• Etinosa J Ogbevoen

" I will NEVER go to a natural hair salon ever again!"

I'm really not that kind of person that complains too much to others about things. But today I thought I would let some of my frustrations out. I'm frustrated with Natural Hair Salons.

Here is a little background about my hair journey. Growing up my mom was not well versed in natural hair and the world of swimming. At a young age she started putting relaxers on my har to make it more manageable for her but little did she know that harsh chemicals and constant exposure to a chlorinated pool would start to break off my hair. So in sixth grade I she cut off all my chemically treated hair and I started from the bottom. Since she didn't know what to do with my hair and I was swimming competitively we resorted to braids constantly. from 6th grade to 12th grade my hair was in braids with very little time in between each installment. When i did wear my hair out I straightened it consistently. It wasn't until the end of my swimming career that I decided to start embracing my hair. In college I was introduced to the natural hair world and to say the least it was hard to find exactly what worked for me and my hair. I dyed my hair sophomore year which was a horrible idea and a year or two later I decided to cut off all the color that was left and start anew. I did protective styles and my hair flourished. I was happy with my length and I knew it could only get longer if I kept doing what I was doing.

Before I went to college I had never gone to a salon to get my hair trimmed. So I thought I was being proactive when I went to a salon in St. Louis and told them I wanted a TRIM. The stylist asked me if I wanted to even my fro out and to me that meant have even ends. So he evened out my fro and what not. Btu I soon realized that evening out my fro was not the same as trimming my ends. So I was disappointed in the fact that my ends were still dead and I had paid him to keep me at square zero.

That salon really wasn't all that bad. I blame myself for not being knowledgeable in the terminolgy but I'm upset that they didn't ask more questions about what I really wanted.

My second and last experience with a natural hair salon came about a week ago. I went to Cultivate Salon in Tower Grove in the St. Louis area. I had researched this salon and their procedure seemed more align with the service I like to get. I love my hair and I have goals for the length that I am trying to achieve so for me to let someone else deal with my hair takes a lot for me. Again I went there for a trim because it had been 4 YEARS since I have gotten a professional trim and thought I would be in good hands seeing that the owner of the shop would be the one handling my hair. Little did I know that she was a scissor happy stylist. We talked about my hair for a little bit and she was telling me things that I already did to my hair after watching countless Youtube videos and talking with peers who were on the same journey as me. Like I mentioned earlier my hair had grown a lot in that year that I was actively protecting my hair. As she's talking to me she starts combing through my hair and begins to CUT. After maybe like 20 snips have passed I asked her about how my ends were looking and how much she was cutting because she didn't tell me. When she gave me an estimate about how much she CUT so far, it was a good 2 inches. It doesn't sound like that much but when your hair is between 6-8 inches 2 inches makes a huge visual difference.

There was nothing I could do except to let her continue to chop off my hair. I was very upset at the end where she put her fingers through my hair exclaimed with happiness what an amazing job she had done. (I really should've taken a picture) She had decided on her own that my hair needed to be cut in a long tapered cut that I never asked for.

I have a real problem with natural hair salons. There are many people who refuse to go in because that have heard and it has been proven that many, and at all, stylists are scissor happy. I'm not aloof to the needs of my hair and I didn't go in there to be told what I already know and what I'm already doing to my hair. I think my biggest problem is that they believe they know what's best for your. When it comes to my hair and if I decide to spend money on services I would prefer that it was done to my liking.

I know I will never go to a natural hair salon again but if you decide to go there are a few things to remember.

1) Be Vocal | Don't be afraid to tell them exactly what you came here for and what you need them to do. It's not their hair so they won't know unless you tell them.

2) Bring A friend | I really think this helps because you're more comfortable with them and I'm sure you've told them what you want done. They will encourage you to speak up before anything is done to your hair.

3) Do Research |I highly suggest asking friends about salons that they go to and trust. Word of mouth is really important when choosing a salon. Someone wouldn't send you to a bad place.

4) Learn about your hair | Youtube has been a great resource for me and I have learned a lot from it. I tried new treatments and products and was able to figure what made my hair feel and look its best.

Even though I am upset that she cut my hair, I have to remind myself that it's only hair and it will grow back with tender love and care.

AUGUST 2015 after I cut all the color out.

AUGUST 2016 before my hair CUT.