I Cheated... and Loved It!

IG @candicoatedcurls 

by Tiffani Greenaway of MyMommyVents.com

Ever since I was a little girl, I've loved experimenting with different hairstyles.

My mom would send me to school with two neat plaits, and I'd step off the bus with a Solange-esque 'fro. In 8th grade, I'd rock my hair in a half up, half down style with the bang falling over my eye, like Aaliyah. In college, I colored it honey blonde in the dorm bathroom. I've always been impulsive with my hair, figuring if I hate it, I can always grow it/weave it/dye it/go bald and start over.


Falling In Love With A Natural Hair Stylist

IG: __lipstickncurlss__

by Tiffani Greenaway of MyMommyVents.com

Finding the right relationship is hard. It needs to be easygoing and convenient. There needs to be honesty and trust. And, good communication is an absolute must.

Your relationship with your stylist is an important one.

Entrusting your natural hair to someone else can be a tough task. Choosing the right salon and stylist will not only help your look, but also help your hair stay healthy. Besides your spouse, this is one of the most long lasting relationships you can have. So how do you find The One?

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How to Choose a Natural Hair Salon: 5 Tips

Photo Credit: Nathalie Dortonne Photography

by Jascmeen of JascmeenBush.com

Naturals are born DIYers. We take the time to learn our hair and give it the absolute best care possible. Whether it’s to get an annual trim or just a little pampering, sometimes a trip to the salon is warranted— just make sure that you’re trusting your hair to an expert. Here are five tips to getting the salon experience you deserve.

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Natural Hair Salon: How to Choose the Perfect One for YOU!

L & Co Salon in Old Town Saginaw

by Charlene Walton of TexturedTalk.com

After talking about why natural hair salons should teach texture education, the first step for many women is actually finding a credible salon to attend. Finding the perfect natural hair salon or hair stylist can be a very daunting task. It can take months or even over a year to find the perfect match. And if you recently moved to a new city you may have no idea of the first steps to looking for a new stylist. Or maybe you are a new natural and your current stylist does not specialize in natural hair. Whatever the case, here are a few tips to finding the perfect natural hair salon.

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Natural Hair Salons: Why They Should Teach Texture Education

by Charlene Walton of TexturedTalk.com

As a person who prides myself on caring for my natural tresses at home, I also understand the importance of having a professional stylist. Some things just should not be done at home. For example, coloring your hair almost always requires a professional. Last year was sort of a whirlwind for me. Due to a bad experience with heat damage earlier in 2015, I revolted against the salon for a few months. I was completely against anyone touching my hair except for my amazing stylist from DC, Marissa Robinson, which you can read more about here. However, after 3 months I finally decided to let a new professional touch my hair. I desperately needed a trim since that’s the only thing I can not do by myself and another service I believe should not be completed at home. Although I was a little skeptical, still scarred from my previous experience, I was nothing short of satisfied upon leaving and the salon and here’s why. I LOVED the educational component my stylist passed on to the shadow stylist helping her for the day. Here’s a recap of my experience and why more salons should teach texture education.

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How to Choose a Natural Hair Salon

 Taken by Beauty Blogger under the Creative Commons License

Sometimes you grow tired of all the DIY associated with being natural. There's no greater feeling in my opinion of having someone else really scratch your scalp. It is so amazing, I'm not even over exaggerating. Because I'm a complete and total penny pincher, I mean frugal shopper, I only treat myself to the luxury of going to the salon every once in a blue moon. However, I've found that not all salons are created equal. Even a self proclaimed natural hair salon may not meet the care standards I feel are necessary for my hair. Whether you have a special occasion you're getting dolled up for, need a good trim, or you just need a break, there are certain things you should look for in a salon. Some salons feel that the only difference between natural and relaxed hair is that they do not have to give you a perm. This is not true though. Straight and curly hair have to be treated differently. There is a higher level of care that curly and especially kinky textures need to be treated with. So what do you need to look for in a salon?

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4 Reasons Why I've Abandoned the Black Salon

  by Ariane of BlackNaps.org

After reading Did Natural Hair Kill the Black Salon? on AlantaBlackStar.com and my own recent experience, I was inspired to share my thoughts. I can already see this being a wildly unpopular post, but oh well I am going to post it anyway! I have never been a huge salon person to begin with mostly because I never wanted to pay salon prices. At this point, I usually don’t go unless I want my hair trimmed or there is a certain style that I know I am not great at achieving on my own.

It should be noted that my experience is limited to my location (South Jersey) which is not at all particularly known for the best of the best natural hair salons. I am sure if I were living in NYC or ATL where there are a plethora of expert stylists, maybe my experience would be different. With that being said, that is why when I am asked by readers what salons do I recommend, my honest answer is I don’t have any.

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Are We Guilty of Undervaluing Natural Hairstylists?

There was a time when the American beauty shop/salon was a place for women to meet and socialize. It was a place to catch up on the gossip, but also a place to seek important information. The African-American beauty shop was sacred, the place where the magic happened. Community leaders and politicians often sought support from local stylists. They knew that beauty shop conversations were pivotal to influencing popular opinion. Regardless of the culture, beauty shops have been essential parts of the community and have been respected for generations.

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6 Tips for a Great Day at the Salon- Natural Hair Tips

by Camdiesel

The big curly ‘do that works well for the office and the weekend suddenly needs to be transformed into a sleek up-do and the split ends need to be trimmed...just a bit. Like most curlies you’ve been doing it all yourself, but you just don’t have the time, know-how or energy required to execute a sexy up-do or a haircut. Time to call in a professional stylist, but finding one experienced in styling natural hair is like rolling dice...and coming up with snake eyes could mean wasted time, money and a hairstyle that doesn’t meet your expectations. Here are a few considerations that can make the difference between a great hair day and a day filled with disappointment and regret.

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Self-Sufficiency & The Effect On Natural Hair Salons

HomieLoverFriend made a comment the other day that made me look at this “natural hair movement” in a new light. As he watched me twist my hair one night, he said “It’s good that you can do your hair on your own for the most part, but your hairdresser must hate that.”

A lightbulb went off.

Compared to when I was relaxed, my schedule for patronizing salons has gotten less and less frequent. When I was relaxed, I wisely left complex chemical treatments to the pros, but also relied much more on the skill of my favourite stylist to keep me looking good. After I transitioned and started wearing my hair naturally, a lack of competent stylists plus a desire to learn for myself led me to do more at home. Many naturals have echoed the same motivation to become reacquainted with their own hair, and to save money that was spent more regularly at salons – but what does this mean for salons catering to natural Black hair?

Read On and Weigh In>>>

On the Couch w/ Marie Simone- Syl's Stylist

Hola Chicas!

Whenever I share pics of my mother and sister - both natural- I gets tons of inquiries about their stylist. Questions about the amazing person that flat irons their hair monthly and yet it continues to revert, grow long and strong (quite fast actually), and look so full. Well, my curly loves, let me introduce you to stylist extraordinaire, Marie Simone.

Marie Simone knew from an early age that she wanted to be one of the leading hair stylists in the industry. After graduating from Beauty School, Marie worked in the industry for 4 years before opening her own salon – Shi Salon – in 2001. From day one, Shi Salon has focused on giving clients great hair styles, superior customer experience, and the products and knowledge they need to maintain healthy hair. This approach has garnered Shi Salon local and national recognition. In addition to being ranked by customers as one of the top salons in St. Louis, Shi Salon was featured on the Style Network’s reality show, Split Ends, in 2009. Away from the salon, Marie is establishing a growing reputation as one of the industry’s leading freelance hairstylists. Her work has been featured in some of the nation’s top hair, fashion, and lifestyle magazines, including Modern Salon, Essence, Behind the Chair, Sophisticate’s Black Hair, and InStyle. She also recently appeared on a hair styling segment for What’s Hot in My Salon and traveled to Prague to serve as an onset hairstylist for a Dark and Lovely commercial. Marie’s creativity, vision, and passion for hair are stronger than ever. “It’s not just about the hair,” she says, “but it’s also about the creativity and constant change that comes with this industry. There’s always a new trend or a new approach to learn. I love the challenge of staying relevant and fresh and being a trendsetter.

CN: Tell us about your salon and your specialty?
Shi Salon caters to all types of hair textures for all ethnic groups. We take pride in the fact that we offer all hair services; we don’t specialize in just one area or target just one ethnic group. Precision haircuts, creative hair coloring, silkening, eyebrow waxing and extension are just a few of the services we offer. No matter what service a client receives, we’re going to focus on giving them a great overall experience that will keep them coming back. Our goal is to create an “urban refuge,” a place where people can wind down, relax and walk out with a style or other service that they’re truly happy with. From our decorations to our music choices, we do everything at Shi Salon with our customers in mind.

CN: Top tips for natural clients?
Always keep your hair well-conditioned and moisturized. It’s essential to maintaining a healthy, natural style. For deep conditioning, you should wash your hair, apply conditioner to the hair and scalp, cover your hair with a plastic cap and then sit under a dryer for 15-20 minutes. If you don’t have a dryer at home, you can apply the conditioner and then wrap your hair in a towel for 15-20 minutes. Then, rinse your hair with cool water to close your pores.

Other tips:
• It’s best to apply oil to your hair when it’s wet. This will help your hair hold in the moisture that’s already on the hair shaft.
• Don’t use petroleum-based products too often. When you do use them, apply them only to the hair, not to your scalp. Petroleum-based products have ingredients that clog your pores and attract dust.
• Have a skilled professional hairstylist clip your ends every 6 to 8 weeks.

CN: You singlehandedly helped my mother transition from thinning relaxed hair to healthy, full natural hair. Can you share what the process what like, what things you kept in mind, and what tips you have for current transitioners?
When helping anyone transition to natural hair, my process includes trimming their ends every 6-8 weeks and applying a deep, penetrating moisturizing conditioner once a month. I always make sure I’m using the right shampoos and conditioners based on the current condition of the client’s hair and I keep in mind the type of natural style we want to achieve. I also advise clients to sleep on a satin pillowcase instead of cotton or to wear a satin cap/wrap. Cotton absorbs moisture and natural hair tends to be dry, so it’s important to preserve as much moisture as possible. Also, I tell people to apply as little heat as possible to their hair during the transition to natural hair. It’s also important to drink plenty of water, and eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Good nutrition and hydration has a big effect on the health of the hair.

For those who are thinking about going natural or are in the early stages, remember that transitioning to natural hair is a process. Once your hair has gotten used to so many products and chemicals, it has to be trained to transition to natural and this can take time. Make a decision upfront that once you’ve decided to go natural, you’re going to stick with it. The process may take a little while and might seem scary at times, but don’t get discouraged. Your hair will eventually become trained and you’ll notice that natural hair is a healthier state because using fewer chemicals puts less stress on your hair.

June 2010, fully natural

Dec 2010

CN: My sister Syl has a head-full of long, healthy natural hair. You flat iron it bi-weekly to monthly. How do you keep it so healthy? How do you prevent curl loss and heat damage?

The key is applying the right type of heat. I make sure I’m using the right temperature. Temperatures for flat irons can go as high as 400 or 450 degrees, but you shouldn’t set the temperature this high. I set the temperature closer to 200 or 250 to prevent heat damage. I also use heat protector products, such as Davines De Stress spray. Heat protectors are used when the hair is wet so that when you blow dry and flat iron the hair, the hair is protected and the proper pH levels are maintained.

click here to see Syl's curly style

CN: What are your favorite products for curly styles?
My favorites for curly styles are Davines Love Lovely Curl Enhancing shampoo and conditioner. I also like Mixed Chicks leave-in conditioner for use on curly weaves. We sell several of these products in the salon as an added convenience to our customers.

CN: Favorite products to achieve straight (flat ironed) hair?
My favorite product to achieve straight/flat ironed hair is Davines Well-Being De Stress Be-Phase Shelter, pH 5.5. It’s actually good for all hair types. This spray hydrates and moisturizes the hair and leaves hair soft and silky.

CN: What else would you like to add?
When you’re natural, you have to own your style. It’s your hair, so wear it proud and wear it well. No matter what your texture is – straight, kinky, curly – own it and embrace it.

Finally, a person’s hair plays a big part in how they feel about themselves and on the personal story they want to tell. It’s a privilege to be a part of that process.

Wanna make and appointment?

Shi Salon
1900 Olive St Saint Louis,MO 63103
(314) 588-9948

On the Couch with PoeticlySpkng

Lynne, aka PoeticlySpkng won the Kim Coles Grow Out Challenge grand prize and was flown to LA last weekend to attend the par-tay. We had an amazing time. Over breakfast she shared this story with me, and now, we're sharing it with you!

Lynne writes;

Well, I started the Grow Out Challenge back in January. Two months later, I had a bit of an encounter with my (then) hair dresser which left me feeling quite discouraged. I went in for a trim in March and came out with a chop. Trim... Chop... There is a difference, right? The difference being a 1/2 - 1 inch trim versus 3+ inches chopped. My bangs went from my chin to the bridge of my nose. The rest of my length suffered the same fate. We all cried "FOUL!" Needless to say I was upset and only took a few photos of my hair from that point until now. Why? Because every photo would remind me of ... dun-dun-dun-de-dun... the incident. The Chop. And the reminder was followed by anger. So! Moving on...

I know, I know. I am not my hair. I've heard this before! It grows back. Yadda. Yadda. But as for me and my hair- We're in love again! This after I realized I was blaming punishing myself every time I looked into the mirror and viewed my shortened strands. Today. Again... I love my hair AND myself. Among other things, my hair has encouraged me to love and honor the rest of me. So, when people assert I am not my hair... I think-- I am also not my limbs, my eyes or my smile. Rather- I am the sum of all my parts. We've been together nearly 3 years... (I know... we're still newlyweds!). At the end of the day, we stick together, for better or worse. And for that I am grateful!

Can you relate? Anyone else had a salon disaster?

keep up with Lynne on her blog-- Girls With Glasses ROCK!

"Natural Hair: A Stylist's Perspective"

Sheenalyoung writes:
I interviewed a natural hair care specialist with my questions, thoughts and concerns regarding the relationship between natural hair women and stylists. Listen to not only a stylist's perspective but a man's perspective.

Weigh in!

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