Recently I visited a professional to have my hair braided for wig wear. When I sat down, the stylist began combing my hair with a small tooth comb. She only did about four rakes before I stopped her and asked “Are you using a small toothed comb?” She replied no, and showed me this tiny little comb with a ton of my hair in it! I was horrified! “Do you have a wide tooth comb instead?” Now this stylist – who I really like – is a kitchen beautician. I don’t mean that in a disrespectful way at all. We all have friends or know people who have been doing hair practically all their lives out of their homes. This particular stylist is licensed but seems to have the knowledge expected of a non-professional. Even so, I was shocked when she grabbed a comb of practically the same size and asked “This one?” Chileeeeee, I was thinking before I let you do that, we’ll have to finger comb through this mane. Luckily it did not come to that because I had a wide toothed comb in my purse which she readily agreed to use (I appreciated her willingness to do as I requested). She quickly finished combing through the rest of my hair with my comb and when she handed it back to me….no hair. DUH! I only wish she realized the difference.
Next she wanted to clarify what I wanted before getting started. I told her I wanted my hair braided in a beehive pattern because I would be wearing a wig. She responded that she normally does individual cornrows straight back then braids the ends together and sews them flat and asked if that would be okay. I paused and replied that I really preferred the beehive because it protects my ends better and stays more secure when I wash and condition. Luckily I had a very agreeable stylist who did not argue or try to dissuade me from my wishes.
The point is, you absolutely MUST speak up when your stylist is doing something damaging or against your wishes. I know we all want to be polite and not step on toes but staying silent – even if for only one service – can lead to a setback! I already struggle with retaining thick ends, if she had continued to comb my hair with that small comb, imagine how that would have affected my hair! Most service professionals of any field, if they are truly a professional, will listen to their client, patient, patron, whatever. So find your voice during your salon visits!