Saturday, December 13, 2008

Why I Hate Salons

I went to the salon this week to get my hair braided. And I was reminded of all the reasons I hate to go to salons.

This was my 3rd visit within a month, which is unheard of for me, as I prefer to have the stylist come to the house to my hair. Also, I hate the long hours of sitting in uncomfortable positions that doing your hair requires, so I try to do this as infrequently as possible. This means keeping a style for as long as I can get away with.

This week I went to take out a weave that I had put in about 10 days before. This was my first weave since 1996. Let's just say that I am not a big fan of weaves. I can appreciate a well-done weave on someone else, but I feel very artificial with them on me. The Indian curl, which I liked from afar was a logistical nightmare for me; from tangles and knots that required constant brushing to be kept at bay and flyaway strands that kept straying into my mouth. Then I hadn't bargained for the heat at the back of my neck.

Anyway, so I decided to take out the weave and return to the familiar terrain of braids. The weave specialist took out the weave, washed, steamed and blew-dry my hair. As she dried my hair by sections, my hair swelled from a short wet mop to a formidable billowy cotton ball. I think this must have scared off the other stylists, because the lady who was supposed to braid my hair feigned off with an excuse that I didn't quite get. The next lady kept stealing glances at my hair and mumbled that she would be right over as soon as she had finished with the head she was working on. She never did come over.

Eventually, a third lady came over and started on my hair. She worked fast. Then, a second lady came to join her and this was when my annoyance began. As she worked, she complained about my hair being too hard to braid. Initially I kept on reading my book, but at a point I had to ask her why she was experiencing so much difficulty when the first lady apparently wasn't. She responded that she didn't know.

We went on. After about 20 minutes the complaints continued and then I asked her to leave the hair if it was too tough for her. She didn't of course but I really wish she had.

I can't believe how basic customer service principles are so lacking. I mean common sense alone would suggest that it's not a good idea to piss off the client.

And on top of that, the idea that our hair in its natural state should be avoided at all costs ...... Let me not run the risk of sounding like a broken record, because these are not new laments for me.

Well, the braids turned out beautifully and I've been getting a lot of compliments on them. However, in the future I'm definitely not going to sacrifice my peace of mind for a beautiful head of (fake) hair.


nneoma said...

i feel your pain...its not only Nigerian hair braiders that denigrate natural hair...its something i have encountered all too frequently in the states in African American salons, all sorts of African salons, Dominicans etc. one day things may change....

Standtall said...

Frm low cut to dread or frm low-cut to low-cut. I am still thinking. Cant stand all these o

Standtall said...

but true true that ur braid is fine

Ore said...

Thanks, ST! Some say beauty is pain, but I do not concurr. well, perhaps sometimes.

Nneoma, yes oh! I've definitely experienced that in the States. It would be great if things changed one day, but I'm not optimistic.

Chinyere said...

I applaud your stance and really wish more women would love on themselves naturally.
As for customer care in Nigeria... lets not even start!
Since you probably have been working the natural look for a while, do you have any recommendations for where I can go to get my hair twisted? I have short hair... just started with the natural look and dont really know where to go for professional care. Any suggestions of salons in Lagos would be appreciated :).