Ghana Natural Hair Chick: Hair Basics:How to train your stylist...and why I became natural!

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Saturday, April 6, 2013

Hair Basics:How to train your stylist...and why I became natural!

I have been asked why I decided to stop perming my hair and go natural.That's a question with such an interesting and dramatic answer that I did a whole post on it here.If you don't like reading it there,try it on this one.A surprise awaits you when you click to go read it.I hope you're not too let down by my reasons for being natural.I just happen to have a very different way of looking at the reasons and motivation people may have for doing what they do and I just don't believe in looking or dressing a certain way because that's what the media has said I
Low manipulation style
should wear through movies and books and music and all that stuff.The end result is a 'fake' woman as I would call it(I mean no offense by that term).Please go read this post to see what I mean before you get mad at me! Enough ranting!On to hair!

 I have just updated the Hair Profile page with an amazing hair story that I'm sure you're just going to love.I hope it encourages someone to see that its possible to be natural and take care of your own hair,even when you live in a country where good products are hard to come by.

I know that a lot of the people who visit this blog may either be natural or relaxed,but would like to learn how to take care of their own hair.Some of us however would prefer to have hair stylists or other people do our hair for us. This post is meant to help just such people know what they have to do in order to ensure that their hair doesn't get damaged.Ready?Let's go!
Hair stylists,especially those in Africa,are notorious for damaging hair and scalps.They are usually trained to make you look good,not feel good.A common saying you're likely to hear is 'Beauty is Pain'.Even the natural hair salons that are supposed to have a bit more expertise are not really better because they only style and don't know how to really take care of their clients' hair to grow it and cause no pain.In order to hep minimise the damage likely to occur from salon visits,here are a few helpful things to do.

1.Include your salon visits into your regimen and take responsibility for them
Here's what I mean.Don't just go sit in the chair and let the stylist do whatever they want.Plan your salon visit the way you would plan your own hair care if you were going to do your own hair.Determine what day you will go,pack your hair products in preparation and have your money Plan your salon visits so that you know which days you get a protein treatment or a hot oil treatment.Remember those are important too!Prepare for your visit and tell yourself you're going to get pampered,not hurt.A positive outlook helps!

2.Get a bag for the salon
In your salon bag,you would keep all the products that are a normal part of your regimen.If you're newly natural and just reading this,check out my previous post on the basics of a regimen.You will be needing a good sulfate free shampoo or natural cleansing product if you plan to shampoo,a conditioner for use after shampooing or for washing your hair if you co-wash,a good deep conditioner for deep conditioning after washing your hair,a leave-in conditioner and an oil/butter such as a shea butter mix to seal in the moisture.If you will be doing a protein treatment that day,you need your protein treatment.If its a hot oil treatment day,make sure the oil is in the bag.Depending on the style you plan to get,put a styling product in the bag if you need one.Whatever be the case,be prepared.

3.Be ready to speak up
If you're going to just plomp yourself in the chair and expect your stylist to do everything right,then you have another thing coming.A lot of these stylists have no idea what they're doing to you or your hair.It is your job to tell them when they aren't doing it right.I know,I know.They will get annoyed or whatever.But remember tip 1?TAKE RESPONSIBILITY! What I like to do is to tell myself that this is an investment for my hair.I use the same salon all the time and chances are
Crazy twist-out 
so do you.If that's the case try and have a relationship with your stylist and tell him/her that you want to try and grow your hair.Therefore you're going to need their help to do so.You're going to need to tell them when they're hurting you or trying to run a fine toothed comb through your hair,for instance.Tell them nicely and they might not get offended.If they do,then you might need to find someone that doesn't get offended.You need to make sure that they don't keep doing the same thing to your hair that causes it to damage so be ready to talk.
If you feel any pain on your scalp,speak up.Tell them you like your edges and not to braid them too tight.Tell them to detangle your hair after deep conditioning with wide tooth comb and not a tiny comb.Be ready to do the detangling  yourself, if need be, to show them how to do it.This is why its important to have a relationship with the stylist.This way,you can talk to them and they're not likely to get angry.

4.Be ready for the long haul
Perm rod set on 4C hair
Don't be a salon jumper for too long.Try and find a salon that will let you stick with one stylist otherwise you will be saying the same things every week.Its easier to call ahead and make sure your assigned stylist is ready for you.That way you don't have to go and subject yourself to someone else who does't know what
you need.Be prepared to spend about 2 hours in the salon whether you're relaxed or natural.Be ready to pay for good service when you do find a good salon.

5.Your hairstyles should be helping,not hurting you
This is an important tip.If you want healthy hair,you have to make sure your hairstyles are helping with your aim.Pick hair-dos that are lovely and chic,but will not put strain on your hair.Some hair styles will put so much strain on your hair edges that you have to spend time growing them back.Others will result in such tangled hair that its just not worth it.Remember the realistic expectations post?Its important that you remember this.If you want to grow long hair for example,it might be better to get a low manipulation or protective style that will protect your hair from the damage of daily handling.Whatever style you pick,also remember that you have to take it to school or work and it needs to be appropriate.

Kinky twists
In conclusion,if your scalp hurts when your stylist is doing your hair,they aren't doing it right. It shouldn't hurt unless its getting damaged.Show them what they should do and go with the products you need.Remember that we do not scrub
the scalp with our nails.We use the soft pads of our fingers to wash our hair.If they begin to vigorously scrub your hair(like they used to do to me so much so that I got a headache) have them stop.If they try to use heat on your hair too often too much or with no heat protectant,tell them to stop.Be ready to train your stylist.It won't be easy,but beautiful healthy hair with no pain and a great stylist will be your reward.Totally worth it I'd say!