Updated: Jul 13
Disclaimer: I respect entrepreneurs but some of y’all are out of line.
“I am not my hair” - India Arie
If you’ve been on social media then you’ve probably seen how black women are speaking out against these new age hairstylists. They’ve been wildin’ out for a while with these rules and requirements, but after my most recent hair experience I said I’m done with the hair industry for a while and maybe indefinitely until these stylists come back to their senses.
So I paid $290 to get my hair braided. The braids are smedium knotless so it started at $235, then it’s $35 to have curly pieces within the braids, and $20 for custom color. First off the braids don’t look like I spent $300, shit the braids don’t look like it’s worth $200. I asked for curly pieces on the end for the goddess look and she tried to tell me that’s not what I requested when I booked my appt. Then the custom color was supposed to be honey blonde ombre but she did platinum blonde ombre. Everything about this hair experience pissed me off and I told myself I’m done with braiders, and I’m one foot out the door from being done with stylists that install weaves. Mind you, I sent a picture of the exact style and color that I wanted and this is the 4th time this year that I’ve dealt with bullshit when it came to getting my hair done.
Let’s get into some of the ongoing issues and complaints when it comes to the black hair experience.
Frontals are overrated. Not only are frontals the same cost as bundles but most stylists are requesting HD or transparent lace which is more expensive. Frontals don’t last beyond 2-3 weeks and they cause edges to fall out from the glue and forehead discoloration. Also a lot of these stylists can’t slay a frontal yet they love to say “lace where?” stop the cap.
Charging to part hair. Who would’ve thought when you get your hair parted for braids that doing a triangle part instead of a square would be an add on service and cost more money. Braiders already have to part your hair so why are you charging based on the shape.
Charging to wash hair. To my understanding if you work in a shop shampooing and blowing dry is supposed to be part of the service. But the part that really gets me is charging $15-$25 to run a blow dryer through your hair which barely takes 5 minutes.
Charging to style the hair. Yes Krimps and wand curls take longer, but it should be a free add on service. How TF do stylists have the audacity to charge over $150+ for sew-ins, closures, wigs, etc., then charge $30-$40 more for krimps or curls. Part of getting an install is styling the hair and not to mention charging an extra $40-$50 to cut the hair into a bob is wild as fuck.
Charging for thicker hair. To a point I understand this rule because I have thicker hair but the cost for it is still out of pocket and I’ve never selected the thicker hair option.
Nobody cares about your real hair anymore, then they talk shit in the disclaimers about clients needing to have edges for certain styles and at least 4 inches of hair. This rule on their booking site is another reason why I don’t understand not washing, blow drying, and caring about split ends.
These styles don’t last long enough to be $100+. Quick weaves and ponytails being priced over $75-$100 makes no sense seeing as these styles don’t last beyond 2 weeks. The fact that I can find at least 10 stylists on IG that charge $200 for a quickweave bob is interesting to say the least. In my opinion a lot of stylists are charging for styles based on the lifestyle they want to live which isn’t fair to the consumer. If they want to drive a Range Rover and live in a high rise their quality of work and customer service should match their prices.
These prices. I get that products go up and at some point during your career you feel like it’s time to up your prices because you’ve mastered certain styles. However, a price increase should be subtle, not a $50-$100 increase. Also if the quality of service, updated location (house to a salon), or taking a master class didn’t occur what’s the reason behind a price increase. Then, demographics matters when your creating a price list. Paying $200 for a sew-in in Charlotte is more reasonable than charging $200 in the 252 area. Your consumers income should influence your price list.
Deposits, late fees, and emergency appts. I get that time is money but emergencies and unforeseen incidents happen and for those that didn’t know it’s illegal to charge somebody’s card full price for a service that wasn’t rendered (thank me later). But when the roles are reversed stylists don’t take money off your service if they’re running late or they want to keep your deposit if they need to reschedule or cancel your appt. Then don’t get me started on these emergency appt fees. For example, I booked an appt. for a wig install and the stylist moved my appt time without my permission because she forgot to block that day off. I called her and let her know that the new appt. time didn’t work for me. This bitch had the nerve to say it’s an after hour fee if I needed to reschedule after 6pm. Bitch you failed to update your availability and you thought it was cool to expect me to pay an after hour fee. I had to calm down and kindly inform her I would cancel and forfeit the deposit before I pay an after hour fee and it wasn’t my fault that she needed to reschedule. Magically this emergency/after hour fee wasn’t brought up to me again and I'm never booking with her again.
5 minute list of rules and disclaimers. A red flag for me is a list of rules I have to read before I get to select the service I want to book for. Every customer is different but part of customer service is being prepared for whatever comes with the customer. Restaurants, car dealerships, etc. don’t have a list of rules or disclaimers before you get serviced and if they do have rules it’s like one or two things and that’s it.
Being unprofessional. I don’t see the point in stylists bashing their clients on social media or going on these tired ass rants. It’s tacky and unprofessional. If the client wasn’t satisfied or didn’t abide by the lengthy rule list I don't think a facebook post or posting the text thread is called for. Just block them from your booking site or kindly tell them that you're not the stylist for them. Also what’s the point of going on rants about your prices and your worth as stylists. People that want to book you will book you and if you’re not booked and busy it may be time to adjust those high ass prices. Lastly, it's crazy how these stylists get mad when somebody DMs them about their price list which is nowhere to be found, and once they state their prices they get upset that the client doesn't book with them. Pay for a booking site or have the prices list on your IG highlights. Ugh it could all be so simple.
To wrap it up, I was struggling financially last year so I relied on YouTube University where I learned how to do my own passion twist, clip on ponytail tail, colored some wigs, and I attempted box braids twice but I need to work on those some more. My hair was healthy and my edges were intact, therefore I’m headed back to YouTube this fall.
And for the record I know we don’t have to book with these stylists but it’s disappointing that many black consumers like myself can no longer support our people because the prices and quality of service being rendered isn’t worth it anymore.
Not to mention the beauty industry is starting to feel the impact of inflation and the pending recession. My nail tech informed me that many of them in the aesthetician industry aren’t as booked and busy anymore. In reality cutting back on beauty expenses is one of the easiest things to do when times get hard or the bills get out of control. Maybe what’s going on with the economy will bring these stylists back to reality (wishful thinking).
Also shoutout to the Beyond The Chair podcast for bringing attention to the issues in the black hair community and giving these stylists some guidance.
On a good note I’m getting my first U-Part wig installed in 2 weeks by a new stylist who has reasonable prices and availability. If this goes well she’ll be one of the few stylists that gives me hope that all black stylists haven’t lost their minds.
"Good hair means curls and waves (no). Bad hair means you look like a slave (no). At the turn of the century. t's time for us to redefine who we be”
- India Arie
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