Before the online hair community came into being we cared for our hair in some very basic ways. So basic that most of us who attended the salon regularly pretty much expected to have shoulder length thinning hair. As long as the hair grazed our shoulders it was fine and anything longer was referred to as ‘long for a black girl’. Never in a million years could we imagine going to a stylist and achieving waist length hair.
This might be a controversial opinion, but great hair care starts with natural hair. If a stylist can take care of hair in its natural state then you know she is a stylist who’s worth her salt and will probably have some success with looking after relaxed hair too. During a long stretch, both you and your stylist will be dealing with your natural roots constantly so going to a stylist who is clueless about curls and kinks is not a good start to your HHJ.
Natural hair is a different animal from relaxed in the sense that it is not as straightforward to care for. DIY naturalistas will tell you that hands down the secret to great length retention is maintaining protein-moisture balance, reduced manipulation, and protective styling.
Relaxed hair is pretty much the same except that due to the chemical service your hair requires more protein, more moisture and focus and attention where manipulation and protection is concerned.
Most stylists were not trained to take care of curls and kinks so natural hair care for some of them is a pretty new phenomenon. Still I find it a constant source of irony that there are black salons out there that ‘dont do’ natural hair.
With that said, even a professionally trained stylist who has limited experience with natural hair will likely make a few mistakes or will tend not agree with some of your hair care practices if you are relaxed.
Lets test that theory shall we. If you are relaxed, we challenge you to walk into a salon and tell the stylist that you would like to add co-washing to your weekly regimen and that you think air drying is healthier than roller setting or a standard blow dry.
Originally posted 2013-07-08 15:00:53.