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Hair Chronicles: Hairstylists from Hell


I’ve been on a  journey since forsaking the concept of chemicals in my head. I went from the short cut that allowed me to put two dabs of gel in it and go, to the bushy, curly do that sometimes looks confused at what it’s doing.  But one thing hasn’t changed and that’s my luck with NOT  finding a consistent hairdresser. Each time I decided to let my hair grow out for 2-3 months at a time, it would get bigger and bigger. I’m in a  city where it’s not predominantly black so I tried a barber  ’round the corner to have it trimmed. His idea of trimmed was cutting it. Which sucks because I was trying to grow it out!!!!

Take two: I went to a  hairdresser who was more into shaping and trimming who was highly recommended by a coworker. First time out, she was attentive and patient, looking to trim and not cut too much. I went back a second time and I left with it lopsided. WTH? She cut it unevenly and so I felt like I needed to tilt my head to the side or put a piece of weave in to make it even. Sigh… At this point, I stopped going to barbers, beauticians, and decided it is just going to be whatever’s on my head. Why pay someone when they are just going to take me back to the starting point?

Fast forward to one year later. I discovered You Tube, Curly Nikki, all these great hairstyles that I know I can’t create on my own. My hair is now long enough and healthy enough that I decided to try one more time to hook up with someone to play in my head. So….I got on a MeetUp page with natural hair chicks and asked for recommendations. I got two great ones! I made my first appointment and she was so excited to see my hair. She fawned over it talkin’ bout “girl your hair does anything I want it to do, I just love it!” (please remember that response in just one second.) I said that’s great and all but “How much is all that going to cost me?” I mean seriously, one of the reasons I went natural was to save money. She gave me the standard 35.00. Sold! I got a cute hairstyle, which I could sleep on and just wake up and fluff! It  lasted for week so I figured I’d hit her up and go back.

Here comes the hard part. So, when I call you and leave a message you normally respond right? No bueno. She didn’t return my call asking for an appointment in a week.  I checked the number, gave it two days, but figured, this is your bizzz, so why you trippin’? Didn’t you luv my hair? blah, blah? Welp. The problem was I had to go out-of-town and you know how important it is to be appropriately coiffed when flying on da plane. I called back getting desperate. This chick ain’t returning my calls? hmpf! So, I got creative and called the shop and asked for ANYBODY who did natural hair. I got an appointment and let out a deep sign of relief! I needed my hair done and this fool was playin’! So why all of a sudden do I get a call from the MIA stylist two days later asking “I heard you were looking for me.” Of course I was twit! But I calmy said,  “I didn’t know if you were too busy so I went ahead and made an appointment because I needed to get out of town-with my hair done.” She ended up doing my  hair after admitting the other stylist couldn’t do it because she wouldn’t be in the shop. So now, I’m pissed. Is this not your business? And are you still in love with my head like you said you were? I’m quietly seething trying to figure things out when she up and says, regardless of what hair style you get, it’s now $65.  My hair is dripping wet, I have 16 hours before I’m on a plane and I’m looking at Ms. “I can’t call you back to make some money.”

Several thoughts ran through my head. DO I stab her now or wait? Whose going to do my head or will I be in jail so it won’t matter? Man, this chick is trippin’ and I paid her the money. LAST TIME. On the plane, I got home and started looking up the other number for hair stylist. It goes to show that it’s a process to find a hair stylist who not only can do your hair, but is consistent and wants to work. This is why I cut my hair off in the first place. Cue the you tube videos because surfed on the plane before realizing I could do the same thing she was doing to my curls. Of course, it will look different so we are back to only using hairstylist only on special occasions. Ain’t this the jinks? But I’m back to savin’ my coins instead of dealing with idiot businesswomen who only respond to text messages. Sorry for the rant. But I hate unprofessionalism in every area of life!

Hair Chronicles: She Needs to Comb Her Hair and other Natural Hair Assumptions


So, I’ve poured over YouTube videos in the past month in an effort to learn different ways to style my hair. I now know my hair is 4c, which means it’s not Christina Milianish or Beyonce-like but moreso India Arie-ish and Lauren Hill post weed-ish. Yea, it’s thick, with really tight curls, and probably the kind of hair that you would readily perm if you didn’t want the bother. Of course I learned this watching countless “how to” videos of twist outs, two strand twists and natural hair updos. It was overwhelming and I realized, this “natural” hair requires the same upkeep as a woman with a perm who has to flat-iron, deep condition and spend hours in the chair before going home and sleeping pretty at night to save her “do”.

Can I be honest? I finally get the tweets and comments that rant so eloquently: “Just because you have natural hair doesn’t mean you don’t have to comb it, comb your hair girl!!! I couldn’t figure out who they were talking about and for a while thought they were being kind of harsh. But after watching the videos, I can see the difference between a woman who styles her hair versus some (me when I first started) who would slick product in that made it curl up and hoped for the best.

I think there’s a certain freedom women with natural hair expect to have. To some, natural means uncombed, or wild and free or basically  less effort. And true enough, if you have a nice curl pattern, spray some water in it and you’re on your way.   It’s weird but even I’ve seen the side eye glances when I don’t glaze my head with pomade and oil to curl my hair. If it’s straight and afro-ish,  the thought is “you obviously  didn’t comb your hair today”. Tsk. Tsk. But if  you put curl activator in it, think Wave  Nouveau from the 90’s, then you must have combed your hair because of the natural waves. Newsflash, Care Free Curl in your head means it’s responding to something other than itself. It’s a trick of the enemy. Seriously.

There’s always a certain amount of pressure to have your hair laid. My boss is Black, and when she talks to me, she starts with my head. If she likes the style that day, she freely looks me in the eye. But don’t let it be too “bushy” even with a cute headband and some pudding pomade junk in it….she just keeps her eyes at forehead level. Shady. But I can go right around the corner to my  co-worker with the 10 yr old dreads who then raves about loving my hair “just the way it is.” I’m confused. Not really, see boss loves perm and India Arie loves natural. See what I’m sayin’?

Natural hair is not for everyone. Mine is best when it’s short because I’m a get up and go woman. But thanks to YouTube, I see the struggle of women everywhere trying to pretend suddenly they are master hair stylists holding up product and bobby pins attempting to convince me my hair is going to curl up just like theirs.  Just stop it. When you had a perm, you went to the shop. You let her trim, cut, perm and color it. Guess what? Nothing’s changed except the texture of your hair. Until you learn how to manage it, you will probably get “forehead” looks from your friends. I’m just saying. I had to tell the truth about this because I couldn’t imagine someone not combing their hair just because it’s natural. It’s a matter of perception so go easy on ’em. It will take them a while, or a decrease in dates and no one wanting to be seen with them, but they’ll get it soon enough. The uncombed head is not cute. So, even if you think you can rock a Solange 70’s fro with nothing on it, (which is  suspect even for her), let a stylist work on your head now and then. This PSA was supported and submitted by a former uncombed head. Even though it took me an hour of struggling every morning and it still looked that way, I have now been set free. Talk to you later. I have a hair appointment in the morning.