What to Know Before Setting Your Next Hair AppointmentAs a Naturalista, I can relate when I hear others expressing their frustration with the quality of natural hair salons. A lot of salons portray themselves to be skilled when it comes to this type of hair only to ride the wave of the natural hair “trend.” In reality, a lot of these salons and stylists are not the ones for the job. Because of this, many of us opt for at-home hair treatments and styles because we would rather learn how to properly care for our hair rather than trusting a stylist with our precious tresses. Well, my fellow Naturalistas, there is hope! Although the search for the perfect natural hair salon may get tedious and lengthy, there are many out there that have the experience to cater to our locs and coils. Don’t give up yet. I have a few helpful tips that will make your search a lot easier!
Tip #1: Go into FBI Mode on Social MediaHere’s a tip that I want to dive into because it is prevalent. One of the primary resources for locating new salons of all sorts is social media. We honestly turn to social media to find almost everything in this day in time. Although social media is a great tool that will allow you to search for nearby natural hair salons and stylists, it’s essential that you don’t jump at the first nicely laid out profile page that you see. There are a few things to look out for when researching natural hair salons on social media.
- We know that it is essential to check the photos that the salon (or stylist at a salon) posts.But it’s also necessary to pay attention to small details. For instance, check for similarities in the background, photo quality and even techniques that a stylist uses.These are indicators that the salon is producing organic photos instead of stealing Google images or using stock photos. (Salons and stylists can also catfish you – no one is safe!)
- Also, be sure to check the comments under the posts. A lot of current clients will comment on posts to candidly share their experience with the salon. The more comments, the easier it is to determine the salon’s reputation.
- Profile tags are also helpful because you can visit the client’s page and see how long they kept a style and if they visit this salon regularly.Viewing the profile pages of the clients will also help you gauge what type of clientele the salon serves and if their hair is like yours (fullness, texture, etc.).
Tip #2: Read the ReviewsAs we illustrated above with the social media tips, customer feedback is everything! When checking the reviews for a salon, don’t just look at the comments that appear on the salon’s website. Most companies pick and choose the best reviews for obvious reasons. Be sure to Google the name of the natural hair salon and look at the feedback that comes up in the search because Google My Business reviews are typically a little more authentic. Also, dig into review sites such as Yelp and Facebook for further insight into the salon. The downside to reviews is that most people leave comments when they’ve had a bad experience. That is when quantity plays a considerable role. If you find an excessive amount of negative reviews, then there’s an issue with the salon. However, don’t count a salon out if you only see a bad review here and there. The key is to read thoroughly.
Tip #3: “Date” a Salon Before Committing to ItBefore you get married, you date your partner, correct? You wouldn’t buy a car without test driving it, right? Well, guess what? You can do this with a natural hair salon also! Reach out to a salon that you’re interested in and find out if they offer consultations. The best way to know if an establishment or a stylist is right for you is to go and feel it out in person. I am big on vibes and personalities, so consultations give you the opportunity to experience that before committing to a hair appointment. That is also a great time to scope out the tools and products that they use, which we’ll discuss a little later! Consultations are the perfect time to express what you expect from a hair service. You should also use this time to discuss any hair issues you may have experienced in the past as well as what your hair is currently lacking. “Dating” a salon first will help you weed out the bad ones before having a horrible experience.
Tip #4: Get to Know the StylistsYou may have found a natural hair salon that you think you want to try, but how well do you know their staff? The business may offer the best deals on services, complimentary refreshments, a clean environment, great products for natural hair and many other perks. However, none of that means a thing if the stylists are up to par. Before visiting a natural hair salon, be sure to research the stylists that work there. You may be able to find them listed on the company’s website or social media pages. As mentioned previously, use social media and other digital platforms to do a deep dive into their portfolio. Read their bios thoroughly to get a feel for how well they know about caring for natural hair. You should make sure that the stylist is a licensed professional trained in this area of hair care. Bonus Tip: You may be easier to stick to natural hair salons that have stylists with…natural hair (just saying). Who better to care for your type of hair than someone who has the same kind?
Tip #5: Inquire About the Tools and Products That the Salon UsesIt is your hair, so you have the right to know what the stylists will use while treating your hair. Many of us natural Queens have searched high and low for the perfect products for our hair, so we know what works for us and what doesn’t. We also know how much heat and what kind of heat our hair can handle when blowing it out or getting it straightened. If a salon does not have the right items that are necessary for the growth and vitality of your hair, you can always walk away and keep your search going. Don’t wait until your stylist is mid-style to realize that your hair isn’t getting what it needs to remain healthy.
Choose Your Next Natural Hair Salon CarefullyWhether your hair is transitioning or entirely natural, it is imperative that it is getting the right amount of TLC to flourish. Only a natural hair salon with proper tools and skilled stylists can give you the results that you desire. Say “no” to damaged hair and poor salon experiences by doing your research before setting up an appointment. It’s your hair and your terms – take control of it!
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