladies, if anyone goes to a salon for the first time and there is no consultation and examination of your hair before anything else, either force a consultation by not moving until you have been heard and understood, or leave. Not every head of hair is the same, and to herd people in and out without taking those differences into consideration is a disservice to the clients, and to salons that actually do what they should to provide excellent hair care. While I do agree that a large part of it is her fault for not speaking up for herself at every turn, the salon is also at fault if they didn’t consult with her before they began. I would rather be viewed as a difficult client and just not come back in the future, if it meant my hair would be in good condition and the way I wanted it when I left, than to be too easygoing and have dry, heat damaged hair that was now too short for my preferences. Incidentally, she may have been more receptive to having the shorter length, had the stylist turned her to the mirror, showing her any areas which needed that much cutting and telling her why.

      1. Portia C.

        Thanks for your input. However, my hair didn’t need to be trimmed to that extreme, just dusted. My hair was not damaged prior to the visit and I’ve taken excellent care of my natural hair for over 10 years. No, I’m not a licensed stylist, but I know my hair better than anyone. I’ve gone to several salons in the past and they’ve always commented on how healthy my hair is. Hair that I take care of daily. This particular salon happened to be ignorant in hair care period. like I said in my story, it was my fault for not correcting the situation immediately and for that reason alone, I wasn’t going to share my story at all. However, I decided to make a post about it because I was hoping that my story would encourage others to speak up and be more vocal about their hair while in salons and not make the same mistakes I did. Also, my hair is not heat damaged from the excessive heat. Thanks for reading.

        1. MsKat

          True, you hair likely didn’t need to be cut, just trimmed, and you may not have suffered heat damage; the point is, had the stylist consulted with you -turned you to the mirror and showed you the ends she felt she needed to cut, if she could have showed you a real need for that much to be cut you may have been receptive to it, if you saw any damage too. If you didn’t see damage you could have not approved of her suggestion and requested just a trim of 1/8 inch or so-or even skipped the trim completely since you trim your own. That’s why I said the salon was at fault as well, they did not follow all the basic steps to keep the customer happy. It’s good that you told your story, and hopefully women who usually don’t speak up will understand how important it is to speak up and get their money’s worth.

    4. JazzWife

      The last time I visited a salon, I brought my own products with me and asked that they be used. I also took the fine tooth comb out of the stylist’s hand, pulled my own comb out of my purse — I was ready — and detangled my own hair. I think the stylist was trying to emphasize how rough my hair was and how much it needed a relaxer. He spent much of our time insulting my hair with a series of wet rug jokes. He was performing his theatrics but I wasn’t watching. As the comb slid through my hair as I detangled it, I wondered to myself: if I am doing all the work as well as supplying the product, why the heck was I paying him? Never went back and I learned to trim myself. That was 2009.

  6. Felicia Foster
    Felicia Foster

    Even though she didn’t say anything, I’m still glad she shared her story. It’s more of an awareness/warning of what we should/should not do if we aren’t comfortable with the service.

    1. lashawn

      I agree, I appreciate this article because i’ve done the same thing and it resulted in tears and disappointment. It let’s me know I’m not alone in that very similar experience and offers more signs to look out for to make sure it never happens again.

  7. Jekia Dowdell
    Jekia Dowdell

    One thing you CANNOT do, is allow someone to provide you dissatisfying service ESPECIALLY if you’re paying them. I’d rather be that bothersome customer ensuring the job gets done properly rather than a quiet one who’s secretly upset at the whole ordeal WISHING they would’ve said something.

  8. Ebonie Moorer
    Ebonie Moorer

    I would love to have my ends professionally trimmed but with the lack of “natural” trained stylists in my city, i know that I’ll have similar results.

  9. Malakah Angellia Gladston
    Malakah Angellia Gladston

    This is so stupid. Smh. I don’t understand HOW a person can just sit there and allow someone else to violate you like that, makes no sense to me. This story sounds fake

    1. Katelyn H

      I understand where your coming from, but some people just aren’t confrontational.

    2. Portia C.

      I’m sorry that you feel my story is stupid and “fake”. Unfortunately, it’s not. I wouldn’t lie about going to a salon haphazardly and coming out with shorter hair. It was very real and I believe my before and after pictures prove that. I didn’t “just” sit there and allow someone to “violate” me. I tried to speak up several times, but was ignored. Could I have been more vocal, sure. But I wasn’t because it’s not my nature to be confrontational. As I stated in the post, it was my fault the whole ordeal happened in the first place. I shouldn’t have tried to fix what wasn’t broken. It was a lesson learned. I was hoping my story would encourage others to stand up for themselves when their hair isn’t being treated properly. Hopefully, others who read my post will gain something from my experience. Have a blessed day.

  10. Maiysha Ramos
    Maiysha Ramos

    Your hair still looks good though.. It’s a learning experience. The next time you will definitely know what to do

    1. Portia C.

      Thank you. It definitely was a lesson learned. We all have room to grow. Hopefully, my story will encourage others who are less confrontational to speak up no matter what when they are in hair salons.

      1. June Dat

        I don’t think your story is fake because I have had similar experiences. My problem was that I hated confrontations also. Since then, I have learned to only deal with stylist that listen to my requests and honor what I desire to have done. A quick remedy for solving the problem is spend your money at another salon.

  11. Cant Giveup
    Cant Giveup

    First as a stylist there are many incidents where natural clients want a trim however have severely damaged ends if your not trained to notice how do you know what needs to be cut and what not to cut. Then there is a such thing as overuse of a product. Just because your hair isn’t weighed down with conditioner doesn’t mean anything but an over abundance of a product . More doesnt mean it worked any better. Find products specifically for dry hair and it’ll solve the problem of thinking you need to soak your hair in conditioner.

    1. Portia C.

      Thanks for your input, however I disagree with you. I have been doing my own hair for over 10 years and it was in excellent health prior to going to this salon. I have gone to salons in the past and they have always commented on how healthy my hair is. Hair that I take care of by myself on a daily basis. My hair NEEDS a heavy cholesterol based conditioner. Its something that I discovered years ago after experimenting with every conditioner under the sun. My hair soaks up runny conditioners and they do nothing for my hair. I have my staples that I use for my naturally dry hair and they work just fine, thanks. My hair didn’t need to be more than dusted and I know that better than anyone. It wasn’t damaged and hasn’t been damaged since my relaxer days. Thanks for reading.

  12. Marjorie Brown
    Marjorie Brown

    If my hair is natural and I’m going to a salon I’ve never been to before. My common sense would prompt me to bring my own shampoo, conditioner and styling products.

  13. Charlene Cha LaBranche
    Charlene Cha LaBranche

    So she just sat there and allow all this to happen. I’m sorry if I don’t like something it’s either you listen or Im leaving

  14. Ronnella Powell
    Ronnella Powell

    It’s crazy because when a lot of us aren’t in a situation we are quick to say we would have gone off and etc but I think by nature most of us don’t want to offend our stylist. So we sit there and take the abuse. Nothing has never happened to me like this but they would place a part or not fix my hair the way I wanted it after taking out the rollers and I would look like Betty White (lol) because they didn’t open the curls up right. So I would go home like that and fix my hair when I got home. I always thought that would make me look ungrateful even though I’m a paying customer smh

    1. Bettina

      not only do I speak up but I have left with a soaking wet head before because I wasn’t going to tolerate disrespect to me as a paying customer. yes they go to beauty school but I have lived with my hair all of my life and know what is and is not good for it. I wish more women would just speak what they feel, stylist are on ever corner, easy to get a new one.

    2. MsKat

      It’s true, you may not want to offend your stylist. I get that. I am a former stylist, and I can tell you, if you approach a stylist in a respectful manner with your concerns, most will not be offended. If they are, it may be time to find one who can handle giving their customers exactly what they want, or can handle tactfully explaining to their customer why something might not be a good idea. Only you have to live daily with what the stylist did and you pay good money to do it, make sure you are getting exactly what you want.

  15. Brown and Lovely

    I’m sorry that happened to you and you should have spoken up and left.

  16. Aliyah Morrison

    Omg i went to a domincan salon to get a blow out she spent five hours washing with relaxer shampoo and conditoner products roller set blow dry flat iron blow dry then flat iron again and my hair gets really dry too soaks up moisturize . She trimmed my hair so bad then said oh I’m not done trimming I’ll finish when you come back in a month or so . Smh my hair puffed up as soon as I came home I had to wash all that crap out my hair and it took a while to revert back to its tight curls . My hair now looks like a horrible Bob all different hair lengths some parts are shorter some are longer . For now on I’m only going to a professional hair salon at end watching them before they do my hair . I’ll only go for flat twists and I’ll wash and comb my own hair and just tell then to style and twist .She also claimed she knew how to do natural hair and wanted me to spend 50 dollars on some Paul Mitchel crap .

  17. Shanna Greenawalt
    Shanna Greenawalt

    It happened to me few months ago, I told the stylist: please just trim the ends, she ended cutting almost five inches of my hair.

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