I've been going to the same salon for several years, Sabine's Hallway in Brooklyn. Nothing but professional, I never have to wait to get my hair done, and she's professional and efficient. While I do acknowledge that a lot of salons have problems that need to be addressed, labeling them "bad" because they're Black, is ridiculous. The way I see it, the patrons of these salons accept unprofessional behavior by continuing to patronize them, instead of demanding respect, as a whole. As long as the salons continue to get customers, in droves, nothing will change. Speaking with your dollars is way more productive, than complaining on a public forum.
Following an email I received from a very upset CFYH reader, she asked
“What are your thoughts on black hair salons? Should there be some kind registration system for ‘good’ hair salons”
That made me think, should there be a way of standardising the quality of hairdressers and ensure only the ones with adequate hair care knowledge are allowed to run a salon?
Recently I have been sent a number of emails with women disappointed about the bad experience and customer service they received. The common issues were:
*Booking an appointment and still waiting an hour+
*Having more than one person handle your hair
*Hairdressers stopping & starting your hair
*Burning your hair with straighteners
*Pulling and combing to harshly
*Braiding too tight
*And just bad customer service overall
…The list is sadly endless
And what makes it worse is that many ladies have turned their backs on salons ‘catered for us’. Speaking to some of the ladies on twitter, many agreed they’d only go to a salon if they needed a good cut or colour done. Also that they’d feel more comfortable in salons such as Aveda, Toni & Guy and Vidal Sassoon. Why? Their approach to haircare is professional.
Some reasons other CFYH readers have steered away from hairdressers:
“…The owner burned my natural hair while straigtening it. It never reverted and I had to grow it out. She made all kinds of excuses and managed to blame the texture of my hair…”
“…I don’t see the point in giving them money when i can do a better job myself!…”
“…the atmosphere is just not welcoming…”
“Omg to cut a long and heartbreaking story short, back when my hair was permed, getting my ends dusted (with about 17″ of hair) became an asymmetric bob -_- never went to a salon since…this was 6 years ago”
“…I went to get a trim, and ended up getting at least 4inches cut off!! Haven’t trusted a hairdressers with scissors to my hair ever since and that was about 6years ago”
I love supporting black owned businesses when I can… but in the salon department, many times I prefer to just stay away. There are some amazing ‘black owned salons’ out there…but as a whole, that department still needs a lot of work. I personally have been to the salon twice since 2009. Mainly because I hate the unprofessional atmosphere and also now knowing more about haircare now there’s a lot I feel I can do by myself.
I know many other ladies feel the same, so where does this leave the hairdressing business? How do you feel they can improve?
I feel many of us are still scarred from past experiences and that salons now may be a little different. It would be great to have a list of black owned salons that provide a quality hairdressing service, so if you know of any please comment below.
*I say black owned because these are the salons I’m getting most complaints about