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.


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.

Read On!>>>

How to Choose a Natural Hair Stylist

by Toia B of LuvToBNatural

It’s no secret that choosing a good stylist can be hard work. For some, it takes years before they finally find someone who they can really trust with their hair. These five points should help you cut down on that search time… let’s hope!

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.

Read On!>>>

6 Tips on Selecting a Stylist for Your Natural Hair

by Tammy Goodson of CurlyChics

We are all familiar with the old saying, "good help is hard to find". Finding a good stylist is no exception to this mantra, especially when you are dealing with natural hair. It takes an understanding, supportive, patient, and knowledgeable stylist to keep you and your natural fly and healthy! Once you've found this special person, you want to hold onto them. Not only is the stylist important but the salon facility itself.

1. Salon Environment
What is the overall mood of the salon? I want the salon to be an oasis. It should be inviting, warm, friendly, professional and of course, clean. I am not a fan of your boy, Lenny coming in with a full stock of jewelry, fish dinners and DVDs inside his coat. Don't forget the pound cake for desert he has stashed in his trunk. Don't get me wrong - never knock the hustle, however, there is a time and place for everything and FOR ME, I do not want to shop and eat while I am getting my hair done.

2. A Stylist Who Knows Her (or his) Stuff
I want my stylist to be a subject matter expert on hair. Is he or she familiar with your hair type? Does he or she recognize when your hair needs a trim or deep conditioning? He or she may not know everything or be a master in all areas, however, they should be striving to improve. There should be a comfort level with textured hair as well. If they do not know the answers to all of my questions, provide me with another resource. A professional does their homework.

3. Not a "Yes Man"
I want to be able to trust my stylist to do what is best for my hair, even if I don't think its best. Just because I ask for purple hair, doesn't mean the stylist should comply. I understand the concept of the customer always being right, however, if your stylist provides you with useful information and educates you about your hair, you are more likely to trust them when they tell you “no” and explain the reasons why.

4. Time Management
If you are like me, your time is limited. I am spread pretty thin with 2 children, a full time job and a home to maintain. When I make a 4:30 pm appointment at the salon, I would like to be serviced no later than 4:45, 5:00 at the latest. Some stylists will book 4 people in one 4:30 time slot. In my opinion, this is asking for trouble. Unless you have an assistant and are able to work it out, it is setting yourself up for failure. I understand that things happen which can throw off the schedule, but if this is something that happens consistently, this is not the salon for me.

5. Product Selection
What if you don't like the products your stylist uses, but you like the way he or she does your hair? Is the stylist willing to allow you to bring in your own products? Some salons are "Concept Salons" and therefore, the stylists are only permitted to use certain products. If you are particular about what products you use in your hair, for example, you don’t use sulfate shampoos, this may be a deal breaker for you.

6. Personal Reference
Word of mouth is so powerful! When you see someone’s hair you admire, ask them who does their hair. This is the perfect opportunity to find out all of the things I mention above. This person will already know the ins and outs of the salon and can share their experiences with you.
*Also consider a consultation with the stylist. This way you see them in action.

Sharing hairstories and life experiences from a curl’s perspective. Find Tammy at her blog, Curlychics, on Twitter, and Facebook.

5 Questions to Ask Your Natural Hair Stylist

source: Indigofera

by Sherrell Dorsey of Organic Beauty Vixen

Transitioning from chemical or heat-styled hair to a mane full of kinks and curls can be a daunting journey. Especially when you are searching for the right professional to help you in the process. A friend of mine truly doesn’t even know her real hair texture as she has had a perm for the majority of her life! Folks like her can be challenged with style options and choices when it comes to styling their natural hair.

Before you jump into the hands of a “natural” hair stylist, be sure to do your due diligence and make sure your stylist has the credentials to really take care of your hair before showing you how to become re-acquainted with it.

Here are a few questions you should ask a potential stylist during an initial consultation:

  • How long have you been natural? - Don’t let your stylist fake the funk. While pressed and permed stylists can have the skills to play the natural hair frills, it’s always best to go with your own kind. What better stylist to have taking are of your hair but one that has been taking care of their natural hair for a few years? As a natural OBV, I know that this process is a journey with ups, downs, questions, experiments and a whole lot of confusion. A natural hair stylist that has gone through that journey can provide better answers, advice and solutions for you as you travel down this path.
  • Do you use natural and/or organic products? – What’s the point of going natural if you’re still going to lather your hair with chemicals and toxins? Your natural hair stylist should be up on the organic game with great product suggestions, in-depth product knowledge and a database of information related to some of the best brands of natural hair products for your hair texture. I’m a sucker for someone that knows their products. Your stylist is the person that will recommend the best shampoos, conditioners, oils, sheens, etc, for your hair so make sure that they appear to be well versed in this area.
  • Are you licensed? - While many natural hairstylist don’t have to be licensed, it’s always a relief to know if your stylist has gone through cosmetology school, has been trained in different hair textures and can do everything from color to heat-styled looks. They’ve made a conscious decision to turn to natural hair. Also, find out how committed they are to this field and ask if they continue to take courses on natural hair. A stylist that invests in learning new techniques and trends is a great one to stick with!
  • Can I see your portfolio? – Can they really do some hair? I can throw in some cornrows and put a flower on an afro in a minute, but that doesn’t make me talented. Check out your stylists’ portfolio to see their style, creativity and innovation. Even if you are simple with your look, it’s always great to know that you have someone on your team that can develop a great image with your hair and give you new, sexy or chic looks without hesitation.
  • How many returning clients do you have? - This question is really the ringer. They’re natural. Check. They use natural products. Check. They are licensed. Check. They can create some slammin’ looks. Check. The interrogation process is coming to a close but the most important question out of all of these is how many satisfied clients do they have? Are they difficult to work with? Do they constantly double book? Are they always late? Are they unprofessional? Your hairstylist is almost your new spouse. You want to make sure you are creating a healthy relationship that helps you to become a better you. Beware of potential fatal attractions. If you can, speak with some of their clients for the dish on what it’s like to work with them. After all, you are spending your hard earned money. Don’t throw it away with someone you may not be able to trust!

For a list of natural hair salons in your area, check out our directory here.

Do you have a fabulous natural hair stylist that has helped you take care of your natural hair like none other? Please share your experience on how the relationship began!

Sherrell Dorsey is a natural beauty expert, writer, speaker and advocate of health, wellness and sustainability in communities of color. In addition to creating OrganicBeautyVixen.com, Sherrell writes beauty articles for Tyra Banks's beauty and fashion site TypeF.com, Jones Magazine, MySalonScoop.com and Posh Beauty. Follow Sherrell on twitter at www.twitter.com/organicvixen and connect with her on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/OBVMedia.

"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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