Finding a hair stylist is a difficult task. Now make that a Natural hair stylist and the difficulty is magnified by 10. I want to share my adventure in finding a salon to take care of my natural hair. I wanted a change, so I decided to get my hair wet set. I figured it would not be so hard to find someone that will do it on natural hair. I would just look Google natural hair salons…Boy,was I wrong. My next few days were spent researching and calling several salons asking the same questions.
-Do you service African American kinky curly hair?
-Can you wet set African American kinky curly hair?
If I did not get no to the first question I would certainly get no to the second one. Blow drying is so damaging to natural hair. Why is finding someone to wet set such a big deal? Am I the only one in the world who wants a wet set?
I could not believe the experience I was having. First off, the only natural salons in my area focused on locs, twists or braids. Then, I moved on to popular curly hair directories. The problem with curly hair salons is they may not be able to style kinky/curly hair. The last thing I wanted to do was walk into a salon and frighten the hell out of everyone. I imagined the look of terror on the stylist face when I let my hair out of my bun. Next, I made a mistake of going to a black salon that did not list natural hair services. I went to a popular black salon in my area on the way home and asked if they would wet set my hair. She looked at me like I was crazy. It was like I could read her mind “The only thing I can do to that is slap 2 boxes of perm in it”.
I told my coworker what I was going through trying to get my hair done. She is white with curly hair and she told me about her hair stylist. I respectfully explained that our hair is very different. She told me she has seen her hair stylist with clients with hair like mine. So, I booked an appointment and have been going to her ever since. She cut my hair in layers and wet set the hair.
Through this experience I learned the following:
1. Just because the stylist shares your skin color and your hair texture does not mean she knows or wants to know anything about your hair in its natural state.
2. Curly hair has been thrown around the internet very loosely. It is very important to classify curly/ kinky/ wavy when looking for a stylist or hair product for that matter.
3. Kinky hair has been beaten into submission for so many years, we have to understand that there is going to be a learning curve on how to care for our hair. There is definitely more acceptance in the last few years but we still have a long way to go.
4. Many traditional “White” salons now have at least one stylist that will service kinky curly hair. So, don’t limit your search to “Natural Hair Salons”.
NaturalHairSalonFinder.com is like a match making service for natural hair. You can search by the service you are looking for e.g. wet set, locs, blow out… These salons have at least one stylist who service kinky/curly hair. Some salons offer coupons.
I know that I am not the only person who has experienced this. There are many posts in natural hair forums with people looking for natural hair stylists. Share your experience on searching for a stylist for your natural hair.