I recently came across an article on BGLH regarding a veteran natural stylist’s concerns with the natural hair movement’s effect on hair salons. The article has since been removed, however, I found what appeared to be the original article on atlantablackstar.com. Reading it again, I understood some of the stylist’s concerns, but disagreed with some of the other commentary surrounding her input.
One statement the stylist made really stood out to me that left me with a couple of questions. Are people joining the natural hair movement to save money? Will this effort to save money damage their hair in the long run?
The stylist in the Atlanta Black Star’s article entitled, “Did Natural Hair Kill the Black Hair Salon?” is celebrity stylist and natural hair guru, Diane Da Costa. According to Da Costa the recent natural hair movement has directly affected her salon’s sales. She states, in the article, “My sales are nowhere near what they should be based on who I am and the expertise I have.”
Da Costa believes money is the issue. “The bottom line is they want to save money.” Her concern is that in attempting to save money, clients will pay the price for it in the long run. “When you do low-price point, the products are inferior. You’re going to get what you pay for and over time, your hair is going to get damaged,” Da Costa says. Unfortunately, this is where I have to respectfully disagree.
The generalization that low price points directly correlate to inferior products or lead to damaged hair is unfortunate misinformation. I believe the natural hair community can name off many natural bloggers and vloggers who use inexpensive or ‘cheap’ products and have gorgeous healthy hair. Although there are some real cruddy, ‘I-have-no-idea-why-anyone-would-create-this’ products out there, many products like V05, Aussie, Herbal Essences, even Shea Moisture have proven quite helpful and beneficial for many naturals. Truth be told, my hair didn’t benefit any greater from a $30 jar of conditioner vs. a $3 bottle of cheapie conditioner. Oh no sis, you read correctly, I said $30. Don’t get it twisted. Natural hair care doesn’t have to be expensive.
I also believe that a contributing factor is sky high salon prices for basic services. My last professional relaxer (not the texturizer) back in 2007 cost me 80 smackers….for shoulder length hair. That alone led me to proceed to the nearest Walgreens and grab the $5 ‘box perm’, much to the chagrin of some of my stylist friends. And you know what? I cared for my hair just fine and it grew to a happy, healthy mid-back length. The fact that local salons charge upwards of $40 for a wash/condition/set certainly can set a strain on many pocketbooks. Contrary to popular belief, not everybody wants to break the bank for hair care.
Another reason shops tend to lose with naturals (and some relaxed ladies too) is the whole overbooking process. Forgive me for coming across as anal, but I have quite a bit of other things I need to accomplish in a day. Sitting in a salon for hours before you even get to my head simply is not an option for me anymore. Sure I can bring a book, or a magazine, or browse the web from my phone, but I can also do that…at home. If my appointment is at 8 am, I’m quite peeved if you don’t get to my head until noon. Maybe that’s just me.
I thank God for YouTubers and bloggers who decided to say, “Hey, I’m doing it myself and my hair is healthy. You can do it too! Let me share with you everything I’ve learned about my hair so far. It may help you as well.” I’m thankful for that. Because if my natural hair care was confined to the salons, we’d be eating Ramen Noodles every night….or I’d have to shave my head…NOT. I believe we ladies (and gents) should know by now that there is a ton of misinformation on the web regarding hair care. We know we need to do our due diligence in researching everything, right? I certainly hope so…for your scalp’s sake! Lol.
Clearly taking pictures of patron’s tips and posting them on social media doesn’t quite help convince naturals to come back to salons either, eh? Meh, what do I know? I’m just a natural hair blogger, saving money and growing happy, healthy hair! *HUGE Smile*
Are a majority of people going natural to save money? Do you risk damaging your hair in the long run by avoiding salons for your natural hair care?