In reflecting back on my trip to the African Braiding shop to get my cornrows done, I don’t think I will be going back again for a long time. Why you ask? My stylist is way too rough!! Let me just say that I love my hair braider to death and she is very talented but treating my hair with tender care was not in order. I deliberately and painstakingly de-tangled and put my hair in large twist to make styling easier for her (and avoid unnecessary breakage for me) but it was to no avail. She roughly parted my hair, ripping through the strands to the point that I saw little hair balls tangled up with the braiding hair. I really feel it was the equivalent of a hair cut. What’s so funny is that my hair dresser and her friend were in awe that I’d gained so much length in only two years. They didn’t realize that what has mainly helped me in retaining length is that I am very, very gentle with my hair because it is tightly coiled and very fragile. Needless to say I was none too pleased and I feel that I haven’t gained much growth from that experience. If anything it’s probably back to the same length it was when I first did the cornrows. Sigh. So a few tips if you feel that your stylist is lacking some style finesse…
Speak up. Kady knows that I don’t play when it comes to my hair. Even though she might have been annoyed at my interruptions and suggestions at the end of the day it’s my hair. She did ease up and was more careful has she braided.
Make sure hair is properly prepped . Before doing any intricate style, if you know that your hair dresser is not particularly sensitive to the fragility of kinky/coily hair, take a few minutes the day before to make sure hair is properly de-tangled, clean and knot free.
Bring your own styling tools and products. When it comes to the braiding shop what you see is what you get..a style and that’s it! No talk of deep conditioning, hair health or regimens (my braider actually told me I didn’t need to trim because I was natural :O!). She had virtually no products in the store and I was forced to run next door looking like Martin (remember when he joined that cult? :P) to buy a leave in conditioner. I had to spend money on a product I don’t use when I have a cabinet full of products at home.
Have you had an experience with a rough stylist?