Haircare Advice From “Professionals?”

Afrobella is one of my favorite blogs. I have it in my reader and have gotten good advice there on fashion and beauty. i especially love learning about the latest nail colors there. But when I saw this post yesterday I had to respond. There seems to be this mindset that professional cosmetolgists give better hair advice than bloggers or websites. That has not been my experience AT.ALL. When I first went natural back in 1998 it was BECAUSE of piss-poor advice and experiences with so-called professionals. So the notion of them debunking ANYTHING is nearly enough to send me into hysterics of laughter.

I started getting relaxers when I was eighteen. I spent more than a decade trying to find a cosmetologist who would relax my hair as I preferred. They insisted on relaxing my very thick hair bone straight. I never wanted that look and hated it passionately. I would go home afterwards, wash my hair and let it air dry to get more texture. After some research I realized what I was looking for was a texturizer and that I also needed to stretch my touch-ups out to about four a year. When I tried to discuss this with my cosmetologist whom I saw at least three times a month, she informed me that such things were for people with “good hair.” I knew then that I’d never see another “professional,” and have not been back to a salon since.

Of course, I’m grateful now that I never got that texturizer and instead eschewed chemicals altogether. I went from having to spend hours in the salon every week to not having been in one for nearly fifteen years. I’ve saved thousands of dollars not to mention endless aggravation. From time to time I wish that I could see a “professional” for a little pampering of my natural hair, especially for color, which I hate doing at home, but I’m too vain to go gray. This was especially true when I was pregnant and was so tired, but then I remember the aggravation of the long waits and how little “pampering” was actually involved and move on. I wish, oh how I wish this was something I could indulge in. The type of beauty treatments other women can take for granted, but unfortunately I never found after dozens of attempts. I’ve made appointments over the years to get my hair professionally colored, but have always cancelled after having what could best be described as a panic attack at the thought of suffering that abuse again. This is why I don’t assume that just because someone is a licensed professional that their word is any less suspect than a blogger. I think many professionals are mostly invested in keeping you in the chair for their services, at least bloggers are speaking from their own experience. If it doesn’t work at least it has cost you nothing.

When I went natural there were few, if any, so-called professionals who wanted to have anying to do with natural hair. If it didn’t involve lye and a flat iron they weren’t trying to hear it. My only recourse at that time was sites like Nappturality, a gold-standard resource I’ll put up against any licensed cosmetologist, most of whom have received NO TRAINING on natural textured hair. Now they see what a goldmine natural hair can be and resent that women have empowered themselves and broken free of their disdain and tyranny. When I first went natural I had to make my own products from coconut oil and shea butter I bought online. I learned about ACV rinse and the power of herbs like rosemary. I learned how to two-strand twist and the glory of spending time relaxing in my own home as I took care of my hair. There are plenty of poducts available now, but I still like knowing I can take care of my own. Did I learn any of this from the so-called pofessionals? Nope. This is information I gained from Nappturality and I’ll be damned if I’ll stand idly by while these “janie-come-latelies” put that site and others like them down.

3 thoughts on “Haircare Advice From “Professionals?”

  1. As a black woman whose hair was ruined two years ago by a “professional” stylist, I appreciate your story. My hair was burned out! I have since switched stylist but after 40 it is hard to get your hair to grow back if at all.

  2. I’ve been natural since 2004 (started transitioning in late 2002.) Prior to transitioning, I had been relaxed since the age of 6. I had no idea what to do with my hair, but I knew that even constantly wearing weaves/wigs was better than going to that last stylist. She used to blame me for my hair breaking off, even though I was doing everything that she told me to do. I’ve been to a salon maybe 4, perhaps 5 times in the last 12 years. Natural hair has meant FREEDOM for me- freedom to enjoy whatever activities I like, freedom from mean-spirited hair “professionals”, and freedom from uncomfortable processing that left my head sore and my hair lifeless.

    I thank God for Nappturality and YouTube! I have learned more from them than I did in all the years I wore my hair relaxed.

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