Traumatic experience at G's salon, Brooklyn!

This is a complete rant and I don't mean to offend anyone who loves this place, but I had one of the worst salon experiences of my life.

I'll preface this by saying I've been natural for about 12 years but only started this healthy hair journey about 2 years ago and have noticed a huge difference. I've had my hair done by Carlos Flores and at Devachan, and have had good experiences with both of them (especially Carlos). I have also had my hair flat ironed at salons who didn't know as much about natural hair as they thought but they still followed directions and did a good job.

Anyway, I live in London now and I haven't yet been able to find anyone there that I fully trust, so I tend to save things like trims for when I'm in the US for work. I'd been really bad with my ends over the past few months. It had been in braids for 5 weeks, and I hadn't been very good with moisturising and sealing so they were a bit of a mess. I was coming to NY but after reading a recent thread decided to take a couple of days out to go to Salon Revive in DC. I figured as I hadn't straightened in ages, I would use this opportunity to get it flat ironed and do a length check. Unfortunately I had to cancel the trip as some work stuff came up and I couldn't leave NY. Which meant I needed to desperately try and find a salon here as neither Carlos nor Devachan could fit me on at such short notice. I was even willing to pay Christo prices, but they couldn't fit me in either.

I came on here and saw that a lot of people had recommended G's salon in Brooklyn, especially that they were an Aveda concept salon and cared about the health of hair, and were careful with heat styles. After reading good review after good review I called and was told they could fit me in.

I was a bit put off by the smell of burning grease that hit me as I entered the salon. There was a girl getting her hair flat ironed, and it smelt like old school hotcombs. Then I was told they had no hot water. After waiting about 10 mins for the owner to come 'light the boiler', the stylist suggested we go around the corner to their other salon. We get there, and this was clearly a much nicer salon- more modern, cleaner, better equipment (like massaging shampoo chairs). I asked the stylist why they had 2 salons so close to each other, and his response was 'Well, this one has a spa. And also, the geographics...' when I looked at him quizzically, he whispered 'White!' I should have known then to be totally wary of a salon that segregates black and white hair. I believe hair is hair, and when you know how to do it, you know. Carlos Flores is Puerto Rican with much looser hair than I have, and was excellent at handling my kinks. The lady who did my hair at Devachan was caucasian, and while you could tell she wasn't THAT experienced with very tight coils, she still did a decent job, was careful about handling my hair, etc. And in both places, I saw people of all textures.

Anyway, so this stylist tells me he needs to comb my hair before he shampoo'd. I explained I never comb dry, and would prefer for him to detangle with conditioner in. He tried to tell me that my hair would 'loc up' once water hit and I had to argue before he would agree to do it my way. He rinsed the conditioner out and started ripping the comb through my hair. I could actually hear it snapping and when I mentioned this, he told me it was just my 'static hair'. Telling this story makes me realise how much of this is my fault because I REALLY should have left at each point I felt uncomfortable, but I think I was just so desperate to get a trim before leaving for London today that I just kinda hoped for the best.

He started blowdrying and again was rushing through. It seemed he felt uncomfortable in the 'white' salon and wanted to head back to their other place to flat iron, so was really ripping through my hair and I could see short pieces flying off my head. I asked him to stop and that I could see the breakage. He said 'no, you just shed a lot'. I saw all the hair caught in the comb and from one little section, it was much more than I ever lose off my entire head. I checked a couple of the strands, some were long and some were short, but they were all broken. So he starts getting sensitive that I had called his hairdressing practices into question, when really, all I cared about was leaving there with about the same amount of hair as I came in with. He got really snarky, saying 'I don't know how much more gentle you want me to be, lady! I'm being gentle! I'm not breaking your hair, these are just weak shed hairs coming out!' (despite the fact I showed him that NONE of the ones I picked up had a white bulb on the end) 'You obviously don't comb your hair properly' Then for good measure he added 'In any case, I can tell you're not used to getting your hair done, because you're walking around with this uneven hair. I really don't need to do your hair, missy!', so I was like 'you know what, don't bother' and got up to leave. At this point, I was half blowdried and looking like a crazy woman but I just wasn't going to sit there and take his insults while he damaged my hair. The receptionist was mortified and wouldn't let me leave, and then called the owner who told her to get someone else to come and finish it off. At this point, I was really ready to go back to the hotel, slap on some DC and call it a day, but like I said, I'm heading back to London and REALLY needed a trim so I allowed them to convince me.

The next stylist came along, and by now I was pretty upset, so I explained how I have to be gentle with my hair, and it breaks pretty easily if I am not. I explained my concern about my coils not reverting and needing to ensure he used proper heat protectants etc. He started by saying he would have to shampoo my hair and start all over again. I don't know why I didn't put my foot down, but I ended up being shampoo'd a total of 4 times yesterday with inadequate conditioning. He then started ripping through my hair again in all directions without product and tangling it further (and when I winced, he told me "I KNOW you can't be tender headed with all this hair" Well I am, so what's your point??). At first he didn't put in ANY moisturiser or leave-in, so my hair felt like wire wool and then he tried to put me under the dryer with NOTHING on my hair- no moisturiser, no heat protectant, nothing. I had to ask about 5 times before he put any heat protectant in (still no leave-in or moisturiser, and when I asked he said 'this IS leave-in'. It was serum). He was actually going to put a comb attachment through my naked hair, and then every time he went to the next section, I had to remind him to put some serum in before blowdrying, and he just looked really irritated. I have probably mentioned on here a few times that I have extremely dry, porous, coarse, wiry hair, but I have learned to manage my moisture levels and have NEVER felt like a gust of wind is going to make my hair crumble to nothing, until yesterday. When I told him I needed some sort of moisturiser because my hair had never felt this dry, he said "that's just your texture, honey". I stuck my hands in my hair just to feel again and was told really snarkily "Listen honey, if there's one thing I am going to ask you, do not touch your hair until I finish". At this point, I was so frustrated about being told off and not being listened to, and 2 years of careful detangling going down the drain, literally, that I started crying in the chair. Mortifying!

I decided to let it end there. I let him finish blowdrying and refused to press or trim there, and left (after they made me pay for the ineffective deep treatment) So now I am back home taking a break from twisting a head full of wire wool which is breaking off in my hands as I go along- I am not joking! I was too tired and upset to do anything to it yesterday.

The moral of the story is 1/ not all Aveda-concept salons are the same, and if everyone in that salon is as awful at doing natural hair as the 2 people I encountered, Aveda really should consider revoking their name. Their attitudes and practices stank! 2/ if someone recommends a stylist don't assume everyone who works at the salon is on the same level (when he said to me on the phone "Avril don't work here no mo' ", I really should have responded "well, where DO she work?") 3/ Trust your instincts!!! If something doesn't seem right, LEAVE!!

I'm not as much of a wreck now as I was yesterday. Partly because I realise a lot of what happened was my fault as I really should have left when I was uncomfortable, half done hair or not. Also at the end of the day, it is just hair. I realise it could have been worse. At least I didn't have them secretly pouring relaxer into my 'static hair', as I've read about, or burning half my scalp. Next time I'll stick to curly cuts- if I want to swish some straight BSL hair (not going to happen for a looooooong time after this trauma) I'll just straighten it myself.

I just plan to keep these twists in for the next 2 weeks, and do some hardcore moisturising DC's with them in and then I may attempt to self-trim, which should tide me over until Carlos comes to London next. Judging from this mess, I think I'm going to have to lose about 2 inches.

Sorry for this essay! I just needed to get it off my chest, and also put the warning out there for people who might be in similar situation. Maybe I should mention which stylists I saw so people who go to G's know who to avoid, but I feel a little bad about naming and shaming.
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Wow, I'm sorry that happened to you. Since I've been natural, I've been afraid to go to the salon for fear of them not listening to me and how I work with my hair. I'm putting off my trim until I'm a year natural and hopefully I'll have found someone that can trim my hair appropriately.

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awww Noodles! I'm so sorry to hear about this. These folks sound hella ignorant (2 seperate salons for white and black?!?!?) Girl name names!
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NoodleNaps,

That is a horror story! I am so sorry to hear that!

You must name names. No one has a problem dropping names when the stylists are the bomb, so it shouldn't be an issue to drop names if the stylists are disastrous. I hope you have also shared your experience in the review section of this site. People need the good and the bad in order to make an informed decision.
I live in Bk and after hearing this story I will avoid this salon. Thanks for the warning. Hope your hair gets better.
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This is horrible. I am so sorry you went through that. I had a similar experience the last time I went to Hair Rules. Dickey's stylist was ripping through my hair trying to detangle it w/o any product. I had to tell her to stop at least 3 times. I almost snatched the comb out of her hand, but I had a "Lord Jesus, calm me" moment. When she was blow drying it she was ripping through my hair. I lost a ton of hair. His salon is now on my never again list. And Dickey was not friendly, at all. I guess having his own salon and no clients
(the salon was empty when I was there) is stressing him out. You shouldn't have paid a cent. Or paid by credit card and then called the cc company to cancel payment based on bad service.
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Last edited by sassywillow; 03-03-2011 at 01:00 PM.
I'm sorry this happened but you are so mature to realize it was your responsibility.
I don't trust ANYONE besides my SO to cut my hair. I do my own dusting but I have heard TOO MANY stories like yours to try a salon. Besides if so messes up I'd be a lot less upset but a personal connection doesn't even always protect because I have 2 relatives master cosmetologists and they get scissor happy and even burn their own hair. One is responsible for my bc because back then I know nothing about natural hair and neither did she although she had been natural a few years. She nagged me about bc'ing and cut WAY too much instead of allowing me to continue transitioning until I was comfortable. I regret that day so much but I was responsible for it.
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awww Noodles! I'm so sorry to hear about this. These folks sound hella ignorant (2 seperate salons for white and black?!?!?) Girl name names!
Originally Posted by Nappy_curly_crown
This. Please name them.

I've had to some terrible experiences with stylists too. It just doesn't make any damn sense to do all this extra just to recover from going to a styling salon. A place where people do hair for a living. I'm angered on your behalf.

The outright rudness you experienced there is over the top. Something should have clicked when he saw the amount of hair that was breaking, a "Y'know-if-she-did-this-every-wash-she-should-be-bald-headed-by-now-but-she's-not-so-maybe-I-should-take-her-advice" thought but he wasn't about learning anything....just placing blame.

I'm very sorry.
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Last edited by afrosheenqueen; 03-03-2011 at 12:56 PM.
I'm so sorry that you went through that ((((( hugs )))))
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I'm sorry this happened to you. ((((hugs))))
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I'm sooooo sorry this happened to you. The experience of having your hair ripped out and losing months of growth in just a few minutes is traumatic, especially when everyone is making out to be that you're just crazy and your hair is totally fine when it's not. That's awful noodlenaps. You must have REALLY wanted that trim, because that is an awful lot to go through to get rid of a few milimeters of split ends. If you wear you hair primarily curly with few straight styles you dont have to blow it out to trim it. The new edition of Curly Girl has a great section on self trimming, as does Teri LaFlesh in her book Curly Like Me. Again, I'm sorry you went through that
That's horrible! I'm so sorry this happened to you. (((hugs))) In the 8+ years I've been natural, I've only been to a salon once and thankfully that was a good experience. I have fantasies of trying Devachan next time I'm in NYC, but now I know where NOT to go to.

I would totally report them to the powers that be and file a complaint. Its one thing to have people not know how to treat your hair or to get a bad cut or color, but its another to get the type of treatment as a customer you got.

When I got my hair trimmed at my one salon experience as a natural, she did it while my hair was dry w/o product so that she can see my curl texture. It wasn't fun walking out the house with a big crunchy mess , but it was worth it in the end.
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Why wouldnt you name names? I would want to know...so I wouldn't make the mistake of booking an appointment.
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Don't be hard on yourself I allowed this to happen to me 2X before I got the lesson! That's why I haven't been to a salon in over 20yrs and can't count how many admirers of my hair I've had. Love yourself, love your hair and let yourself heal!
That is HORRIBLE. I'm so sorry you had to go through this.

This is the reason I don't go to the salons anymore. Some people can be very stubborn and just want to do things their way, no matter how many times you tell them to do it THIS way. Others are just plain rude, or just don't even know what they're doing. Not to say that you shouldn't trust any salon. But the person who does my hair best is ME, and it will always be me. So as of now, I have no worries about experiences like this because I'm doing my hair all on my own
So sorry dear. I had a similar experience 3 years ago at a Ouidad salon and hadn't been back since. I don't know whats getting in stylists nowadays. Especially in this economy. Don't they know gel and conditioner are 1.00 at the dollar tree?
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Before I say what comes after this, I want everyone to know I am NOT blaming NoodleNaps for her bad experience.

I am emphasizing the importance of speaking up, and GETTING UP AND LEAVING, if a stylist will not listen to you, belittles you, or rips your hair out.

I've been to one salon, in the past 3 months and had a very good experience. However, I do NOT play.

  1. If you come at me, with a fine-toothed comb, I'm up and out. I don't have time to explain why that won't work. You should know.
  2. If you attempt to comb my hair dry, I'm up and out. Again, I don't have time to educate you on how to comb natural hair. Now, if you wanna deduct the price of a lesson from my bill...
  3. If you're rough...as far as your demeanor, or in the way you handle my hair...I'm up and out. Be courteous and friendly. Don't act like my hair is some "bird's nest" you don't wanna tackle.
  4. If I tell you to "cease and desist", and you ignore and continue...I'm up and out. It's my head, my hair and my decision.
Why? Well, because I can do my hair myself...and do a pretty good job. So, if I'm going to pay you to do my hair, you need to "wow" me, but at the very least treat me with respect, and be gentle with my hair.

If I came in with healthy hair, I expect to leave with the same level of health. If you think you're going to jack up my hair, and push back my progress, it will remain a thought.
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Last edited by NEA; 03-03-2011 at 08:17 PM.
Before I say what comes after this, I want everyone to know I am NOT blaming NoodleNaps for her bad experience.

I am emphasizing the importance of speaking up, and GETTING UP AND LEAVING, if a stylist will not listen to you, belittles you, or rips your hair out.

I've been to one salon, in the past 3 months and had a very good experience. However, I do NOT play.

  1. If you come at me, with a fine-toothed comb, I'm up and out. I don't have time to explain why that won't work. You should know.
  2. If you attempt to comb my hair dry, I'm up and out. Again, I don't have time to educate you on how to comb natural hair. Now, if you wanna deduct the price of a lesson from my bill...
  3. If you're rough...as far as your demeanor, or in the way you handle my hair...I'm up and out. Be courteous and friendly. Don't act like my hair is some "bird's nest" you don't wanna tackle.
  4. If I tell you to "cease and desist", and you ignore and continue...I'm up and out. It's my head, my hair and my decision.
Why? Well, because I can do my hair myself...and do a pretty good job. So, if I'm going to pay you to do my hair, you need to "wow" me, but at very least treat me with respect, and be gentle with my hair.

If I came in with healthy hair, I expect to leave with the same level of health. If you think you're going to jack up my hair, and push back my progress, it will remain a thought.
Originally Posted by NEA

If this was Facebook I would "like" this. Sometimes it's easy for me to say "oh I would do this," but when you're in that position yourself it can be hard to speak up. whenever i used to get in a stylist's chair i felt like a child - like i couldn't speak up because they knew better. but now that i've BC'd and try to take care of my hair, there is no way i will let someone do that to me.

i will try to remember your experience if i get scared to say something.

so sorry this happened to you, girl.
so sorry that happened to you.
ive had a similar situation happen at a braiding salon called "Fatou's Braiding Studio" in Decatur, Ga (on the parking lot with a biglots on Candler road)
i got some kinky twist done last summer. can't remember the stylists' names (there were two working on my head at once. one had many acne scars, the other was somewhat short/petite looking) but it was a horrible experience. the first lady seemed nice but began to come my hair without detangling. she washed it, applied NO product, and just began ripping at it. i could hear my strands breaking, but i had to get my hair done and didnt want to not get it done (my mom really wanted me to get them) and only my brother was with me.

anyway, she was coming and tearing out hair, and it REALLY HURT and i even winced and fidgeted and then she apologized but continued to rip through it. afterwards, she began twisting my hair and complained that my hair was too thick and got another woman to help her. she was on the phone while twisting and that was rather annoying and unprofessional. she also cut the hair that was sticking out of the braids which was my hairs.

it was partially my fault because i didnt get up and leave, but because of various reasons i felt that i had to get it done. that taught me to NEVER EVER let someone treat me or my hair like that ever again.

also, the stylists and their guests (friends? selling dvds etc) were very anti-american and speaking against america. it was crazy. you live in america! be thankful! i understand criticism, but they were really against america. it started when they turned the Fifa World Cup on.

after i took out my twists (only kept them in 3 weeks was so unhappy) i had split ends galore, even though i moisturized. it was horrible.

anyway, hope that helps someone out! i was recommended to the place by my sister who was not natural at the time, and i guess was used to braiding salons being that way? who knows. never again! there are some other fatous locations, and i cant speak for them but only the candler location.
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<ramble>I just want to say I'm all for DIY when it comes to our natural hair. I've been natural for 8 years and only been to the salon one time and thankfully I had a great experience. With that said, sometimes I want to be cared for and pampered just like those with looser curls or straight hair. Just because I have super curl hair, that doesn't mean that I can never treat myself to a decent trim, color, or dare I say, hair cut in a particular style that I would NOT be able to do myself.

I don't know, its just saddens me our hair is still seen as a "problem" and we are almost forced never to trust anyone with our hair. I hope as natural hair becomes more and more common, more and more stylists will learn how to work with our hair. </ramble>
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