In my years of servicing my natural clients, I have heard several stories of not so pleasant experiences at other salons. Because the natural hair movement just began to move full steam ahead a few years ago, there weren't many natural hair care specialist to service those whom were in need. Therefore stylists whom specialties lie in other areas were providing limited protective styles, blow-outs, and limited braid styles. Whereas there is nothing wrong with being "a jack of all trades," it is important to have the proper knowledge and skills to do so.
Natural hair is my passion, and I as a Licensed Natural Hair Care Specialist strive to ensure that all of my clients retain and maintain their healthy natural mane. As I mentioned in my previous blog, there are specialities within natural hair care. Therefore, it is important to understand natural hair in order to properly care for and style. Here are a few "DO NOTS" for those who do not specialize in the care of natural hair.
1.) DO NOT shampoo a natural's hair without first detangling. The removal of all shedded hair will prevent the hair from locking/matting as soon as water touches it.
2.) DO NOT shampoo a natural's hair without next using a moisturizing conditioner, in some cases a deep conditioner. Naturals require moisture and hydration. Conditioning will prevent the hair from further damage or breakage later in the styling process.
3.) DO NOT begin to blow dry without first using the L.O.C method (Liquid, Oil, Cream), where the liquid or cream is a leave-in conditioner. There goes that word (conditioner) again.
4.) DO NOT begin to blow dry without detangling after the L.O.C. method.
5.) DO NOT use excessive heat. After blowing dry, especially when you will be straightening the hair, use a heat protector and pass the flat iron one time through the hair. Anything more than once is excessive, and depending on the texture of the hair, temperature should not exceed 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
6.) DO NOT suggest or recommend chemical relaxers, or any other straightening treatments unless the client asks. Naturals find it very disrespectful, and feels that you really do not care about the state of her natural hair.
7.) DO NOT complain about the amount of time it takes to service a Natural. There is really no explanation needed.
Naturals - please be sure to consult with all stylists before you sit in their chair for any service. Come prepared with questions regarding products and processes. It will save you from horrible experiences, damaged hair, injured scalp and an overall bad investment.