Every Saturday starting around age 5 or so my mom would take me to the room where our clothes were washed, wrap me in a towel and place me strategically in front of a huge double sink.
She would shampoo, condition, add aloe vera or something else I considered gross, re wash detangle and style my hair right in there. To be honest I really can’t remember when it all started, I said 5 because that’s probably as far back as I can remember.
We had a routine, I hated it and I loved it for many reasons, all of which were mostly kid stuff because I am sure there was more fun stuff could have done with my Saturday morning, like play Duck Hunt on Nintendo for instance.
But then again I loved talking to my mom at that time, it was bonding time and I appreciated that, we had a thing and all the girls at school were doing it with their moms too.
If you really think about it, the DIY trend has been around for years, our moms took care of our hair the best way they knew how when we were kids and to this day we have moms doing what was traditionally passed on to them as they wash and style their own daughter’s and sometimes son’s hair every weekend.
Fast forward to our teenage years and early twenties, we started exploring salons and using stylists more often because of course having relaxed hair was the thing to do as early as 13 years old and even younger if you were ‘lucky’.
Saturday was now spent again still with mom but at the beauty shop with your favorite stylist and all your girlfriends at that time were doing that too. Like an addiction, we supported the cosmetology industry even when we were broke.
And even though we appreciated the services we received good or bad, we did it at the expense of not learning anything about our own hair care. Women literally put their hair in the hands of an established professional and trusted that she or he would do the right thing.
According to a British survey conducted by Tresemme, the average woman spends a shocking $50,000 on her hair over her lifetime. Now considering that black women are not exactly ‘average’ as numerous studies have shown that we spend up to 6 times more than other races, you can imagine the mind bending figure that we black women actually spend over our lifetimes on hair salon visits and hair products.