Growing natural hair is a beautiful thing because it allows you to be in more control of your hair without necessarily needing anyone else to maintain it for you. Despite our new found freedom from the complete reliance on haircare professionals… we still need them. There are still hair processes that are better trusted to a professional hairstylist. I mean, haven’t you also felt like taking a break from doing your own hair? Or ever wanted a professionally done hairstyle for a special occasion? *raising hand* Although I have had my share of bad natural hair salon experiences, there are still so many good natural hair salons throughout the U.S., U.K., and pretty much all over the world. Here are 3 tips to finding a good natural hair professional:
- Ask around for recommendations: Asking friends or family for a good natural hair stylist or searching online for highly rated natural hairstylists is a sure way to increase the likelihood that you find the perfect stylist for you. The best determinant of a good stylist is hearing from those who personally know the stylist. For me personally, it helps when the client or referrer actually has natural hair, or even my type 4 coily hair. Knowing that a hair stylist has worked on my type of hair before gives me the confidence to trust that the hairstylist can too work on mine.
- Opt for a hair consultation: You are essentially building a relationship with your hair stylist, and every relationship begins with getting to know one another. Taking advantage of a hair consultation gives the stylist a chance to understand your hair, hear your concerns, and answer your questions. In turn, it gives you a chance to see if this stylist fits the bill.
- Know your hair: Do you know your hair type? Density? Texture? When you know what your hair likes or doesn’t like, it makes it that much easier to determine if a stylist is right for you. If your hair cannot take direct heat, for example, don’t settle for a natural hair stylist who pressures you to flat iron your hair. Some natural hair salons display client photos of natural hair styles that were performed on clients who actually had relaxed or texturized hair. So if you’re basing your natural hair styling decisions on a collection of client photos, remember that hairstyles look different from person to person, depending on the texture of the hair (i.e. coily vs. curly, thick vs. fine strands, type 3 vs. type 4 pattern, heat altered vs. au natural, etc.). Knowing enough about your natural hair will help you choose the best styles for your hair.
Take your time and start your search early–when you don’t need a stylist. Otherwise, you’re taking a gamble when seeing a stylist without preparing yourself. Do your research and your hair will thank you for it.