I recently moved back to Lagos and I don’t have a hairdresser here. I’ve decided to go to what my cousin calls a “nice looking” salon close to my house tomorrow and I’m prepping for my first visit.
I thought I’d share a few tips that will ensure that you get the most out of your hair session:
1. BE ASSERTIVE, BE…EE ASSERTIVE!
If you are soft spoken, shy, too polite, especially with hair dressers in Nigeria, if you aren’t careful, you will be taken for a ride and may even end up on Creamy Crack Lane. Hairdressers here will try and take over your hair appointment. They will almost force you to use certain products because they are convenient or use techniques that you are certain will damage your hair or (my personal favorite) complain about how difficult your hair is and expound on the benefits of a relaxer.
The only way to combat these tactics is to BE ASSERTIVE. If you want a wash and blow out, let them know that from the beginning of the hair appointment. You may even have to keep saying it during the appointment, so they know you are being serious. If they start de-tangling your hair from the root to tip, speak up girl, or deal with the split ends. Even if you are afraid of sounding rude or obnoxious, just remember this, you have to deal with your hair after the salon session, not the woman who talked you into ruining your hair.
2. COME WITH YOUR INSTRUCTION MANUAL
When I say come with your instruction manual, I don’t mean type out a 15-page instruction booklet titled “How to Style (insert name)’s Hair”. I mean, you are the expert on your own hair, so teach the hair dresser what she doesn’t know. Many hair dresser’s here never went to cosmetology school and are only comfortable doing relaxed hair. If you ask many of them to “co-wash” your hair, the most you will get is a quizzical expression. So, be prepared to teach your hair dresser how you like to co-wash/wash your hair, style your hair, de-tangle your hair, flat iron your hair, etc.
I’ve learned from past experience that many hair dressers are receptive to learning how to style natural hair. Just remember to be patient, polite, and also ASSERTIVE!
3. BRING YOUR ARSENAL
Always bring the products and/or tools that you really love using to the salon with you. If you only wash your hair with a certain product, don’t expect a salon to carry it. Salon’s usually have a specific line of products they use for the general population in stock, if you don’t like those products, do yourself and your hair stylist a favor and bring your stash.
Here is a list of products and tools I normally carry with me when I want to get a blow out (please keep in mind that I’m anal about my hair care routine):
a. My favorite conditioner (Pantene Pro-V Naturals Co-Wash Conditioner)
b. a wide-tooth comb
c. a denman brush
d. My favorite heat protectant (Got 2b Guardian Angel Flat Iron Balm)
e. Castor Oil (to oil my scalp)
f. Apple Cider Vinegar (Yes, I bring my bottle of acv because I’ve yet to visit a salon that carries it.)
d. My blow dryer (I have a nice Ionic Blow Dryer and I get much better results with it than most hair dryers I’ve tried.)
4. “IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED, TRY, TRY, TRY AGAIN”
I’m sure William Edward Hickson wasn’t referring to a hair salon, when he first said this proverb, but I believe it applies. The first, second, or third hair salon’s may not be a hit for you, but if you prefer going to a salon to get your hair done, keep trying them out until you find a stylist you can trust.
LET US KNOW IF THESE TIPS HELP YOU AND FEEL FREE TO SHARE YOUR TIPS WITH US!