One of the things that prompted me to go natural was a relaxer debacle at a hair salon in 2009. The hairdresser came highly recommended so I left my hair in her hands. Not a very good idea. I woke up for weeks afterwards with handfuls of hair all over my pillows. Below is what my ponytail looked like by the time the shedding was done. Breakage, split ends everywhere and a significant amount of hair loss in the nape area!


I subsequently took my hair care in my hands and I’ve been my own hair dresser ever since. However, there are times you will still need to go in to see a professional if you are style challenged. I cannot braid my hair no matter how much I try and I’ve been going in to the salon for this for the last few years.

Below are the top seven tips I’ve utilized over the years to avoid any disasters or surprises when I go into the salon:

  1. Do your homework. Google them and check their reviews online.
  2. Find some of their customers and talk to them about their experience; get a feel of the type of customer service they provide and if they listen to their customers. Look through common hair forums for any disaster stories.
  3. When you go in, make it perfectly clear that you are not interested in altering your curl pattern or looking for permanently straight hair solutions before they initiate any treatments on your hair.
  4. Wash, condition and blow-dry your hair if necessary before you go in. Try to do as much of it at home as you can.
  5. Go in with your own hair products and make sure that’s what they’re applying to your hair. Let them know you are not interested in substitutions or new product recommendations.
  6. Ensure you are facing the mirrors the entire time so you can see what’s been done to your hair.
  7. If they start arguing with you about what you want, run. Don’t try to reason with them. Just run.

My braider knows I’m very particular about my hair. When I come in, it’s only to braid and not listen to straightening recommendations. I also go in with my wide-tooth combs, shea butter, hair oil and hair clamps so nobody gets any ideas about sticking a tail comb in my hair. The relationship is magical and I’m happy to tip for the extra care taken.

Below is a picture of my healthy bun with recovered nape these days.


At the end of the day, it’s your hair and no one can know it as well as you do. If you’re not satisfied at any point in the process, just leave. Don’t try to reason with the stylist.

This article was originally published on Natural Oils for Hair & Health.



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