I Am Sick of Black Hair Stylists

Update Feb. 8, 2016: Added a Part 2 post on this topic. Be sure to read and share it!

Warning: If you’re not a black American, you’re probably not going to understand this post.

I seriously just had one of the worst experiences at a black hair salon. The bad thing is it’s not the first time it’s ever happened. But I am fed up with it happening.

First of all, the salon I go to is one I’ve been going to off and on for the past four years. Sometimes I haven’t gone because I’ve lived elsewhere, but most of the time I stop going because I get pissed with whomever is doing my hair there. I don’t know about other places in the US, but in my city it seems as if black hair stylists are fine for a while and then they become unacceptable over time. They are all like this, if not just flatout horrible from day one. There is simply no such thing as “professional” here.

It’s also incredibly hard to find a black hair stylist who won’t completely ruin your day by having you there for hours for reasons that really have nothing to do with your hair. These bitches are slow, they talk entirely too much, and they act as if talking and doing hair can’t possibly be done at the same time. Between the two–talking and doing hair–talking is going to take precedence. They also like to book a whole bunch of appointments in a short time frame and then just leave the lot of women to sit around for at least half the day due to some combination of there being too many women booked, the bitch hair stylist moving like a damn tortoise and the stylist wanting at times to do everything except your hair–talking, cleaning, eating, processing payment, buying stuff from some guy coming into the shop trying to sell crap, etc.

I would be willing to bet that, even if it’s like this most other places in the US, this is compounded in my area by the fact that these are all black Southerners. I’ve lived in a lot of places, but I’ve spent more time in the Midwest recently than in the South. I’m from the South originally, but I honestly no longer feel as if I’m from the South. There are many things I’ve struggled to get used to since returning to the South. One of the biggest things that irritates me is just how slow Southerners are. I am a naturally impatient person–always have been. I don’t know how I was able to deal with Southerners bullshitting before, but now when I run into this–especially at places of service, such as department stores and hair salons–I really struggle to not just pick something up and throw it through a wall.

The thing that’s really funny to me is how no one else seems to be the slightest bit bothered by the snail’s pace at which everything is taken care of down here. I am baffled every time I look around a black hair salon, and that’s been the case for as long as I’ve been going to them, which has been at least since I was 12 years old. None of those black women have ever seemed to have a problem with the ridiculous wait times. I know I differ from black women in terms of how important getting my hair “did” is to me (I hate going to the salon, and I hate dealing with my hair at all), but damn. I don’t even have a life, and spending hours at the hair salon pisses me off. These women have kids, husbands or boyfriends, they work, have friends, etc. I see the same thing at department stores. People act as if standing at the counter for half an hour to get their purchases rung up is no big thing–and I’m just talking about actually making it to the counter, not even the extra time of standing in line. There’s often some old grandma or some overweight black chick taking forever to ring up your shit.

When I lived in Michigan, it took an hour to get my hair “did.” I would hop on one bus at the University of Michigan and ride it to the mall, and I’d be done in time to catch the next bus back to the university. My hair stylist there did one customer at a time. She did not overlap her bookings. She focused on getting women in and out, and she didn’t waste time by stopping and doing other things, talking, gossiping, eating, etc. When I do my hair at home, it takes an hour at the absolute most. I never give myself relaxers because I don’t know shit about hair and I couldn’t care less. I would not trust myself to give myself a relaxer and not do damage to my hair eventually. That’s really the only reason I ever set foot inside a hair salon. If I’m going to keep getting relaxers, someone else is going to have to do them for me–preferably a professional hair stylist.

Only today is seriously making me consider looking into no longer getting relaxers, just so I don’t ever have to deal with black hair stylists again.

My salon used to open at 10am, but the hours changed to 11am earlier this year. When I first started going to the lady who does my hair now, I told her I want to be the first appointment on the days I go. I told her this because I figured there would not be any waiting for her to finish someone else’s hair or alternating us between her seat. And that’s basically how it worked when they were opening at 10am. I was pretty happy with everything back then. I also try to go on days that are usually not busy, which means I will never go on Fridays or Saturdays, so that I can get out quicker. This was working, as well.

But when they started opening at 11am, I would come in and someone else would already be there getting her hair “did.” Apparently, this bitch hair stylist tells me every time I schedule an appointment that they’re opening at 11am but she will schedule someone else at 10am, who I guess requests 10am. So, today I thought to myself, “Okay, maybe I need to start requesting 10am.” With the way she’s doing things now, I have to wait on her to break with that customer who arrived before me and I have to alternate with that customer, which results in it taking longer for the stylist to finish with me. My time there started creeping up from 2 hours to 2 & 1/2 to, the last time I was there, 3 hours. This is exactly what I didn’t want. Understand that I have grown accustomed to maybe 2 or 2 & 1/2 hours at salons and not more than that since I have been going to better places and choosing better hair stylists since I no longer have to just go to whomever my mother goes to, i.e. I’m an adult now. My mother is more patient than I am, so she will deal with stylists who keep you waiting.

Anyway, so I’m rolling with the punches and trying to be okay with everything, even though it wasn’t going the way I preferred. And I need to mention that I’d started writing a sports piece this morning that I hadn’t finished but that I wanted to publish today, and the later I published it the less readers would get to it. There were hours and hours that were going by when it could have been up and getting hits on the internet while I was at the salon. There’s no internet at the salon–I can’t even get 3G to work on my iPhone there. But I was thinking that, at worst, I’d be there 3 hours and I could still get home, finish it and publish it. It’d be a tad later than I’d like, but it wouldn’t be too late.

That mentioned…I waited about 30 minutes for the stylist to get to me, and then she sat the other woman aside with conditioner in her hair while she gave me my relaxer. Eventually, she put me under the hair dryer to let my hair dry. Then she proceeded to leave me there for hours after she attended to customer after customer after customer. I seriously started thinking she’d forgotten I was there. She started out by styling the lady who had gotten there before me–who at that point probably had been there nearly four hours herself. Normally, if this hair sylist is alternating customers, then after she’s done styling one she’d come to me next and get me fixed up to head out the door. Instead, she brought back a customer who’d just arrived and started a full relaxer on her hair, THEN took her back to rinse out the relaxer.

THEN she left THAT customer at the sink to just sit there. So keep tally–she’s got me sitting under the dryer and she’s got another chick sitting at the sink. The chick who came first thing that morning had gone home, finally. THEN she brings back ANOTHER chick, and they both disappear. So, I’ve been under the dryer for almost two hours, which there was no reason for (I didn’t have a roller set or anything, just hair hanging straight down). I’m looking at my iPhone, like, “This is coming up on four hours, and I haven’t been styled yet, which will be another 30 minutes whenever she gets to that.” So, at about the 4-hr mark, I finally get up and ask another stylist there if she knew where the bitch had gone. She told me my stylist was in the wax room with another customer.

I’d seriously thought while I was sitting at the dryer about getting up and walking out without paying. But I decided to just go ahead and see if I could pay and just leave. Both of those women seemed to have a lot of customers coming in, plus they had a few women wanting to walk in without an appointment. The woman I talked to told me she would finish me. She told me this while she had a customer in her chair and had other customers there, as well, which probably meant I’d still have to wait…and even if I didn’t, it’d unfairly make her customers have to wait. But I told her I would like to just pay and go. She said she’d get my stylist so she could ring me up.

I kind of expected the bitch to come out apologetic, but she came out as if she had no idea what the problem was. The problem was that I’d been there for hours and she was steadily bringing other women back to work with them, creating a backlog, instead of moving people on in order. How was she going to do three different women at once? And the way things were going, there could have been even more women before she ever got back to me. I couldn’t just sit there and wait to see how many more women she’d start on before she finished with me. And then she was like, when I told her I wanted to pay and go,” But your hair isn’t finished” and “but your ends haven’t been clipped and they really need to be clipped.” If I had thought of it, I would have told her, “Well, you should have done that at least an hour ago, if you’re so concerned about it.” And she kept wasting even more of my time, trying to get me to stay and get my hair finished and such, looking at me like I’m nuts, like I did something wrong. Like I said, staying and getting it finished would have tacked on at least 30 more minutes. And frankly, my hair would have looked worse. Black hair stylists always spray a ton of shit in black women’s hair. My hair always looks too oily when I leave those salons. When I came home, I styled my hair in about 10 minutes, and it wasn’t all oily and full of itchy, stanky shit, either.

Needless to say, I’m not ever going back to that hair stylist.

These bitches do this all the time. In fact, I have left a salon once before with my hair not complete because of how long I was there. My mother thinks black hair stylists play favorites, i.e. they will put their “friends” and regular customers ahead of women who have been waiting but don’t come as often, regardless of when they were scheduled that day. And four hours might not seem so bad to some, even though there was no telling how long it ultimately would have been without my speaking up. But I used to spend 6 or 7 hours at the salon every weekend. I’m not going back to that. It’s completely ridiculous. It’s bad enough I have to spend that kind of time at work every weekday. I’m not spending a day on the weekend at another place I hate for that amount of time, as well.

So now, I will begrudgingly look into going “natural” and how to take care of/style natural hair. I really do not want to go natural–I don’t care how many black women out there poo-poo relaxed hair and think all black women with relaxed hair hate themselves/being black. I hate these bitch hair stylists and I’m sick of dealing with them. But I hate big booty, wavy, frizzy hair even more on me. Just being honest. My hair is too damn thick. It’s not like the little fine, barely-there hair many other black women have, thanks to all the damn white folks in my family (and I mean that sarcastically). I have tons of hair. I will look like a dark-haired clown with natural hair–actually, the more I think of it, the more I wish my hair would look that good natural–and I don’t have the time, patience or interest to figure out how to tame my hair, how to properly care for it or how to fit that big, booty shit in a scrunchy.

Well, this is going to be a great week, isn’t it? [This is the week, by the way, in which the male tech geek is off the entire week and I will be left alone with that female tech geek and some other lazy-ass nimrods. Just get ready for some great stories on this blog…I know they’re coming. Can ya tell I’m super pissed???]

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12 thoughts on “I Am Sick of Black Hair Stylists

  1. Regina says:

    WOW, this is deep and sad. Im a BLACK hairstylist and IM SO nothing like what you have spoken off. I actually HATE more then two people in my room and I personally dont want to look at anyone for hours at a time. If your appt is at 1:00 and your getting the regular service your out at 2:00 2:15. and that’s going unders the dryer. So sorry you feel every BLACK stylist is the same but that’s not true, but good luck.

    • I’m not sure I said all black hairstylists are the same since this is an old post…but I definitely do feel all Southern ones are the same, yes. I, unfortunately, have been dealing with Southern salons since I was about 12, so about 20 yrs and it’s always the same schitt. And I watched an episode of “LA Hair” last week, and I saw a lot of the same schitt I hate at Southern salons on that show. The only good experience I’ve had has been with a lady in Michigan. I hated the salons in Chicago, as well.

  2. Cory says:

    I can tell you that it’s not just a “southern” thing. No matter the region of the country, black stylists in general have this mentality.
    I saw it everywhere..down south. Back east, west coast, to right here in Phoenix where I currently live. I’ve even witnessed this overseas in Germany with American black beauticians on base. Even the German black ones were far more professional. This seems to be a pathetic trait exclusive only to our beauticians (American blacks). It reached a point where clients started requesting the German stylists, much to the dismay of some of the patriot-black ones, but it finally forced them to get their acts together. As for me I stuck with a German chick who was a pro.

    Many of the reasons listed are many of the reasons why I just stopped going to the salon many years back. I am a very punctual person; I am on time, if not, much earlier. Let’s be real… Black folks are infamous for not being in time. I’d get there early and a half-hour later the stylist was still doing some other bitch’s hair. What should have been an hour-and-a half job turned into four hours. When I started going natural I discovered the same bullshit happening at natural-geared shops. I just do my own hair mostly but the very few times I do an appt (twice a year) I let the beautician know over the phone and in person off the bat that I don’t have all day and I expect her/him to get started on me in a reasonable time. And, if this is going to be problematic due to your unprofessionalism don’t waste my time. So far this has worked for me because they know that I won’t tolerate that shit. They make sure not to overbook others around my time and they plan their lunches before or after my appointment. Not my problem if your other heads cancel out on you; I only care about getting MY head done at MY scheduled time.

    Things like this are why I don’t support black businesses. The customer service tends to be very shoddy, and beauticians act like this because they hold the monopoly on it. If clients put their foot down and didn’t put up with this shit they would stop it, but maybe most sisters are okay with chillin’ in a salon all fucking day…I dunno, but I’m not one of them and never have been.

  3. Blu says:

    I’m sitting in the salon now reading this. I’ve been here 6 hours for a flat iron. I’m extremely bored and googled this subject out of curiosity. Good grief. She just lost a customer and I like to have my hair styled every week. Oh well.

  4. a says:

    Finally.

    Finally someone has echoed my pain for others to hear.
    Thank you.

  5. Key P says:

    It’s 99% of black hairstylists and the 1% are underrated 🙂

  6. BB says:

    Oohh, it’s not just the south, trust me. I live in California, and it is the same here. When I was 10 years old, my mom took me to this salon where this black stylist would do that shit to me. She would put a relaxer on my head, then make me sit somewhere with a burning scalp, while she did 3 other peoples hair. Then after about 30 minutes she’d come back to me to rinse it out, then make me sit under a dryer for two hours, then go back to pulling more people. It would take up to six hours for this bitch to finish my hair, and she thought that since I was a kid, I wouldn’t be able to stand up for myself. After 3 visits with this insane woman, my hair started to fall out. I wonder why….
    I hate black stylists here, and it seems like they do this shit on purpose. If they are not booking 20 women at a time, then they are trying to fuck up your hair or screw you over. I went to a black stylist several years ago, asked for some dark blond highlights, showed her a pic of the color I wanted. This bitch acted like she was a color specialist, but oohhh noooo. When she was finished with my hair, it was red at the top and brassy orange in the back, and she chopped 5 inches for no reason.
    Another time, with a different black stylist, I asked for dark blond highlights, but this stupid bitch bleaches my entire head white, double proccesses it, has me sitting under a dryer for an hour and a half, while she eats and talks on the phone in the back. I had so many chemical burns when I went home, and my hair fell out. I went back to the salon to confront her and the manager, but they acted like nothing was wrong, like they couldn’t see the burns on my head and my swollen face. I wanted to sue them, but unfortunately I got bad legal advice from a moron, (my mother) who will defend anyone black, with her life, no matter how wrong they are.

    Oh, and dont go to a black stylist to get extensions, because they will STEAL YOUR HAIR behind your back. This one bitch was actually cutting pieces of my extensions, and tossing them in a drawer behind my back. Not only did I pay a lot of money for the weave hair, and for the stylist to do my hair, but she also stole from me. I know a lot of other people who have had their weave hair stolen from black stylists, as well.

    None of this shit has ever happened to me when I went to a white or latina stylist. Never! They are always super professional. I just stay away from black stylists now.

    • Wow, maybe I need to consider going outside my race, although I don’t know how I could where I live.

      Your talking about experiences in CA reminds me of that show LA Hair, and I don’t know who all here has seen it…but these people, mostly black, do celebrities’ hair and are STILL unprofessional as hell!! Seriously, that show just makes Kim Kimble look bad more than anything and makes me wonder why she is doing that show. It showed me it’s not just the South. Her workers are the type of lazy, unreliable, loudmouthed, talking instead of working jerks I have always dealt with, flipping out and leaving because they don’t want to do what the customer wants and they always tell the customer what style they should have instead of putting the customer first. And it seems like they charge an arm and a leg in CA, too.

      I haven’t been to the salon in months because I can’t stand going. I need a retouch so bad but keep putting it off.

  7. […] Part 1 has gotten to be a fairly popular post to which many black women are letting me know they can relate. So, I’m temporarily coming out of retirement to do a Part 2. I just had to let other black women know about my most recent experience at the hair salon. Black women, if you know hair stylists, please share this with them because this true story has everything I hate about going to the salon and dealing with black hair stylists. These women need to learn about themselves and change their ways! […]

  8. Tryntoletitgo says:

    Feeling you in the Midwest!!!!! I made a home appt for a family member. Return phone calls? Maybe. On time? If they show up. I understand they get stiffed too by customers…but ugh. One reason I went natural years ago. I’m sure I’ve lost out on a couple of PhDs sitting and sitting…

  9. maycee says:

    Try running a salon. It’s worse. They are indifferent to your time and integrity. It doesn’t matter how much you tip , how much you thank them or how much you beg and plead. They are simply not trained or educated for work in a corporate environment. The sad part about it is that they created this mess by pushing the “booth rent” mentality. Once this took root, it was impossible for most of them to go back to a system of professional services. You really have to hold on to the one you have and hope for the best because in general, it’s a mess across the board. Lastly, it is not local ,regional or national . Rather, it is inherent in the culture of black hair stylist across the globe. There is an underlying current associated with that.

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