Back On The Topic Of Salons



Last week I did a post on things that irritate me about salons, and after getting it off my chest I was relieved-truly. Until my friend, I won't mention her name-has got me fuming again. On Saturday she called me around 12-30'ish and we talked for a minute or two. But not long enough for her to tell me where she was because I was in the middle of straightening my hair. Then later that day, she called me back around 5-ish and declared, "You will not believe where I've been all day...the salon." Almost five hours to get an $80 rod set.

Sigh, I have so many things to say about that. First, the wait is probably the main thing that deter people when they consider a visit to a salon. And I've noticed now that I have natural hair the 4-5 hour wait time has customary. So this is why I don't go unless I need a cut or something that I can't do myself. I do not understand what's going on with these salons. I don't know if they simply do not want natural clients or whether they are trying to capitalize on natural clients, but this is unacceptable. My suggestion, the next time you find yourself waiting in a salon for 4-5 hours, you need to get up and leave.

Now, I am not oblivious to the fact that natural hair takes a little longer to deal with, but really? It takes me all of one hour to wash, deep condition, style and blow dry my hair. So two-three hours should be tops in a salon.
Now lets talk prices...why does a roller set costs $80 on natural hair but $45 on relaxed hair? Both styles only last 3-5 days (if your lucky). Both styles involve the same steps, method, and products. So why the big disparity in price? This is another thing I don't understand and probably won't ever. In my opinion, a upcharge of $15 -20 seems more reasonable since natural hair is a little more to work with.

I know that for many of us, going to the salon is inevitable. But I have two suggestions if you're going to go. One do your research. Ask for your friends or co-workers for referrals. When you call ask for pricing upfront and average wait time. Make it clear upon arrival that you have to be out of there within a reasonable time frame. And don't be afraid to re-address the issue of time if you see that they are taking too long. You can always partial pay, leave, and go home to do it yourself.

Secondly, practice styling methods at home. There are hundreds of Youtube videos and blogs out there designed to educate curly girls on styling methods and techniques. So, many of these styles you can accomplish at home for a fraction on the cost. It should never be necessary to spend $80 on a style that will only last a few days unless it is an important event like a wedding or special occasion. Or unless, you're balling like that...lol


My ranting ends...
8 Responses:

..lol.. I had been contemplating going to the salon for "something different" but I'll just wait and go for my b'day. Until then, I'll go ahead and get off my lazy bum and "do it different" myself!


Yeah, I agree! I am considering getting my hair straightened for graduation but honestly after reading everyone's comments I am a little nervous...lol

I know that everyone's experience is their own however, clearly, there are some issues with going to a mainstream salon when your natural...*sigh*

I'll work it out though....


does anyone have any experience going to a dominican salon? i've been flirting with the idea of getting a blowout and trim (i haven't worn my hair straight pretty much since it's been natural ie for 3 years) but i'm a little nervous now...


I wouldn't ever consider a 80.00 anything from a salon unless it was going to take some days to do it or it was a posh spot and I was going to get perks like a massage while they are doing my hair plus some drinks and snacks.

No thank you, no ma'am


oh no dont go to the dominican salon. They dont know anything about natural hair. The whole time I was there they were trying to convince me to get a relaxer.


ohh in the last post I thought you were talking getting natural hair done at natural hair salons which if speaking of getting braids, twists, loc extentions etc. It's going to take some time and cost a pretty penny on the basis of that alone. And those styles should last you a month based on the client's own maintenance at home not a week or two, which when broken down price wise for something that'll last that long is actually less than getting it done every two weeks.


But concerning what you are talking about:) That wait thing is an issue across the board, not just if your hair is natural and especially in the African American salon and I've worked at all kinds. Because it can take longer for our hair dependent on the service and I'm including permed clients in that, the stylist often double or even triple book services factoring in time for conditioners and washing that by the time the client gets all of that done they'll be ready to style them but it never works out for the client to get in and out of the door in a reasonable time and often time are waiting hours after having been washed.

Dependent on the length, texture etc. of the hair, it will take longer to dry natural hair than permed. So a rod set, while I don't think it should be that much more for a natural client will cost more and I even imagine extra care so that there aren't some area's that are puffy or that it doesn't sweat out etc.

But before I got into natural hair, I worked as a shampoo girl at a salon during a break from college, she wasn't a natural hair salon but natural clients were her primary source of business. They'd come in to have her straighten their hair because they loved how she did it and I'm sure working here played a part in my choosing to go natural. Anyway she trained me to wash their hair how to easily detangle it and to section off the hair and place them under a hood dryer. By the time she'd blow dry and straighten there hair they were only in the shop a few hours. But the hood dryer cut down the drying time natural hair takes much longer again depends on each individual person, but it takes longer to dry and if the client wants the hair straightened there is the work of doing some of that with the dryer and so she simply had a method in place that made it better for the client and effective for her as well.


But I think with the cost issue too some things have to be more based on different factors but not really worth it for the client. I think about that with some restaurants I enjoy for example they just opened a good burger in philly and this place is indeed clean, they use certain beef or something LOL I think organic products whatever the case, the extra touches they give raises the cost to the point of ridiculum for what's being purchased but what's being paid for is all of those extras. But it's not worth it when it comes to what I'm buying and the actual flavor of the food burger king is good enough in this instance:)

But a resolve for that is to ask the stylist why the cost is such a huge difference and decide if it's worth it for you.

And the same can be the case with salons. You can go to the corner neighborhood salon (if that exist dependent upon where you live I suppose:)) and paid a fraction of those costs and come out with one of the best styles you've ever had. Especially older stylist who came up on press and curls or roller sets for instance when it comes to those styles.

And lastly, sometimes flat out the stylist is just being greedy or they have a big enough name for themselves to be able to go there orice wise. A salon I'd go to in Philly charged $500.00 for individuals!!! I went for loc maintenance btw. They really were done excellent, better than most but not worth that cost for me and a friend raised a point about another salon, that those prices are charged to keep that client out of the chair because it takes so long it cuts the earning power down. But also the owner styles the head of Jill Scott, Tye Tribbett and a grip of other natural celebs.

And I can go on for days but ultimately I'd encourage natural woman to, and I say this because it's the conversation among natural all across the blogesphere. Don't write off the hair stylist even if you don't chose to go to one because you're not able to take care of your own hair. There are probably more good reputable stylists out there than bad and when the anti-salon talk goes on it hurts their business. Also causes the client to go in with the expectation that the stylist will jack their hair and in my experience as a stylist, doing a client that was satisfied with her service when she walked in the door with that attitude is 0. I'm not talking having some reservations because of trying a new stylist/salon I'm talking I hate salons they don't know what they're doing but I've decided to give it a shot because of abc xyz.

If I can add to the list of things to look for in salons, ask them how long they've been doing hair themselves and even their experience with doing natural hair. Ask for a consultation if they don't naturally offer one. If they speak on some things that are foreign to what you already know about your own hair, you'll know that's not the stylist for you.

Okay I'm done!:) And appreciate the balance of having the salon listing. Also peep sites like thecoilreview.com they have salon listings and also have stylists speaking on the site an youtube interviews of some. Also naturallyyoumagazine.com has a listing of salons.

Sorry know this is long as all get out but wanted to add the bias hairstylist opinion once again to this discussion!:)


You need to PREACH!

I am a firm believer that time is money. The more time they spend on our hair is the more money they want to charge. Well it needs to be used on them. Minus $5 off what they want to charge for every hour of OUR time we wait.

I have finally completed my transition and now my hair is completely natural so I don’t go to the salon as much, but prior to that I would get to the salon at least an hour BEFORE the salon opens at 9am just so that I could be first and I still don’t get out of there until 12 or 1pm. WHAT IS THAT!

Now I see the regulars at my salon and they ask where I have been and I let them know straight…unless I am getting a cut or a weave I can not spend my whole day at the hair salon.


Girl I completely agree w/ you... The only time I EVER visit a salon nowadays is to get a trim. I seriously stopped going b/c of the wait like you said- it would take up my whole Saturday if I didn't hit the shop as soon as it opened- And who wants to get up early on a Saturday??


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