As my transitioning journey came to a close in July, I started looking for natural hair salons in my area to visit for my long-awaited Big Chop. After calling several shops that not only questioned me when mentioning “B.C.” and “co-wash,” and were also rude when I questioned their understanding of natural hair “lingo,” I began to panic. Was I going to be able to find a natural hair salon that was knowledgeable about natural hair practices and make me feel comfortable at a time I was sure to be nervous?
After cringing at the thought of giving myself the B.C., I stumbled upon NaturallyCurly.com and found Serendipity, a natural hair salon in Ann Arbor, a predominately white city here in Michigan. Although reviews of the salon and stylists were excellent, 2A curly heads left most of them. Only one review was left by an African American (as she said stated in her post), who happened to have a hair type of 3C. Though I did not know my hair type at the time, I knew for sure it wasn’t anything lower than 4 and higher than b.
To get all of my questions answered, I simply called the salon. Who knew that would be the last call I had to make on my quest of destination: Big Chop. Carmen, the stylist answered all of my questions and even said they practiced the Curly Girl method also known as, the “no-poo” method. I then booked my appointment, more anxious than ever to reveal my all-natural beauty.
After traveling one hour and back to and from the salon, I came home with video camera evidence of the chop. After showing footage and photos from the big debacle, the number one thing family and friends had to comment on, surprisingly, not my hair, but the fact that I left my hair in the hands of a white woman.
After explaining that she was a natural hair stylist, people were still not convinced. “I don’t care what she is, I wouldn’t dare let a white woman touch my hair.” “You’re crazy. I’m surprised she didn’t jack your hair up.”
Shrugging that off as typical ignorant chatter, I posted the video on YouTube and though most responses were positive, I also got a couple of comments that focused solely on the race of my stylist.
It amused me that people would judge the stylist on her skin tone even though she is specializes in natural hair. In addition to cutting my hair, she gave me a consultation on how to care for my curls and what products should and shouldn’t be used on my 4A tresses. To make my services even more amazing, she called me a week later to “check and see how me and my curls were doing.” I’ve never had such great customer service anywhere, regardless of what race serviced me.
Don’t get me wrong, I would have loved to give my business to a fellow sister, but if I call your salon and you’re rude over the phone, I can only assume what business I will receive once I’m in your establishment.
*What do you guys think of this situation. Would you choose what salon you attend strictly on the race of the stylist or the service and customer service you foresee to receive?*