I’d like to take the time to blame all of my hair issues on one particular childhood salon experience. At the age of 12, after having been natural for about four years, I requested a relaxer upon entering junior high at a predominantly black school. The girls there had relaxers, and I would make the “transition” as well to properly acclimate myself into the new environment. So I shed my two-strand twists and welcomed the world of swoops, banks, and ponytails once more. Here’s where the plot thickens.
Mom allowed me to accompany her to the salon just a few days before the start of school. She and I sat hand in hand in the salon chair — creamy crack applied — excited about how my below shoulder-length hair would look blowing in the wind. And blow it did. Weeks later, it blew right out of my head. No amount of pink lotion could save the strands that left a trail of hair from my bathroom sink to the shoulders of my school uniform, to the bathroom at school, and oh yes, the teeth of my comb.
Yes, I blame all of my hair issues on the stylist that performed a ritual that left me with a bald spot on the right side of my head for six weeks. My stylist remained silent during my subsequent visit while combing over said bald spat. She layered on the classic black gel to cover up any damage and said nothing to me during my “touch up.”
I was an adolescent without a voice and self-esteem that was on its way in to the toilet. There were no hair care instructions post-appointment to assist me with my newly chemically treated hair. There were no products recommended. No techniques taught. Since the “incident” I’ve been side-eying every stylist post-trauma.
All too many of you share my experience. No matter what age it happened, many of us have experienced the stylist that takes our money, destroys our hair, and offers no remorse for our damaged tresses. Those paid professionals who we bled our hearts to, unveiled our hair’s deepest concerns and ultimately trusted to heal our manes, broke our hearts more times than we can count. And just like in a bad relationship we went back hoping that the next time would be different. But it never got better did it?
These days we flock to YouTube and heed the advice of bloggers with bountiful hair who’ve figured out the healthy hair care formula — women like you and I who’ve been victims of under-educated stylists. These women have found reprieve by the makings of their own hands and have passed down their teachings to millions of us around the globe who’ve ever sat in front of their mirrors in tears as they watched their tresses fall to the floor.
These “experts” share with us their regimens, give us product suggestions, and tutorials — and we adore them. Almost too much. Granted they have their place, we can’t forget that majority of them have no actual professional hair training nor a license. I give them brownie points for their research skills and application; however, it would be nice to sit in the chair of a stylist that can give me the best of both worlds.
Will all the licensed and educated hair stylists please stand up?
What was your scarring professional hair care experience? Have you finally found solace in a stylist you trust?