Sunday, 13 September 2009

strictly fabulous

The black hair salon

The bane of every black woman's existance at least once in their life. For those of us who reject the creamy crack (relaxer) the salon can hold even more horror.

I'v had my share of negative experiences. A few years ago I wantd my hair pressed and was feeling too lazy to contort myself in such away as to be able to do the back of my head properly. So I went to a salon in Lewisham. I won't name and shame, suffice to say that they call themselves a "natural hair" salon. Natural my back foot! My hair and scalp were burnt so badly in the straightening process that my scalp had scabs and my hair broke terribly in the following weeks. Later I learnt that my hair is naturally anti-heat and breaks in response to it, but that was the worst it had ever been.

After I realised that frying my hair wasn't a legitmate styling option unless I wanted to be bald by 30 I went back to braids. When I was younger extensions gave me the l'oreal hair flick I had always desired...

..."I was WORTH it!!"

But this second time around, all the excess hair felt heavy and alien. My scalp rebelled with an army of flakes and although I received compliments I didn't feel that they were my due. This was also when I realised the fragility of my hairline. When I undid the braids after a month (ahem, or more) I noticed a hell of a lot of my hairline being removed along with the Kanekalon. To avoid my hairline following the same fate as that of Stevie Wonder's I implored the hairdressers to "tek time", be gentle, don't pull the hair so tight and don't put so much hair on my head. This was when I learnt that hairdressers suffer with a condition known as selective deafness. The prevailing symptom is when, in a salon atmosphere, basic instructions from a client sound like white noise and are ignored. This experience occured in salons across south-east london.

My response?
To boycott salons completely - anything that I couldnt do myself I'd just have to live without.

When I started my locs I knew how to retwist, but for some reason I couldn't find the time to sit down and do it. My twists were floating on a sea of regrowth and I knew something had to be done.

And here we come to the point of this post. I found a salon the turns stereotype on its head

Strictly Dreadz in Crystal Palace renewed my faith in the black hair salon.

See why after the jump

I've already recommended a friend and she left raving about it as well. It's probably due to the sexy Bajan owner refreshing, positive atmosphere.  I loved it.  The place is new (I think) and the layout is more functional than anything else.  Space is minimal but it manages to work without feeling claustrophobic.  There were two styling chairs in front of full length mirrors, and all the other important stuff was fitted in, sink for hair washing, hairdryers, blah blah blah. 

To begin with I was seen on time


Yes I know - on time!

There was always somebody working on my hair.  No stops for snacks, chats, or to finish off somebody else, my hair was retwisted from start to finish.  Everybody just seemed happy to be there - probably because unlike most salons they weren't forced to spend their entire Saturday there.

To be completely honest I started writing this ages ago and I'm only just posting it today so the detail is a little sparse, but I'll be returning for a retwist in a few weeks - and I can't wait!
Visit the website here

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