NATURAL HAIR STYLIST GUIDE

By Hadassah Agbaps - May 07, 2017

Getting my natural hair washed at Lumo Natural's salon in Abuja



A lot of naturals are known for their DIY approach to haircare.
It's not really because we like it but because we really haven't met hair stylists we trust enough to handle our hair with care.

There are lots of blog posts about the horrors of salon visits because of inexperienced stylists. While I feel it's okay to share such experiences and probably shun salon visits altogether, I do not feel it's okay to complain and complain about a problem without trying to look for a solution.

My personal experience working with some hairstylists in Nigeria is that they simply don't know.

Yes, there are some stylists that are stuck in their ways but there are also others that are willing to learn how to care for natural hair in a less hostile environment....
Let's admit it...sometimes we naturals can't easily hide the scowl once the stylist makes a wrong move... like reaching for that blue rat tailed comb!😒

So if you have a stylist you'd love to make the switch to natural hair care, or you are a stylist willing to learn how to take better care of natural hair or hair in general, please read on....

ON GETTING TO KNOW YOUR CLIENT


1. When a natural hair client comes into the salon, please do not feel shy to discuss her hair regimen, current products she's using and if she came with them, what her hair problems might be and what she'll like to achieve with her visit to the salon.
 This is because most naturals are well informed about natural hair care. It'll also be a good way to know her preferences. Some naturals prefer to shampoo their hair with sulfate free shampoos, some prefer washing with conditioners or shampoo bars while some wouldn't mind low sulfate shampoos.
P.S. If you are the natural hair client, HERE are some tips to make it easier to work with your stylist...it's a two way thing, boo!

2. In event that she came with her own products, please read the instructions on the bottles and follow them as much as you can.
Some sulfate free shampoos have little or no sudding action. This is due to the absence of the foaming agent such as sodium lauryl sulfate.
 So you don't have to use up the whole bottle because you think her hair isn't clean enough. Use as directed. A little actually goes a long way and it won't make for a happy client if you waste her products which due to higher quality can be quite pricey.

3. In event that she didn't come with her own products and you do not have sulfate free shampoos available, please endeavour to let the client know. Don't be shady. Like I said earlier most naturals are really informed about haircare.
If only sulfate shampoo is available, please dilute it with equal part water and concentrate on shampooing the scalp alone.

ON WASHING AND CONDITIONING


4. Before you start the washing process, thoroughly detangle the client's natural hair using a wide tooth comb. To make it easier, divide client's hair in four sections, apply conditioner/oil to each section and comb gently from ends to roots. Loosely twist each detangled section. Proceed to the shampoo station.

5. Saturate hair with tepid water, then apply shampoo to client's scalp. To make it easier, you can pour the shampoo into an applicator bottle with a nozzle tip and apply to scalp. Lather gently and massage using the pads of your fingers. Try not to tangle the hair as much as you can. It helps cut down detangling time.

6. Rinse off the shampoo with tepid water and apply conditioner to hair alone taking care to avoid scalp. Cover with a showercap for 10-15 mins. Detangle gently with wide tooth comb and rinse off conditioner with cool water. Please let the client know in advance so as not to be uncomfortable with the change in water temperature. If deep conditioning is needed, it should come before the conditioning step. Follow directions on the product. A steaming cap should be used. An alternative is placing a processing cap on the client's hair and going under a hair dryer on low heat setting.

7. Blot dry with a towel...do not rub or you'll cause the hair to tangle up again. It's helpful to make a nice turban around the client's hair to reduce dripping and allow excess water to be absorbed. Proceed to the styling station.

ON STYLING


Depending on the style preferred by the client, you may work with either damp or dry hair.

8. For rollersets, perm rod sets, kinky twists, twistouts and most curly hairstyles, it is best to work with damp hair. Distribute styling product on hair evenly. Too much and sets may not dry...too little and sets may not hold. Follow directions on the bottle or if the natural hair client is knowledgable, there's no harm in asking her! Most likely she'll be willing to help!!
Don't be afraid to learn something new.

9. For braided extensions such as Senegalese twists, Ghana braids, cornrows etc, it'll be best to work with stretched hair. Please do ask the client her prefered method for stretching hair as some naturals have a no heat policy. African threading is a fast way to stretch such a clients hair though it will take time for the hair to dry enough so it doesn't revert easily.
If the client is fine with heat, apply a heat protectant (it's wriiten on the bottle) and blowdry the hair gently using medium heat. Use one  hand to gently pull the hair towards you (away from scalp) while the other hand holds the dryer nozzle close to the hair at an angle.
Try to purchase a diffuser attachment. It helps dry and stretch the hair gently and faster.

10. As much as you can, depending on the volume and length of the clien'ts hair, always work in sections. Natural hair is easier to work with slightly damp so a spraybottle filled with clean water, some leave in conditioner and a little oil will always come in handy to rehydrate the hair.

These are just a few tips to make working with a natural hair client a bit less daunting.

 If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask in the comments section. Your questions will help  me in updating this little guide.

.....and to all my naturalistas, please share this.
Got my hair washed and stretched at Lumo Naturals Salon in Abuja. I actually enjoyed my visit. 


I may have missed some important info which you can help fill but at least this is a start. Let's give stylists willing to learn a chance.

Till I spill again,
Live Beautifully. Naturally.
Hadassah.

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