Some curly girls and guys avoid hairstylists because they can’t afford them. But most these days avoid them because they can be absolutely dreadful to deal with. If you’ve been dreaming of visiting a stylist but don’t know what to avoid, here are 5 red flags to let you know that you’ve got hairstylist problems and this one just isn’t for you.
1. They comb your hair wildly
If you sit in your stylist’s chair and they start combing your hair from root to tip instead of gently from tips to roots, then it’s time to head for the door. Whether you are natural or relaxed, black hair should be handled with care. The stylist should apply a product and detangle gently it from the tips to the roots.
Combing and detangling black hair the proper way is one of the basics of hair care, and your stylist should know this. So, if you find that your stylist doesn’t have the patience or knowledge to comb it the right way, it’s time to go.
2. They try to talk you into getting a relaxer
You walk into the salon ready for a little pamper sesh but as soon as the stylist looks at you she tuts and asks if you are getting a relaxer. Nope, you say. You want to remain natural. But she doesn’t give up, she lists the benefits of a relaxer that sounds suspiciously like she just wants to make things easier for herself.
If that’s your stylist, it’s clear that they are not comfortable doing natural hair. Time to find a new one.
3. They skip the deep conditioner every time
The benefits of deep conditioning in black natural or relaxed hair cannot be overstated. Among other things, deep conditioning* is important because it allows the moisture to get deep into your strands making them more resilient and preventing breakage. In essence, if you want to hold on to your length, then deep conditioning* is your number one tool to use.
Yet if you go to a stylist, and they don’t deep condition your hair or try to convince you that it’s not all that important, it’s time to bounce!
4. They don’t mention the state of your ends or suggest a trim
Look I know that many of us want to hold on to the length that we have fought so hard for and there are many conflicting myths surrounding trimming your ends. Some myths state that trimming your hair makes it grow faster… False. Other myths state that natural hair does not need to be trimmed at all, also false. The ends of all hair, natural or relaxed can become weathered and damaged after some time.
A good stylist should know how to examine your ends and suggest a trim if required or not. You don’t have to take their advice, you know some of these stylists are a bit scissor happy, but you should know that they have at least examined your ends and given you a suggestion.
5. The environment makes you feel uncomfortable
When you walk into the salon and notice your stylist is drinking wine, the floors are filthy, and Madea’s Family Reunion is on the TV (true story), then it might be time to find a new stylist.
Just because your stylist does black hair, doesn’t mean that you have to put up with poor ambiance. A business that tries to create a relaxing, welcoming environment is also a business that will consider its clients’ comfort first.
6. Your stylist’s personality isn’t…the best
If you can see them cursing under their breath as you sit in their chair, then they’re not the stylist for you. Making you feel comfortable and listened to is a major part of your stylist’s job. For ages, naturals have been shamed, teased, and ignored by their stylist leading to them never wanting to go to a salon again.
Relaxed ladies have also faced stylists who think they know what’s best for their hair even when the client tries to suggest something different. You and your stylist should be able to work toward a common goal, that is getting your hair looking and feeling its best. If your stylist is unkind, uncaring, or unclear, then they’re not the stylist for you.
7. They aren’t knowledgeable about your hair type…like at all
You’ve all seen those stylists that proudly declare on Facebook that they do only hair types 3c and above leaving the type 4’s out in the cold. Even if your hair is in the 3 category, avoid these stylists like the plague.
A hairstylist should be well-rounded and knowledgeable on the care of multiple hair types. They should be able to give you an informative consultation, answer questions, provide great hair care tips, and recommend products suitable for you.
They should be passionate about hair in general and excited to work on any hair type. Essentially, a good stylist’s enthusiasm for your hair will reflect in their work.
8. Your stylist only wants to do your hair if it’s straightened
Just as bad as the stylists who don’t want to deal with type 4 natural hair or the ones who try to convince you to relax your hair, there are those who want type 4 hair straightened before they deal with it.
If you go in for braids and your stylist pulls out a straightener, grab your things and run! These are the types of stylists that assume that natural hair is unruly, unmanageable, and will try to take the easy way out of caring for your hair.
These types of shortcuts will be a detriment to your hair in the long term. If they can’t take you at your curliest, they don’t deserve you at your straightest.
A hairstylist could have the best personality or the prettiest salon, but if they aren’t properly prepping and caring for your hair, then you might need to keep away.
If the stylist is doing something you don’t agree with, don’t be afraid to speak up for your hair. At the end of the day, you are the one who’ll have to deal with the long-term consequences of your stylist’s actions, so don’t be afraid to say something.
You never know, the stylist may benefit from your kind, but constructive, criticism and become a better stylist in the future.