It seems that there is nothing more awkward than walking into an afro hair salon and knowing whether or not to engage in the vibrant and often controversial conversation that bounces between washing stations and hooded dryers. Do you kindly ask the hairdresser to finish your hair before engaging the three ladies with the “quick hairstyles”? Do you call when your bus is delayed or saunter in and expect your hair to be done as soon as you are ready.
When it comes to afro hair salons there are the do’s, the do not’s and the figure it out as you go along. Here are our top tips:
1. Arrive on time for your appointment
Even if your salon doesn’t tend to see you ontime, try arriving five minutes early or just ontime. Believe it or not afro salons are beginning to improve their customer service and punctuality. Arriving late can not only irritate your hairdresser but also impact on the service offered to other customers. Lateness sends a message that you don’t mind about timekeeping and could have you sitting in the salon longer than you anticipated.
2. Be friendly
Even if you are a shy or conservative person, a smile and a greeting can go a long way. If stylists acknowledge you as you enter, offer a greeting and see your service improve.
3. Religion, politics, feminism & food
These are the topics that we have found are quite popular in the salon (according to a survey in England & Wales of about uhm 6 people). We say do your best not to get too worked up about your opinions. Your hair is sensitive and so are peoples feelings. The aim is to try and maintain a peaceful environment in the salon and you don’t want to become known as the one who always has too much to say. When it comes to food we really mean weight gain and weight loss. Be careful not to make it a habit of commenting on stylists weight – for some reason clients love doing this!
Try to eat before or after your appointment, eating while being treated is just a big no-no. Just No.
5. Personal Hygiene
Uh oh! your appointment is at 8am and the salon is an hour away. Your hair is unwashed and unruly so you want to just pop on a headscarf and run out the door. Well stylists care about your personal hygiene too. Theres a chance that your hair might give off its illustrious unwashed odours but thats expected. Treat your salon appointment like an important meeting and spring clean.
6. Rescue your edges, speak up!
Don’t be afraid to politely let your hairdresser know that you don’t want your hair follicles scraped up into the tightest cornrow, that you don’t use gel or edge control in your hair, that you would prefer a wide toothed comb, that you need heat protectant. Some things you just expect the hairdresser to know, but everyone has their own regimen. If it is something reasonable then find a way to let your stylist get to know your hair.
7. How much is it?
Ask for a price list or at the very least the price of your treatments and any add-ons before they are added on. It is embarrassing all round to be given a surprise bill and when it comes to afro hair care it can get pretty pricey pretty quick.
8. Rate and Review
Tell us about your salon / stylist experience. Spread the word and gain positive recognition for the fantastic salons out there. Alternatively, be the word of warning for a salon or stylist that just needs to step their game up!