After being natural for 11 years, I just recently started thinking about having my styled in the salon, while growing it out some. I cut it super short and have quickly become super bored with the style, of which lends no versatility. Anyway….Even if you’re an avid DIYer when it comes to your hair, there comes a time in every naturalista’s life when you should see a professional hair stylist. It is beneficial to see a professional even if only a few times a year to get a trim and ensure your hair and scalp are in good health. But for a lot of naturals, going to see a stylist is concerning. Can I really trust the same hair stylist that has relaxed my hair all these years? How do I find new stylist who can handle my textured hair?
Like any other relationship, a good client-stylist relationship can be hard to find. You want a stylist who is educated about caring for natural hair. And if you aren’t wanting to straighten your hair, you want a stylist that can do great textured styles as well. If you’re not sure how to find the perfect stylist for your natural hair, here are some tips that helped me find my favorite stylists.
Attend local natural hair events. If you’re a stylist who caters to clientele with natural hair, then you’ll likely attend natural hair events in your area. You might even participate as a speaker or a vendor. So if you’re looking for a natural hair stylist, attending natural hair events in your area are a great place to find one. This also give you an opportunity to talk with them before making an appointment, which takes some of the pressure off of you.
Preview their work on social media. Not only can you see pictures of their work, but they may also share behind the scenes as they work on clients. Some stylists use their platforms to education their audience on natural hair care. They may also share training classes they are taking to continue to up their skill level. These are all indications that they are a great natural hair stylist.
Ask for references. See that woman in Target with the cute twist out? Know a friend or co-worker who’s natural hair always looks healthy and vibrant? Ask them if they see a professional stylist or know of on in your area. Most people will be more than willing to shout-out their stylist and refer you to them. I know I’m constantly referring people to my favorite stylists that I know and trust with my hair.
If you don’t feel comfortable asking a stranger, or don’t have any friends or co-workers who see a natural hair stylist, there’s always Google. Do a little online research, as well as websites like StyleSeat or even Facebook were people can leave reviews. Read the reviews – the good ones and the bad – and that will help you make your choice.
Schedule a consultation. Scheduling a consultation is the best way to help ensure a stylist is the right one for you. A consultation is an opportunity for your to get to know the stylist, and the stylist to get to know you and your hair before actually providing a styling service. While some stylists offer free consultations, some do charge a fee so keep that in mind. If a fee is charged, be sure to get a clear understanding of what all in involved in the consultation – it likely is worth the cost.
You can discuss your hair texture, hair goals, hair concerns, allergies, and any other pertinent information about your hair. A great stylist will also ask about your own hair care routine, what products you use at home, and any issues you’re experiencing with your hair that you want to address. You also get to know about their personality, and if it gels well with yours.
Another benefit to a consultation is actually getting to preview the salon environment. Is it a stress free, friendly environment, or one where you don’t feel comfortable or enjoy being in? If you don’t enjoy the salon experience during the consultation, then you know that may not be the stylist for you.
Finding the perfect natural hair stylist for you might seem like a daunting task. It is true – it might take some time and effort. But it is totally worth it, and your hair will thank you.