Photo Courtesy of The Maria Antoinette
The internet is flooded with natural hair enthusiasts, vloggers, and bloggers. As more women begin to explore the option of wearing their hair in its naturally curly state, a need for a space to share stories, trials, and triumphs is equally important. Blogs and vlogs became the primary sources of information for natural or curly hair education.

True or false: hairstylists don't know how to work with textured hair

There was a misbelief that there were no trained hairstylists who understood naturally curly, kinky, coiled hair. Rightfully so, because natural hair styling, braiding, and locking is not formally taught or required in the traditional cosmetology programs across the United States.  The truth is, there are and always have been trained, professional hairstylists proficient in the knowledge of natural hair. Natural hair industry pioneers like Taliah Wajiid
, Anu Prestonia , and Diane Bailey have used their gifts to educate hairstylists for years. Social media has made it possible for us to have more access to natural hair educators and professionals. Now that more experienced natural hair stylists are making their presence known in the natural hair space, let’s discuss the difference in the information that is shared.

What's the difference between bloggers and stylists?

The big difference between bloggers and an experienced natural hair stylist is the word experience. Bloggers typically try styling techniques, products, or a mix of products they have created themselves on their own hair and loved ones. This provides a limited view or understanding of what actually works or will produce results.

Hairstylists that are licensed and trained are knowledgeable about the science of hair. They have studied it and have been able to practice the theory through application on hundreds, sometimes thousands of hair textures and curl patterns. This gives them a versatile and expansive understanding of what works so they can help potential clients set realistic expectations for their hair goals.

Why is it important to know the difference?

The mistake that is often made when clients follow the advice of a blogger is that there is so much admiration of the blogger’s hair, they work hard to recreate the look exactly the way they see it without considering other important factors - like the genetic make up that is responsible for the hair they see. Therefore, the recommended regimens, product or styling technique may not produce the same results. Oftentimes, in the salon setting I see a number of women who suffer from dry hair, breakage and inflamed scalps because of the trial and error of trying to find the blogger or vlogger recommendations that will help them with their hair goals. An experienced hairstylist can take an inspirational image and help translate it to fit the style desires of the client to make it more realistic.

The mistake that is often made when clients follow the advice of a blogger is that there is so much admiration of the blogger’s hair, they work hard to recreate the look exactly the way they see it without considering other important factors

In addition to the benefits of having a hairstylist provide you with personalized hair care regimens, hairstyling tips, and hairstyles created to enhance your beauty and fit your lifestyle, it is reassuring to have an experienced professional who you can also work with you to make sure your hair and scalp is in optimal health. Hairstyling is a licensed grooming practice, and although you can maintain your hair at home, it is always nice to have an experienced hairstylist you can call if your hair care regimen is no longer producing results.

The online community that exists is important for women seeking information and shared experiences about styling, managing, and caring for natural hair. Hairstylists use their education and experience to provide solutions to your specific hairstyling needs and desires. We must strike a healthy balance around natural hair styling and education to eliminate the misinformation a lot of women receive about how to care for their hair. It can be confusing, and the confusion can result in damaged hair.  So when you are looking for information online about your hair, remember: Bloggers bring the fun. Experienced hairstylists bring the facts.

This article is written by Dr. Kari, a licensed barber, professional hair designer & stylist, natural hair care specialist, educator, hair care products consultant, board certified trichologist through the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, and the Founder & CEO of Mahogany Hair Revolution Salon & Trichology Clinic. She is the current President of the California Board of Barbering & Cosmetology, appointed by Governor Jerry Brown in 2013. Dr. Kari is also the Creator and Co-Founder of AnnCarol, a line of products formulated to achieve and maintain healthy hair. Her products can be purchased at www.anncarolproducts.com.

Pictured: The Maria Antoinette, a Licensed Cosmetologist who you can follow on YouTube and Instagram.