Updated: Jul 17
Disclaimer: Don't debate me, debate your muva and yes I cussed a lot during this post. Also today's topic is a universal issue not just a Houston or Atlanta problem.
"Good hair is defined by hair health not hair texture."
I made a similar post around this same time last year regarding this topic and due to recent events I'm spinning the block on this issue. Here's the link to the original post https://www.twentysomethingsxo.com/post/i-m-over-the-black-hair-experience
So after my awful experiences during the first half of 2022 I took some time off from the hair game but I did cave in and get some stitch braids by my braider in Greensboro. That experience was great per usual and after moving away I was skeptical about finding a braider and hairstylist. Six months later (April 2023) I found a stylist on IG that offered early morning appts without a list of rules and the hair was included. Her quality of work was excellent and her prices were reasonable for faux locs. However, upon arrival there were ghetto shenanigans none the less, including her cat trying to crawl on me, her home environment was very ghetto, her booking site said 2 hours but it took her 4 hours, and to top it off she was on speaker phone with the IRS. In her defense my locs were fire and she recently moved to a salon so if I book with her again some of the issues I endured shouldn't be an issue anymore.
Seeing as that experience was more positive then negative I felt like I could give the IG stylist a chance again. So after I got my locs removed (another fee lol) I wanted my hair trimmed and braided down so I could put on a wig but of course there was bullshit with trying to book a simple hair task. First offer, nobody offers a customization service for wigs and if they did the lace had to be a certain size or type. Secondly, braid downs no longer include a wash and trims are an additional $20. Thirdly, braid downs are now $60+. I was annoyed to say the less so I ended up washing my own hair and I found an African shop that braided it down for $45, a win is a win.
Now it's June and it's getting hot as fuck in Houston. I'm not feeling the wigs or bundles anymore, and I wanted some braids. One of co-workers knows how to braid so we exchanged contact info. As I'm texting her to finalize the date and time she stops responding. I was annoyed again and I didn't see her at work for a minute. I considered the IG braiders again, but I decided that I wasn't going to pay $300+ for boho knotless.
A few days later I remembered that I had some Amazon bundles that I only wore once and I had a cute half up half down hairstyle saved on Pinterest. I was back on the search for a stylist and after contacting several stylists due to the limited amount of services they offered I found a girl that could do the hair style. A few days before my appt. I confirmed everything and the address was sent the day before. I arrive to the apartment complex and tell me why the apt. number she gave me doesn't exist. To make a long story short I called and text her personal and business number but no answer. After 20 minutes I left and this bitch text me 45 minutes later saying she overslept and if I was still there she could still do my hair. I'm was so mad that I started to turn around and beat her ass but instead I respectfully asked for my deposit back and came home looking like all my life I had to fight.
2 days later my co-worker is back at work and she's like girl I'm so sorry I didn't text back my phone got cut off (red flag). Seeing as my hair is a mess under my wig I decided to give her another chance and she agreed to do my hair at my apt. a few days later. Literally the day of as I'm headed to the beauty supply store to get the hair and gel that she requested she text me saying she forgot that she had to watch her little brother and she'll be there by 12pm. I said okay, and I didn't mind because I work from home and I didn't have any other plans for the day. 3pm rolls around and she hasn't shown up or given me an update. To avoid more unnecessary lies I text her saying, "I'm not sure what happened but never mind about the hair."
Here I am 3 weeks later and 3 attempts later and my hair is still not done. Shout out to God for reminding me that African hair braiding shops still exist. Granted they just did my braid down but I total forgot that they still braid hair in general. I got on Tiktok for visuals and recommendations and I found a shop that did quality work. I called them to confirm their location, business hours, and prices. The price was more than I was going to pay the co-worker but it was also way cheaper than the IG girlies, so once again a win is still a win.
I woke up the next morning and headed to the shop. For the first time in years I didn't feel anxious before an appt because the Africans are reliable and they're known for braiding hair quickly. Braiding Image off Wild Crest Drive in Houston did they big one. As I was waiting on a braider to show up (other people arrived a few minutes before me) I informed the owner that I may have to leave and come back on Sunday due to the noise volume and I'm working remotely. The owner assured me that I didn't have to leave and I could get my hair braided in the hair stock room which was quiet and away from everybody else. She helped me get comfortable in the stock room and my braider showed up 5 minutes later. The noise level was perfect and the braider was very accommodating as I'm typing and talking on the phone. Five hours and $250 later my hair is slayed for the gods. I got bohemian medium knotless butt length with human hair all while working remotely, and yes my edges are still intact, and no it didn't hurt while I was getting my hair done. Some of these myths regarding the African shops is cap and this is your sign sis to go back to your roots and stop fucking with the IG girls.
Here's some words of wisdom to any stylist reading this... if you're being reasonable and non-problematic keep being great. Now to you money hungry unprofessional hair hoes get prepared because God doesn't like ugly, he doesn't bless no mess, and word on the street is some of y'all are going to get reported and investigated by the state board. Also in certain states clients can pursue theft charges if you charge their card without rending a service. Stop playing with people and learn how to run a business, period.
Now that that rant is out of my system let's get into some of the new and ongoing issues in the black girl hair community.
Forcing clients to be models. If you need content just say that or offer a discount, free service, or give the client an option to be on camera. Better yet stop trying to come up off your clientele and book a branding photoshoot. These hoes love to overcharge, but they're too cheap to pay for a photoshoot. Personally I'm not wearing make up to an appt. and my face wouldn't be apart of your content unless I say so. I also believe in reporting pages that violate your rights and privacy.
Extra fees. Tucking hair, parting, etc. all these fees are wild. Real braiders who care about their work would tuck the hair regardless. As I've previously mentioned before you have to part the hair regardless so charging for certain parts is nuts, and the list of ongoing fees for any thing such as curling hair, requesting a braid length that's shorter than the length you offered, etc. is out of line.
Not providing the products. It's 2023 why are clients having to provide the hair or styling products such as wig caps, gel, etc. Most hair stores or companies allow stylist to buy items wholesale or in bulks which is cheaper than buying a few packs of hair here and there. They should invest in their business and stop putting more responsibility on their clients. Also if the hair isn't included what the fuck are the clients paying $200+ for. Furthermore if the stylist already has the hair then everything should be prepped and ready upon arrival.
Drop off & pick up of wigs. Most stylist charge a same day customization fee so why do some of us arrive at our appts and the wig or closure/frontal isn't ready yet. Start deducting the same day fee from the overall service cost since these hoes want to keep playing.
Last minute cancellations. 90% of these viral hair stories are due to the stylist canceling at the last minute yet the consumer is charged a deposit and the stylist has a policy for late fees. I've seen too many TikTok stories where the girl's maintenance or vacation appt is cancelled the day before or the day of their plans and their scrambling to fix their hair. The fact that all black girls know what a "Hey boo" text is is sad. Also I wonder how do these stylist afford their lifestyle if half of them are cancelling appts.
$200 to install wigs. These hoes have lost it. You mean to tell me you may or may not wash/blow dry my hair and some stylist go as fair as requiring you to have your hair already braided down and simply putting on a cap and customizing my wig once it's on equates to $200. Be fucking for real, and some of these Amazon wigs didn't even cost as much as the install service do.
No booking site or not having your site setup to take deposits. Why do clients have to text the stylist their name, appt time, & send money via cash app or Apple Pay. Utilizing cash app or Apple Pay to run a business is ghetto. They need to put more energy and investment in their business. Also having a website is a great way to prevent clients from contacting them regarding prices, frequently ask questions, etc.
Gatekeeping the address. Don't do hair at home if you can't give out the address. Why do clients have to wait till the day before or better yet 2 hours before their appt to know where they're going. Houston and other major cities are too big to be making travel plans at the last minute.
Can't slay different hair textures. A real stylist can slay Amazon lace, short hair, 4c hair, etc. A lot of these stylist are one trick ponies and can't do hair outside of their favorite hair type. Also it's illegal in certain states to charge based on hair type, it's a form of discrimination. Look up your state cosmetology laws and start reporting their asses.
Not being consideration of other people's time. Why does their booking site say they wouldn't rush if you have other plans and you should plan according by adding on another hour or two to the service time. If they know it takes 5 to 6 hours to braid hair then they should put that on their site and clients could plan their day accordingly.
Taking the knot out cost more than putting it back in. Knotless braids are trendy and somehow using less hair cost more money, make it make sense. Also some of these knotless styles be giving boneless, yet these styles cost $300+.
Thick hair fee. How am I being punished for not being bald headed, yet in their rules they require your hair to be a certain length and edges to be in tact.
A braid down is $60-$80 & add on a trim is $20+. Why does 6 cornrows cost $60+ and since when did a adding on a trim cost more than $10. This style is the fastest service and it's even quicker if you've already washed and blow dried your hair.
Silk presses being $200+. I thought the Tiktok girls were capping about the cost of silk press until I considered getting my hair pressed out earlier this year. This service being over $125 (I'm being generous lol) especially if your hair isn't past bra strap length is wild.
A lot of IG stylist is why the girls hair stopped growing or fell out. One day I really need the IG girlies to admit that they're the reason that their clients edges and hair fell out or stopped growing. My blowout in Feb. 2022 was trash and my hair looked boneless. After taking extensive breaks from the hair girls my hair is thicker and longer since I've been managing it. Managing 4b hair is a lot, but at this point I trust myself more than I'll ever trust these hair hoes.
Labeling services luxury. Saying a service is luxury to justify their prices is funny as fuck. The quality is still subpar and nothing about the service is luxurious. The word luxury is taken out of content when it comes to the hair industry.
To wrap it up the black girl hair experience has always been a lot from getting your hair washed in the kitchen and being man handled by your momma during the get right process for church/school to being at the beauty salon all damn day to being penalizing for having a certain type of hair to hey boo text messages. Even down to witnessing the rise and fall of the natural hair movement. Speaking of my specific hair community a well renowned black hair company sold out to a white manufacturer earlier this year. This was my favorite brand and highly recommended for type 4 hair, but knowing that people who don't care about our hair is starting to produce these products bothers me. We all know that once something goes main stream it doesn't hit the same anymore, honey pot is a prime example.
I hate that things have gotten to this point but it is what it is. However, I'm grateful that this is the last time that these hair hoes will have me in a frenzy. Myself and so many other black women in America have tried to support our people but we can't keep being inconvenienced or overcharged simply because we want to look nice and have a break from maintenancing our own hair.
If you're fed up like me I advised you to hit up Youtube University and if you're truly like me where you lack the patience to do your own hair then you move on to option two which is investing in a quality wigs that are pre plucked and easy to install or get your hair braided by the Africans.
From one black girly to another do what's best you and your hair.
A black girl who's done with the ghetto black girl hair experience
"I just got my hair did, then shit on hoes like it's a hobby"
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Positive news: Your girl got approved for an Amazon storefront and please checkout my store and shop with me. There’s a category dedicated to wigs. https://www.amazon.com/shop/ericanicole