I only visit the hair salon once or twice a year, when it’s time to get my natural hair trimmed. I’ve had pretty bad experiences with stylists who claim to know how to handle natural hair only to rip through my hair instead of gently detangling it. Or with stylists who are very limited in styling capabilities and have me leaving the salon with a style I don’t want but is all that is available.
For the first 2-3 years of having natural hair, I felt like I had to go to the salon as I really didn’t know how to handle or style my natural hair. I was beholden to stylists and had no idea that I shouldn’t be losing so much hair each visit.
One day after a very kind stylist proceeded to rip through my hair, pulling out bunches of hair in the process, I decided that no matter how long it took me to detangle my hair at home, I was never going to the salon again.
I spent the next 8-12 months learning to handle my hair by watching YouTube videos, participating at the longhaircareforum.com, reading blogs such as The Natural Haven, and practicing, practicing, practicing. I can now handle my hair very well. 🙂 I can:
- detangle my hair with minimal mechanical damage (thank You, Lord, for the KareCo Tangle Buster Brush and products with serious slip!!!),
- do my own twist out,
- install curlformers (still working on getting a smooth result, though),
- do my own tangle-resistant wash and go,
- stretch my hair via loose African threading, and
- do my own flexirods set.
I never would have learned to do any of these things with my hair had I stayed dependent upon stylists instead of diving in and practicing handling my own hair.
As you can tell from the title of this blog post, eventually I decided to see a salon stylist again. The reason: Even though technically I can trim my own hair and do my own “search and destroy” sessions (i.e., sessions wherein you find knots and clip only the knots), I just feel better going in and getting my hair trimmed by a professional at least once or twice a year.
Some people trim their hair every 4 weeks, 6 weeks, 9 weeks . . . 3 times a year, 4 times a year, etc. I know a natural with SUPER, SUPER, down-to-her-butt loooooong hair. She hardly ever trims her hair. In my opinion, it doesn’t hurt to trim your hair often, and some folks need to do so. From observation, I see that my hair remains healthy and I retain hair just fine if I only trim once or twice a year. This may be because I have a hair regimen that specifically focuses on caring for my ends, deep conditioning, protein treating, and retention.
So . . . tomorrow I have a hair appointment at a new-to-me-salon (I’ll share the name and details in a future post). This salon has the most amazing reputation and services, and so I’m excited about that. But as I mentioned, I’ve been burned at salons before, so in preparation for tomorrow’s salon visit, today I’m doing what I call my “salon visit wash day prep.” 😀
The main thing I feel I need to do before the stylist gets access to my hair is to treat my hair with protein. I have fine, naturally highly porous hair. Best to reinforce my hair with protein before a handheld blow dryer and brush get the chance to get anywhere near it. For my protein treatment, I use what I consider to be BEST IN CLASS: Komaza Care Protein Hair Strengthener. In my opinion, no protein treatment compares to it. This product is worth the cost and worth the shipping fees (and I absolutely DETEST shipping fees, despite understanding their necessity). This protein treatment is SUPER slippery and incredibly effective.
NOTE: After rinsing out the Komaza Care Protein Hair Strengthener today, my hair felt AMAZING!!! Super duper strong yet soft as well. I love this stuff. 😀 ❤
Moisturizing Deep Conditioning Treatment
Any time a protein treatment is applied, it should be followed up with a moisturizing deep conditioning treatment (preferably a protein-free one). Today I’m using Shea Moisture’s Manuka Honey Masque.
On the website of the salon I will visit tomorrow, there’s a claim that the stylists are masters at detangling. Haaaaaa! I really, really, really hope so, but I’ve heard that before and can’t take that chance. I may be wrong, but I feel like natural hair stylists get antsy if it takes a while to detangle your hair, because they sooner than later want to get another paying client in the seat. So, I feel that they feel pressured to detangle quickly. I could be so wrong. But get this!: The salon I’m going to will charge an extra fee if it takes too long to detangle my hair.
But . . . What is too long, though? I mean, who’s the judge? I just can’t, you guys. I will be going into the salon with super detangled hair. The last time I went to a salon, I detangled and twisted up my hair just before arrival. 😛 This time I’m going to take a chance and arrive with my hair in a wash and go, for reasons I share below. (I’ve now learned how to do a tangle-resistant wash and go, and I really hope I’m not making a mistake here. I’ll see. 🙂 )
The Rest of Today’s Preparatory Wash Day
I have been waffling about this, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to wear a wash and go into the salon. Normally I would wear a wig over detangled twists. But I think this time I want to let the stylist see how I wear my hair before she trims my hair. The reason? This salon specializes in growing out natural hair, and their technique involves hiding the hair away under wigs . . . and doing silk presses. In other words, it seems they don’t have the client deal with their natural hair (I could be wrong). But I tend to wear my hair curly, in its natural state. I want them to trim my hair knowing that, and knowing exactly what I’ll be working with after they trim my hair. Hopefully this will inspire them to trim sparingly, because sometimes stylists see my straightened bra strap length hair and get scissor happy, thinking I’ve got lots of hair to spare, when in reality I’m working with chin length, shrunken natural hair on a daily basis. 🙂
For this wash and go, then, I am doing the following:
- Detangle and prepoo: Shea Moisture High Porosity Moisture Correct Masque
- Cleanse: Malibu C Hard Water Shampoo (to provide a super clear and clean slate for the protein treatment)
- Protein treatment: Komaza Care Protein Hair Strengthener (best in class, IMHO)
- Deep conditioning, moisture-infusing treatment: Shea Moisture Manuka Honey Masque
- Liquid: Aloe vera and water mixture (1:1 concentration)
- Cream: Nature’s Ego’s Moisturizing Hair Lotion (for the fermented rice water and ayurvedic ingredients)
- Detangling leave-in: Jane Carter Solutions Curls To Go! Untangle Me Weightless Leave-in (because it detangles like a beast when it’s time to define the hair during a wash and go)
- Gel: Black Castor and Flaxseed Oil Eco Style Gel
I will pineapple it wet, don a microfiber towel, and hope for the best, LOL! 😀
Services I Will Get at the Salon
At the salon I will be getting the works: scalp exfoliation, a scalp treatment, a wash, deep conditioning, a steam treatment, blow drying, flat ironing, a silk press, and trimming. I will get pictures taken of my hair before it’s trimmed and after, similar to the pictures from my last trim, below.
And You? Do You Make Special Preparations for Salon Visits?
How often do you visit the salon? When you visit the salon, what services do you get? Do you do anything special to your hair in preparation?
Have you had bad experiences at the salon? How do you locate truly good stylists (any tips?)? Are there services you prefer the salon to do, or do you like to do everything yourself at home?
As always, I’d love to hear your comments or questions. Thank you so much for visiting the blog. Until next time, many blessings to you and yours!