Monday, 18 February 2013

Why I don’t like Nigerian salons


I use the term, Nigerian, here knowing it is the only country I have visited salons, not that I am particularly picking on Nigerian salons.

I remember when I started making my hair properly in the year 2001 (yeah, it wasn’t that long ago), I knew I had no choice but to go to salons, cos I knew next to nothing about hair. I did not really have anything against salons then, the only thing I hated was my relaxer days. I relaxed my hair every two months, and I did not look forward to the torture when the hair was ‘relaxing’. The worst part was when I had to go under the dryer. It would get so bad sometimes that tears would start coming out of my eyes. The scalp burns, the heat, everything. The funny thing was that my hair was healthy, according to relaxed hair standards.

When I finally gained the courage to cut my hair, and eventually lock it, it was a freedom I had not experienced in a long time. I only had to go to the salons once in a while to lock my roots. The only sad fact was that I knew I wouldn’t be on dreadlocks forever, thus having to eventually relinquish my new-found freedom from salon torture.

When I eventually cut my dreads and went natural, the hairstylists were very reluctant to put weaves my hair cos it wasn’t relaxed. Once my hair became long enough to let out as an afro or put in protective twist, I started educating myself, and eventually said bye to salon visits.

Now that I know what I know, I visit the salon about twice a year, when I have to braid my hair with extensions because I need to travel, or because of the harsh harmattan weather. And trust me, I have come to dread salon visits in Nigeria. These are some reasons why

1. The hairstylists know next to nothing about hair care. The only thing they know about hair is how to make it look nice, and that’s with the use of weaves and extensions.

2. They think you are nuts to carry natural hair, and complain about it. I have since turned the tide around. Once I visit them, I show them pictures of my natural twists, twistouts, etc. Then I start educating them about natural hair, etc. I do this till they shut up, and eventually face their business of making my hair.

3. You constantly have to keep telling them not to pick the hair too tiny and tight. This is because they are more interested in having the braids look beautiful, than they are about having your edges fall off.

4. Many hairstylists can tell enough lies to wake a corpse. Don’t even get me started on this. They would lie that you were the one who told them to cut the extensions into four parts, instead of three, or that they were not the ones who sectioned your hair as big as a yam slice the last time you visited. They just tell annoying lies, and are very deceptive.

5. Many hairstylists are rude. I am sure I don’t need to tell you too much about this. As they feel they are doing you a favour by making your hair. And if your hair is natural, then it is double wahala.

Source

6. I don’t always leave the salon satisfied. After all their paparazzi about how they would make your hair look nice, I don’t end up liking what they have done to my hair cos they don’t give me the effect I want. I end up leaving disgruntled after parting with money.

7. And many more than I care to mention now.

The only reason I go to salons is to braid my hair with extensions. The day I learn to do that myself is the day I would gain 100% freedom from salons in Nigeria.

34 comments :

  1. Yeah! I totally agree wit you. Wen I was natural, wenever I go to a salon they r always lik " your hair is virgin, wen will u relax it, etc" they somtimes go to the extent of charging more than normal bcos its 'natural'. Even now DAT I'm transitioning wenever I go to the salon they wil still be lik " you have too much undergrowth or your hair is due oh! Wen wil u relax it?" and anoda tins is that they r not gently wen handling it. Hopefully one of dese days they wil stop complaining about dose DAT r wearing their hair natural, embrace it and untimately learn how to care for it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can you imagine? Pushing people to the brink of unhealthy hair just for their comfort.

      Delete
  2. The same reasons that made me go natural! This is like me talking, explaining to people why I will remain natural. I leave salons very unhappy after parting with money.
    I beg to share this with my readers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. Cool to share, as long as you reference the source

      Delete
  3. Lovely...echoes my thoughts.thankfully i learned how to braid my own hair while in secondary school so I hardly visit a salon.been natural for almost almost 4yrs.loving it so much

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, lucky you. Wish I could do the same.

      Delete
  4. You nailed it all, I have so many horror stories. SMH!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Atilola, abeg I am almost at the point of using a texturiser for my hair. I haven't been able to get a hang on getting it soft enough for combing before putting it in a protective style. I have tried several methods . I often times have to section it for easy combing, however because I can't twist or cornrows myself I have to go to the salon and my testimony isn't different from what you have listed up here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Deep condition often. Choose good conditioners and moisturizers, with time your hair will adapt to retaining moisture. It's a very gradual process but it works. You'll notice the texture of your change gradually as it grows if you stick to caring for it. In the mean time, use a spray bottle and wet it with water before combing. Also, use a wide tooth comb, it makes the job of combing it easier.

      Atilola, hope you don't mind I took this for you? It was a problem for me too when I started, I can so relate to it, hence my eagerness to help out :)

      Delete
    2. **texture of your hair change...** :)

      Delete
    3. @ Sykik: Oh no, sorry. I want to believe there are some things you haven't gotten a hang of yet. Please, be patient. Firstly, hope you don't comb your hair when dry. If you do that, please, stop. Like MsJB has mentioned, Deep conditioning and daily spritz is the major trick to having softer hair. There are other ways, but these two are very primary, trust me. Please, check this post on ways to make your hair softer if you haven't done so yet. http://www.africanaturalistas.com/2012/05/how-to-make-your-natural-hair-softer.html

      @ MsJB: Of course not. We all need to learn from one another. Please, help away, lol.

      Delete
    4. I oil my cornrows every other day . This is because I wear a wig to the office for now since I haven't gotten a hang on styling my Afro. It's much easier anyways to rock a wig.

      I wash with dudu osun soap every two weeks ( I do hot oil treatment before the washing) then I use gentle touch deep conditioning cholesterol treatment over night, rinse out in the morning and use the Giovanni conditioner. I don't comb my hair when it's dry...I also have it weaved when it's still kinda wet to help with the combing. I comb with wide tooth combs as well. I use one of your hair butter

      Delete
  6. The part I hate most is when I have to constantly beg for my edges but they just do not care. I've not had to make my natural hair in Nigeria yet, I'm so not looking forward to it, 'cause I understand how tasking it'd be

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is very tasking o, and I mean for those who have natural hair.

      Delete
  7. You totally hit the nail on the head! The one that annoys me the most is the way they comb your hair like its on a rock and not a living woman's head...Gosh!!


    Exfolitate your skin with Natural AHA peel

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't allow any one to comb my hair anymore. Never! I go to the salon with my hair detangled

      Delete
  8. Hi dear, I just tagged you in a post now
    http://barbsiesmusings.blogspot.com/2013/02/28-days-of-red-day-20-what-is-in-my-bag.html

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  9. Lucky for you,there is a Salon with well trained NIGERIAN stylists that know hair. Eden salon @ Scapular plaza Igbo-efon Lekki (shameless plug I know but I am proud guys)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okay, Awele, we hear you oo. Thank God I know you as a good stylist, or else, I would have sent Private detectives in disguise to check you out.

      Delete
  10. Gawsh, I could have written this! How about I wanted to get a wig custom-made at a salon in Surulere (name withheld). The girl who does my wig told me to go into a separate room, so the braider could cornrow/weave my hair down. Can you imagine the braider walked in, saw my hair was natural and ran back out, telling someone "Ah I no wan do virgin hair." I was FLIPPING MAD! I called her to come back, told her off, and demanded a different person. GAWSH! So bloody annoying!

    Unfortunately, I'm not great at maintaining my hair myself (let's blame it on the smelly, brown water in Lekki) so I'm desperately looking for stylists who know what they're doing with natural hair. It would be a dream come true :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A real dream come true would be a salon that caters to only natural hair in nigeria.

      That would be the bomb!!

      No stupid questions will be asked

      Delete
    2. @ Berry: First things first, did you get my email? I really need your reply. About your experience, that was really awful, treating your hair like it is leprous. We really need a change.

      @ Fabulous Babe: We would make that dream come true. The problem is the training of the stylists

      Delete
  11. It's not just Nigerian salons, it's black salons everywhere. I find this is gradually changing as more and more black women are saying goodbyes to relaxers and embracing the natural texture of their hair, and for the most part, care for their own hair at home. And so smart hairstylists are starting to notice the loss of their customers and are now catering to natural hair women. I haen't been to one of the natural hair salons here in Toronto since I went natural mostly because I can do most styles on my own hair. I didn't see the need to go out of my way to a salon and then pay them to abuse my hair and insult me. This is very common with African hairstylists who only care about the aesthetics of the hair rather than the health of it. I blogged about this with regards to hair washes here
    http://themanecaptain.blogspot.ca/search?updated-min=2012-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&updated-max=2013-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&max-results=2

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Really? Since I have only visited salons in Nigeria, I couldn't tell about others. I sent you an email. Did you see it?

      Delete
  12. Yes I am in South Africa and I can relate to this article and some of the comments - lucky here we are starting to see more and more natural salons but I still surprised when people who have my hair under their weaves react like my hair is foreign - How Odd?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have natural hair salons in SA? Cool. We are gonna work on making that a reality in Nigeria.

      Delete
  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Girl, I hear ya, but you know there is no point arguing with these salon peeps sometimes, its like talking to a brick wall. In the developed world you need an education and certification before you are allowed to touch hair; processed or natural. Its like my other pet peeve, we spend millions on expensive vehicles only to give the keys to someone who can hardly write his own name. Anyways I digress.

    When I had processed hair, it was long luscious and healthy but to me it was 'w.a.h.a.l.a! with a capital WA'. As soon as I escaped and got home from the salon it was to style it the way I wanted. Sometimes those 'stylists' as they call themselves think you want to look like a 'ojuju-kalaba', combing your hair to death and no I do not want to look like the girl in the cheap poster on the wall abeg! 'No aunty e never relax well, remain small' she says, 'eh eh, my friend I can feel my brain matter cooking, read the instruction, please wash now I respond!! At the end of my torture session a thank you and I'm quickly outta tha chair and gone! I've never worn a weave there just was no point.

    Then I could have sworn I was a candidate for heat stroke one fine Saturday, the heat was unbearable. I took to my bike and rode to a random salon and told them to take an electric razor and create a 1inch lane to the sides and round the back, I knew my regular would try talk me out of it. You should have seen the ladies hand shaking, one of the chaps had to come rescue her. Anyways I had not seem my scalp that close in 20 somethin' odd years, wow, and my neck was so cool, I could feel the breeze, wow. In a matter of weeks after my golden mohawk, I took all the relaxed bits off and washed and did random twists every other Sunday evening. Only I could dare come to work that way, senior personnel for that matter. Then in Accra I discovered Twist n' Locs, shout out to my peeps, missing you guys, now I my hair was no stranger and two years down the line gets the attention it deserves!

    This is what freedom tastes like, when everyone else wishes I they could just once be radical.
    Amen to Natural hair! poo pooh to salons (until they learn)!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol. I can only laff at your story. Some people are craving the type of hair you have now. Thanks for dropping by.

      Delete
  15. Lol, thought I was the only one who observed this about 'black owned' hair salons. I also wrote a post on this on my blog. Thankfully I know how to do my hair. since going natural over a year ago, I've been doing my hair myself. My last visit to a hair salon was in july 2012...to chop my relaxed hair off. :-) Feel free to visit my blog www.myrebornhair.blogspot.co.uk.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hey everyone, I've read all ur comments and experiences n can totally relate to them. You are all so right! I am not natural (haven't summoned up the courage yet).. but the stylist don't still treat the relaxed hair any better. I'm what they (the stylist) describe as a 'difficult customer '. Cos I believe if I have to part with my hard earned money, you have to do exactly what I want! So most of the time I go ready to demand how I want my hair done. I relax every 2 months, braid a lot, wear wigs in between but do most of my washing at home. Like Awele said Eden salon stylist are okay. Some of them carry natural hair so u girls may give it a try.. having said that, this problem isn't peculiar to Nigeria or Africa. I have lived in London for a while n was never really satisfied with my salon visits. Though they were basically black stylists ( the white salons won't cater to me). I am happy though that more people are becoming aware of natural hair and accepting it! I will be joining in later (after I've done my wedding, I need my hair for that lol). The big chop is scary but fingers crossed!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I agreed I think alot of nigerian are brainwash to believe that 4a/b hair is a problem. But I have heard comments from caribbean people too. black folk just want to live up to the white standards of beauty

    ReplyDelete

Please, drop a comment, no matter your hair type, we want to learn from you. Spammers, don't bother. Your comments will not be approved.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...