I switch between three hair salons throughout the year. The search for a salon that is both clean and fair priced is grueling and its likely death might come before I find it.
Like many black girls, I’ve been kicking the kink out of my hair since I was five. Once a month, my Saturday mornings would begin with ammonium thioglycolate and an evil stare down with a hair dresser who’s tasked with straightening my knotted crown as my only ally/ mom cheers her on.
Twenty years later, little has changed except…
My preferred salon is highly overpriced but comes with a few luxuries. Notably:
- Coffee, tea, champagne or whiskey on arrival
- Respect for appointments
- A witty exchange between myself and the hair dresser
- Reclining chair and a personal TV screen
- Mint with my receipt
They treat each strand like gold and I walk out feeling like I could easily replace Sarah Jessica Parker in those Garnier commercials.
The second salon is relatively clean but sans tea and coffee. Plus the hair dresser barely says two words to me and if you’re there at 12 noon, you have to join them in prayer. I’m completely fine with this except… can we pick a time when I don’t have chemicals that could burn my scalp off in 0 to 10 seconds? They do a fine job corn rowing my hair but I would give them a lukewarm 5 out of 10 for overall experience.
The third salon is train wreck and accounts for the majority of my hair salon nightmares. The walls are a dull sunrise yellow, the chairs are broken, the equipment is outdated and the music is so loud you can barely hear your thoughts. During my last visit, one of the hair dressers opened a drawer and a million cockroaches came scurrying out. I could have really done with that 12 o’clock prayer session whilst my stomach churned. So why do I go? Desperation people! The lady who usually braids my hair does an exquisite job but takes up to 8 hours and I have a life to live. No champers, damp towels, loud music and roaches BUT I’m in and out in a timely manner.
What’s a girl to do? Death is nigh and I would like to look gorgeous for it.