Relaxing at the salon

More curlies are going to natural hair salons

As more women continue to board the ever-so-popular express train to natural hair bliss, its route has been forced to change. Due to the high amount of misinformation available, people are taking matters into their own hands to obtain accurate information. The first stop is taking place at a natural hair salon to debunk the myth that the skin color of the stylist reflects the stylist's expertise with different textures.

New passenger on the train Karina James, a student studying accounting at Detroit's Wayne State University, has also heard the theory that a stylist without the same hair texture as her own wouldn’t be able to do her newfound curls any justice. “Prior to going to a natural hair salon, I always thought a white stylist wouldn’t even know where to begin when looking at my 4a-textured tresses,” James said, “but after discussing what I wanted for my hair when visiting the salon, my now-new stylist, Lisa, reassured me she could work with hair of any curl type.”

So where did this myth come from? “I think it goes back to lack of education,” said Aziza Henderson, owner of Sangaris Natural Hair Salon in Detroit. Henderson, who received her education in natural hairstyles by an accomplished stylist of natural hair music artists such as Jill Scott, Bilal and Floetry, teaches her stylists how to do natural hairstyles if they were not taught how to do so at beauty schools. “She can cut, blow dry, curl and color, do locks on white people and do locks on black people, because I trained her,” Henderson said in reference to a stylist of Italian descent that she trained. She also believes that it’s due to the education of the stylist, as customers are now aware that some stylists are not taught how to properly take care of natural hair when attending some beauty schools.

A stylist

Does the color of your stylist's skin matter to your curls?

Julius Wilkerson, a student at Aveda Beauty School, can attest to that. “[Natural Hair] is more of Aveda’s main focus,” Wilkerson said. “They do teach us how to do perms and weaves because it’s in high demand, but they focus more on all natural products and encourage natural hair.”

As a receptionist at natural hair salon Strand Theory Salon and Spa in Dearborn, Michigan, Wilkerson sees firsthand that the race of the stylist has no impact on whether they can do a particular style on any client. “There are two stylists here that are white and they style black and white clients' hair,” he said. “One of the white stylists has a majority of black clients,” he adds.

Another factor that may add in creation of this myth is that newly natural women are used to going to hair salons specifically for relaxers and hair straightening techniques. Since practices at natural hair salons may be foreign to them, they may not feel comfortable with the idea that the salon's techniques may work for their newly natural hair, which is still somewhat foreign to them.

Natural hair salons are for the benefit of women and men of who choose to wear their hair naturally, regardless of curl type and race. After all, their expertise will benefit your curls and the health of your hair. What could be the problem with that?