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/