Let me paint you an image. For lots of you, it is an image that may look familiar; an image that describes the humiliation and fury thousands and thousands of black girls feel frequently all across America.
Your hair is in want of skilled attention, so that you head to your favourite salon. You get there and you're taking a seat in the waiting area. And you wait. And you wait. And…
Finally, you’re taken to the shampoo bowl, where you wait some extra. Eventually, your hair will get washed and conditioned. And you wait—with a wet head. All of the whereas, you hearken to inane dialog not match for public consumption.
And the music? You may as well be on the native night club.
A lot time passes that you simply turn into anxious.
You finally are ushered to the dryer, the place you sit till the timer goes off. Then you sit and watch client after consumer go to your stylist’s chair to be serviced. You surprise where you fit in, whether you’ve been bypassed for somebody with an appointment after yours.
Now you’re more than just anxious; now you’re angry. Offended and hungry. Simply when you’re about to lose it, you get known as over to the stylist’s chair. But it’s nearly too late. You’re infuriated, disgusted and, above all, disappointed.
By the time you have got been styled and stop on the entrance desk to pay, you’ve been there for six hours.
That is the place black hair salons have, for many years, failed black girls.
Visiting the salon must be a pleasant, peaceful expertise, not an hours-on-end drudgery that leaves you fighting mad—and wondering why you place up with such disrespect of your time.
And but, this is what millions of black girls endure to get our hair professionally performed.
It's a failure of gigantic proportions. It is a failure that is unhappy because black ladies are failing black girls. This has nothing to do with relaxers vs. natural hair. But it has every little thing to do with respect.
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If there is anybody who needs to be working with one of the best interest of black women in thoughts, it needs to be different black women. There shouldn't be another business on the planet where black women dominate and may set its guidelines and regulations.
But what we get is blatant disrespect of our time, without any hint of remorse. These locations go about business in this ridiculous method, as if that is the way it needs to be, as if it is all right, acceptable.
Well, it isn’t. But it surely is not going to end till we, as girls, as shoppers, demand that our time be revered. We definitely don’t ship the best message after we go back the subsequent week and endure it again—only as a result of we like the way in which that particular particular person types our hair. How silly is that?
I know as a result of I did the same silly thing for years. Earlier than I became proprietor of Like the River The Salon in Atlanta, I used to be a consumer, and my stylist wouldn't be there for my scheduled time or she would take a break earlier than styling my hair or gossip on the cellphone when she lastly did service me. And I used to be foolish enough to take it.
It took a man to snap me out of the madness. He mentioned at some point, "You spent how long within the salon? Six hours? Why do you tolerate that?" And that was all it took. I knew there needed to be a greater method.
After a 16-12 months company career, I followed my ardour and pursued a profession in hair. In 2008, when i opened Like the River, I opened it with two core ideas: community service and customer service.
This is not a self-serving place. I simply did not need to fail other black women. We deserve higher, especially from one another. In the hair business, we now have the ability. We will set up professional standards that make the salon an oasis and never a place of discomfort and frustration.
To interrupt it down, we’ve bought to do higher. However how, when most stylists by no means worked in a "real" job the place they had been required to be on time, costume professionally, conduct enterprise in a respectful method? They get into hair as a youngster and fall right into the disrespectful habits of those before them—and stay there. Those habits include showing up late or not displaying up at all, double and sometimes triple-booking appointments to "get the money" and having an attitude that they are doing the paying customer a favor.
In order to change the tradition, the shoppers need to demand it. Don't put up with the madness. Accepting it solely enables the unhealthy habits. Categorical your considerations to possession, threaten to take what you are promoting elsewhere. And if there is no such thing as a change, then find another salon.
I had to issue fines to my stylists for lateness . . . until it grew to become a part of their make-up that they be there ready for their purchasers, not the other method around. We do not permit double-booking—that compounds the problem. And we function on the idea that coming to our salon is a break from work, family, kids, males, and so we create an atmosphere of peace.
The failure of black girls by black ladies has to cease. And, really, it's up to you, the purchasers, to make it occur.
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