I am probably going to get a lot of flack for this post, but only way we are going to change salon culture and not just Black salon culture is by changing our expectations.
It's a common story and we all know it. I grew up going to black salons, sitting for hours unacknowledged to only be seated in a chair, turned away from the mirror and finally when they finished, after numerous baby daddy phone calls, inappropriate conversations, and numerous snack breaks, to find that they had done nothing I had asked.
You get in the car. Pull down your visor to see if there is anything that can be done to salvage this mess. Reposition your rear view mirror so you don't have to keep catching this disaster in your line of sight.
I've honestly been trying to figure out when did this become the standard from which a lot of salons work from. But I would rather not waste time trying to discover how the problem began but instead I am aiming to be a part of the solution. Here are a few tips for what you should expect from your hairstylist, and if they aren't meeting up with these standards, it might be time to make a move.
- Being a Hairstylist is a Customer Service Job. You should always be your hairstylists top priority when you are in their chair.
- Its not about them it's about you. If it seems that you end up listening more than they do. Cut em loose.
- On the flip side you do need to have trust in your stylist. This comes with time, but here are a few key indicators that will help to build that trust,
- Timliness- your appointments should always start on time or as close to it as possible. meaning withing 15 minutes of your arrival. If this is not possible your stylist should be smart enough to ask you to reschedule if time is an issue. Just letting you sit is a no, no.
- Thorough consultation. Your stylist should be asking you questions about your hair at every appointment and taking the time to educate you on your needs and wants. Don't let your stylist get too comfortable. Afterall your hair in an investment.
- Honesty. What your hairstylist has to tell you may not always be what you want to hear. They should be taking into consideration your lifestyle, habits, hair texture etc which means sometimes having to say no if it means protecting the integrity of your hair.
- Keep it professional. Getting to personal with your hairstylists and allowing them to get to personal with you can create problems in the long run.
- Don't be afraid to speak up and say no. Sometimes its just not a good fit, just because its your best friends favorite stylist doesn't mean she is the stylist for you. Its like finding that perfect little black dress. It may take you a while but you will be happier in the long run if you wait it out.
- If they state to you that they only deal with certain types of hair, run. As a hairstylist in an industry that is ever changing they should be contstantly educating themselves and moving as the industry moves. If they have placed themselves in a box as a hairstylist then you will most likely want to hide your hair in a box as well.
- If the salon isnt clean and their habits in dealing with your hair aren't clean, its time to go. I have no negotiations on this one. Clean is clean. I don't care if they can give you the makeover of a lifetime if their habits aren't clean you're playing with fire.