There was a running joke in the middle class town I grew up in that to get your hair done, really done, you had to go to the ‘hood. If you didn’t make the trip over to the adjacent neighborhood for a salon visit, you’d be subjected to stylists who were so inexperienced with “black hair” they damaged your style permanently or stylists who would reject your business altogether.

Years later, little has changed. On Jezebel, writer Rebecca Carroll recounts her quest to find a salon that could do “black hair,” and all she was looking for was a haircut. An excerpt:

Sure, it’s Williamsburg, but how hard could it be for someone who’s job it is to cut hair … to cut my hair for length and keep the shape? And shape is key, because with a really close crop you have to be strategic about where the hair needs to be a bit longer, otherwise the default shape is that of your head.

Midway through the haircut, administered by a young, fully tattooed and slightly humorless Polish woman, I reiterated what I had told her when I first sat down: “Just cut the length, please don’t change the shape.” I reiterated this because she was changing the shape. She looked at me in the mirror, emotionless, and said: “I’m sorry, African hair is not my specialty.” Um, my hair was born in America. I did not adopt my hair from Africa. Also, maybe mention to me before you start cutting that you’re no pro when it comes to “African” hair?

Carroll’s tale is set in Williamsburg, but there are towns and cities across the country that present the same dilemma. It simply isn’t a priority in some areas to learn to do “black hair” despite the fact that a decent portion of black women live in the community and our money is green like everyone else’s.

It’s harder still when your black hair is not relaxed. Carroll recounts being told a salon could do her hair, but she’d have to relax it first:

But perhaps the most perplexing response I got was from a salon that told me they could cut my hair, but only if I’d had it processed first. When I asked if they cut black hair, the receptionist answered: “Actually, not unless it’s straightened.” So, basically, go somewhere else to make your hair the texture of white hair and then we’ll be good to go. Huh.

You can’t help but feel like good ole discrimination is rearing its ugly head when you read narratives like that—and many of us have heard those stories if not lived them ourselves.

Black hair deserves specialized attention and care. But that’s no excuse for an overwhelming number of salons to turn away paying African-American customers.

Women with black hair deserve access to stylists who are trained in dealing with a plethora of textures, not just straight. We’re paying. We deserve good service.

And we shouldn’t have to leave town to get it.


What are your thoughts, Clutchettes and Gents? Should hairstylists educate themselves on doing “black hair”?

  • AuntieE

    I dont know how I feel about this one. Statistically black people are still a minority in the UK where I live, it would only make sense to expect stylists skilled in all ethnicities where those ethnicities are in abundance. In London, maybe. But not in all area of the country. Because of that it would be odd to expect all western hairdressers to be trained in afro hair. I wouldnt take my white friends to my weave shop for a blow dry and highlights and I dont generally expect them to take me to Tony and Guy for a shape up.

    This sounds a bit frivolous to me to be honest.

  • Yvette

    As much as black women spend on hair care every year, it astounds me that more white stylists don’t take the time to learn how to do our hair. They’re missing out on a ton of money! Oh well, more money for our own stylists.

  • Tonton Michel

    Why would you want someone with no experience with your hair touching your head?

  • KissOfDanger

    My, answer is yes. Hair is hair and you should know how to care for all types otherwise you should be denied a license.

  • African Mami

    Oh please! Stop playing the victim role! If there is no salon catering to your tastes, either start one, or quit crying wolf. Eiiiish.. ah ah, must they now learn how to do your hair, or else its discrimination, abeg this article is full of it, in my not so humble opinion!

  • chanela17

    exactly! i have ALWAYS said this. how often to white women go to salons? usually just for a cut,hair color, highlights,or touch ups. black women go EVERY damn week or every 2 weeks just to get a basic straightening.

    non black women probably go to the salon like every 2 or 3 months? IF that?

  • chanela17

    they go to beauty school and there they learn how to do all hair. from blacks to whites to asians. asian women’s hair is very difficult to style because of how straight it is. their hair can be very very course but straight yet they have no problem going to the same salons as everybody else.

    honestly black women’s hair really isn’t that damn hard to do! just wash,blowdry (our hair can be blowdried with a brush too, i do it on my own hair and elgin charles does it) then use a hot comb or good quality flat iron (depending on the thickness) DONE.

  • African Mami


    I disagree on our hair not being that hard to do. I find my hair very difficult, still learning how to maintain and style it.

  • TheAntifash

    Boom! And there is is.

  • Yvette

    @chanela17 – Right. I know some women who go once a week lol!

  • Yb

    Why did the author of the Jezebel article take offense to her hair being called “African hair?” That’s what it is. I always refer to my hair as Afro-textured and take pride in my coarse, thick, strong Nigerian hair and refer to it as such. Why is she mad?

  • Kitty

    Gee another Jezebel blog based on “who can I blame of discrimination today”. As a Black woman, I am a million times more appalled by this Rebecca Carrol person’s comment :”Um, my hair was born in America. I did not adopt my hair from Africa.” Wow! Coming from a Black woman that is an embarassment. Your hair may be “born” in America but honey your ANCESTRY is African, even your hair knows it! Seriously what is “American hair” anyway??? I expect that kind of dumbass comments from whites but from a Black woman. I’m surprised this author can claim herself to be Black enough to scream discrimination but not Black enough to know her own roots! I for one would much rather DO MY RESEARCH to find Black Hair salons than to think it’s everyone’s job to cater to my “expectations”. I’d much rather go to a Black hair salon 2 hours away than a local white salon who bregrugedly does Black hair half-assed. A good stylist is worth the time or the drive in my view. The only thing I agree with here is that the lady should have said she was unable to do black hair before this so called “black woman” (laughable) sat in the chair.

  • Porsha Thomas

    In college I worked at a few “upscale” salons as a front desk receptionist. Often stylists just really do not know how to cut/style black hair. I’ve had mine butchered by someone who thought they knew what they were doing. I would much rather know up front that a salon doesn’t specialize in black hair than experience that again. If that is discrimination, then so be it. I suggest going the referral route.

  • Stephanie

    If stylists don’t want to do black hair or can’t … then leave that shop… run like the wind.
    Take your business and your money somewhere else. I’ll be dammed if I let somebody practice their skills or tell me after the fact. Sure we deserve shops but if the shops can’t cut it, literally, then I WILL go somewhere else …across town, somebody’s basement… whatever. It SHOULD be mandatory to learn all types of hair textures before being given a license. But its not. And its not mandatory that you do my hair either.

  • Lynette

    Please!! I have encountered African American hair stylists who don’t know what to do with my natural textured hair. Should I cry racism and/ or discrimination in that instance as well?

  • Ms. Write

    Maybe it’s just me but I would not go to a salon with no African American stylist in the first place, no matter if my hair was proceccesed or natural. I only go with what I know!

  • Tallulah Belle

    This article is simply ridiculous! I have a massive, gossamer cloud of the world’s curliest hair; tiny needle- width spirals down past my shoulders (and when pulled out they reach my waist). It is so fragile and spirally that it locks around people’s backbacks in the subway and snags on my bracelets.It sheds in tiny, single spirals all over the shower, too curly to even get caught in a comb or brush. Most of my hair work is done with my fingers, to be honest. I can barely style my own hair since going natural 14 years ago, let alone ask some white woman in my neighborhood of Williamsburg Brooklyn (yes, I too, am from Williamsburg) to “shape it.” Are you serious? When I wake up in the morning it has retained the shape of the side of my head and the pillow. It takes three days to dry without a towel and sometimes I find foreign objects and lost items in it. I wouldn’t even think of going to a white salon, let alone a Dominican one or a black one. White, Asian and many “Latino” women comparatively have very little hair. And when they do have hair, it is easily slimed down with heat or some random product. My hair, on the other hand, is so fragile and easilly tangled that I don’t even let the Miss Jessie’s sisters come anywhere near it. If curly girls are successful in growing out their hair, should they care to bother, and manage to gain continuous growth for over a decade, only you will be able to handle it. Why in the world would you go to a white stylist and then be surprised she couldn’t do your hair? That’s simply crazy talk.Of course she can’t do your hair. Natural black hair is a glorious sight to behold. Learn to do it yourself. You’ll save money and customize your very own styling rituals and procedures. Salons are a waste of money and time.

  • Tina

    There are legitimate discrimination complaints but this isn’t one of them. I can understand why a stylist might have a hard time cutting curly hair that has not been straightened. It also sounds like the stylist were not very good with taking instructions or cutting. Styling textured hair might require someone who is skilled and has experience with various textures and products suitable for kinkier textures so why bother with someone who doesn’t know how to care for your hair?

  • Smilez_920

    Idk think the hair salon was purposely trying to discriminate. I mean would you have rather he/ she cut your hair and it came out bad than just say , can’t do it. Now she could have used a better choice of words.

    I mean how many articles have we read about black hair dressers not being able to do ” black hair” or thicker hair unless it has chemicals or is straight or soft etc….

    I think it comes down on the hair schools incorporating the new natural hair movement and black hair in general and teaching all students the proper way to take care of any type of hair.

    Also if my main customer base isn’t black my insentive to learn how to do ” black hair” might not be a high as if I’m in a city where I can attract a more diverse customer base. I mean how many sister look at a predominately white hair salon and really go in a try it vs just walking by and searching effortlessly for someone they think can do ” black hair”.

  • binks

    I always felt some kind of way about hairstylists (and even barbers) not knowing how to do “black” hair. I feel like if you want to be hairstylists/barber you should have knowledge about ALL hair types and textures and how to style and care for it regardless of your race as a hairstylist. As mention, how do you get your license without knowing other components of your job? Good they are upfront about it but I would file a compliment with the business…shrugs

  • binks

    *** Oops…Complaint

  • GlowBelle

    I’ve had Black stylists who didn’t even know how to do ‘Black hair’ much less know how do hair period…two of my favorite stylists at this salon I frequented when I was in college were White and Hispanic. Not a brag, just that was my reality. I live in Texas, and I have lived in the most hickville of towns and have always found someone to do my hair and do it right. That’s why this article seems quite lopsided to me because when you go to a salon that you are unfamiliar with you better research it and ask upfront if they do certain types of hair before they start wacking away and you begin a cry wolf of ‘racism!!!’.That’s just common sense.

    Still my current stylist told me that it is required for any incoming beautician to know how to work on ALL types of hair, and if they don’t, they will not be hired much less even given a license now because salons know that in this economy and with Black women’s obsession with their hair, they will be passing up good money.

  • victoria

    My mother in law trims my hair. She is a stylist and white. I am sure that I am the first black hair she has ever cut. I will never go to her for a stle. Not even a wash. I would never go to someone who wasnt trained to style black hair then complain.

    Strange article.

  • Oh Please

    Is this really a bad thing? I’m sure the same conversation was had about why we cant just buy beauty supplies anywhere and now almost all beauty supply stores are owned by Koreans. Black beauty supply store owners cant even get a foot hold in that business. Do we really want to see black beauty salons frozen out too?

  • phylecia

    Look, I get some middle class black women are a bit apprehensive in getting their done in the poorer neighborhoods, and that’s understandable. However, all you have to do is find a salon that caters to your needs. Almost everyone in the comments said that. Yeah, there are a lot of hair salons located in better neighborhoods that can’t do black hair. Yet, if people do the research, they will find a black hair salon in the same area and/or close to it. I did. It took a couple of days, but I found one near my school in Hollywood (a really good one to). So yeah, not impossible. Is it inconvenient to find one? Yeah, but it’s not impossible.

    Also claiming these salons and stylist are discriminating against black women are taking things too fair. Let’s admit it, maintaining black hair is a lot different than white people’s hair. It’s a fact of life. I rather have someone who is trained and is comfortable at doing my hair, than someone who is inexperienced.

  • qlittlestar13

    Thank goodness, it is not only me who thought this was ridiculous! I kept thinking how many of us would actually go to a White person even IF they could. I was tested when I first moved to LA, I called this salon and the lady told me they do relaxers, when I went in I had a REAL racist moment. I have never in my life said the words “you cannot because you are white!” but when I saw this older Armenian lady, I said “OHHHHH NOOOO!!!” She then said “I don’t know why is it Black Americans not trust White people to do their hair”, so I stayed, I thought “it’s only hair!” I went to her a couple of times but she could never get it straight enough. I did not know anything about the “hood” and I was sick of being a slave to my hair anyway, so a couple years later I went to locs.

    Oprah tells a similar story when she first came to NYC. When she inquired about doing Black hair, the person on the phone said “we also do red hair and blonde hair too!” Come now! This is one area, I have been more than happy to keep the business with Black people and even Puerto Ricans and Dominicans.

  • Chi

    “honestly black women’s hair really isn’t that damn hard to do”

    Weren’t you the one complaining about how unmanageable your natural hair is?

  • K. Law

    I don’t agree with this article as most of the previous posts. Expecting all stylists to be able to do all “types” of hair is like expecting all doctors to perform any medical procedure. Would you expect your gynecologist to perform surgery on your heart? NO!!! Black or white, you go to a salon/stylist that is skilled with your “type”.

  • Peace

    Let’s face it: black hair is different and unless you are trained to do black hair…well, you just can’t. I don’t think it’s discrimination as much as it is ignorance. It’s not only for black women; I have seen salons require girls with curly hair to straighten it before they can touch it. Most stylists just can’t deal with textured hair. I don’t know whats stopping them from learning

  • TJ

    Yeah, I don’t think it’s necessarily racist but it is ignorant and short-sighted. How hard is it really to go somewhere and learn how to to black folks’ hair? All hair styling schools should do at least some perfunctory training on managing various hair textures. The world is getting too diverse to be sitting up pretending like everyone we encounter is going to be just like us.

    That having been said, I would rather you tell me up front that you don’t know what you’re doing rather than get me in the chair and mess it up because you’re trying to be “politically correct.” I’d be mildly irritated for being turned away and you might get a 30 second lecture on stepping up your game. Mess up seriously though… and at best you won’t get paid, at worst you’ll get sued.

  • lol

    because African Americans don’t like to be associated with anything that has to do with Africa.

  • omfg

    i don’t understand what the big deal is. they don’t understand black people’s hair and don’t want to deal with something they don’t understand.

    there are black stylists who don’t want to do natural hair. if wanted a service, i wouldn’t go to a place where they kill natural hair with relaxers and weaves…

    i don’t go to hair salons in general though; i’m particular like that. a lot of people don’t understand natural hair. i don’t relate to the idea of wanting service from a place where people don’t get certain things about my hair.

    for me this is not only a non-issue, it is a bit silly.

  • JC

    Black men actually have the same problem. I went to a college in the suburbs. All the local barbers used scissors. So we had to make trips into the city to get our hair cut. If I had enough capital, I would invest in black hair care centers (salons, barber shops, and any other stores/restuarants that would enourage black middle class families to spend money) in every middle class neighborhood with enough black people to sustain business.

  • Yb

    *sweeping generalisations*

  • lol

    i didn’t say all…but true nonetheless…

  • SS25

    And you know this how? First we can’t all ourselves African-American and now we don’t like to associate ourselves with Africa?! Stop the bullshit!!

  • Apple

    If it was so easy we wouldn’t have articles about it every week.wake up

  • Apple

    That hapoened to me too! Took two years to grow Back that patch and it’s still not right!

  • chanela17

    @chi as far as straightening it. no it’s not hard to my unstraightened hair is time consuming and breaks easier but it’s a breeze to straighten it and THEN be able to style it. i’m doing better with having patience with my hair, but the easiest thing for me to do is flat iron it.

    you have a great memory btw.aha

  • chanela17

    ss25 it’s true though! black americans always use africans as the punchline to a joke. soo many black americans think anything about africa is funny and that they REALLY don’t have homes and everybody is starving. they’re fed the same BS that everybody else is. they’ve never been there or seen anything positive come from there so they make fun of it.

    i know someone who will giggle when you mention africa or african people and when i said i wanted to go to nigeria she said “ewww why do you want to go there and sleep in the grass with your titties out? go to europe at least they have food!” this is a grown woman who said this. her boyfriend is the same way. whenever somebody with dreads comes around or someone dark then he says “yuck they look african.” if somebody’s feet are ashy hes like ” you look african” him and her are BOTH black but light skinned and have a hell of a complex.

    a white lady complimented another girl i know and said she was gorgeous and wanted to know if she was carribean or african. she said ” hell no i’m not african. that’s offensive africans are ugly” . the white lady was puzzled cause i guess she had no idea that someone would take offense to being called african.

  • Me

    Dammmmn Kitty! Speak the truth. I was more offended at that too I read the article but only that stuck. I’m Black. My hair is course bc I’m Black so not everyone can do my hair lol ppl are equal AND different sheesh. I’d never let a white stylist touch my hair and they damn sure will not be protesting bc I said that. Sometimes blacks act too entitled im sry…

  • jazzyphile

    I always though Black women didn’t get their hair “done”. They get their hair “did”

  • SS25

    Maybe the black americans you know. Again, stop the bullshit!!

  • Kacey

    An ex-coworker, who is white, told me she was thinking of changing careers and becoming a hairdresser and that she was thinking of specializing in black hair because of the earning potential. Smart girl!

  • D.T.

    Y’all are reaching with this one. How about black women learn to do their own hair and stop running to white folks. I don’t expect anyone to do my hair better than myself.

  • misshightower

    Any day now you’ll run an article on how Chinese carry-out owners need to be trained on how not to shove food at us through double glass only after we’ve paid for it!!!! For gawd’s sake people go where you’re wanted, respected, appreciated, and assured of getting the satisfaction you’re paying for. Stop whining and start voting with your feet. And then there are those of us who just love being able to say we go to a “White” salon no matter what…..OUCH!!!

  • Reality&Truth

    Considering how the Black community recycles its dollars the least! (I’m not sure if it is the Chinese or the Jews who have the most turnover), I don’t see why you are so anxious to find a white stylist to do your hair. I mean, yes if you live in North Dakota or something with no options, but the Jezebel writer lives in Brooklyn! Get on the subway and go two stops.

  • MW

    I transitioned while in college: I was one of few black girls (most of whom were from New Orleans anyway and didn’t live on campus), all my friends were white and the closest (and only college kid money accessible) salon was the Aveda on campus. I was hesitant but tries it anyway; a lily white woman who had never done black hair deep conditioned, styled, colored and cut my hair. Definitely one of my BEST hair experiences.
    Good stylists know hair and know texture. Find a GOOD stylist and you’ll have no issue.

  • LaNubiana

    Why are we so obsessed with our hair?

  • Nic

    I agree…the author of the Jezebel article lives in NYC. She has access to LOT of black hair care options. Natural, relaxed, locs, braids, just about anything. Just not in her gentrified, white hipster neighborhood. And depending on where you live in the city, the stylists are going to be better at some things than others. So you could take race out of it, and I’m guessing your hipsters couldn’t get a style they want in Bensonhurt or on Long Island, b/c even though there are lots of white people, the white people there have different tastes. You’re not going to be a Bergdorff Blond getting your hair done in South Jersey.

    I’m from Kentucky, and I can assure you that your average white New Yorker would not be pleased with what a hairdresser in my hometown would do either.

    I’ve had the experience of a white person who thought he could do “black hair” trying to do my hair. I had to leave as soon as he wet it b/c it was clear he had no idea that my pressed hair was going to curl up. He didn’t even have a comb. I wish he’d known his limitations b/c it was just a huge waste of time.

    A hairdresser is going to become the best at the things that she does the most on a daily basis. That isn’t racism. Saying we don’t SERVE black people is one thing- totally racist. Saying, wow, 90% of my clients are white and I’m not very good at it b/c I see few black women is another.

    There is a reason why Asians seek out people who are most used to their hair, and why Black people seek out those most used to their own. It is pretty hard to be good at ALL of it, but unlike black people in Idaho or Montana, she can go to a good salon, she just chooses not to b/c she doesn’t want to leave hipsterville.

    And yeah, having traveled a LOT in Western Europe, esp. some small towns, I’ve seen the jacked up hair of the handful of black people who live in those places. And that’s from hairdressers who can’t “do” black hair giving it the old college try. Yuck.

  • Nic

    At chanela, if you know any Asian people you will know that they have to go to stylists who specialize in Asian hair too, b/c their hair is straight but very coarse and heavy when compared the what straight-haired White people have.
    My Asian friends have stories of horrible haircuts at the hands of white stylists. Since giving a good cut is about understanding how particular hair behaves, how it will lay if you remove weight or add layers, etc., what they learn in beauty school matters way less than what they do everyday.
    My current hairdresser is great, and specializes in curly/afro hair. I can tell you that she is not great with a blowdryer and brush, and only okay with the flatiron. That’s not a deficiency on her part. It’s what she focused on AFTER school that has made her amazing at some things and only average at others. So here’s a black lady that got her training and is very skilled but could probably not give a great relaxer service (and in fact, the salon stopped offering them at all).
    They were were 100% right by the way, b/c their abilities to do them diminish over time.

  • Nic

    I’m annoyed by her whining to a bunch of white girls that she can’t get her hair done in Williamsburg. She could go to Bed-Stuy and be just fine. It’s a problem that isn’t a problem.

  • Nic

    Yeah, when the people who didn’t know what they were doing did her hair anyway, she didn’t like the results.
    They didn’t know what they were doing and they weren’t tactful in how they said it but it reflected what they know, which was only relaxed black hair (which I’m sure they do badly anyway).

  • Nic

    Exactly…different hair has different needs, and you get better with practice, not b/c you hate the other groups of people.
    My Asian friends will tell me that they can’t just go to the white stylists either, and the Asian guys can’t go to white barbers b/c they wind up with those jacked up haircuts b/c their hair is so heavy and wiry.

  • Nic

    Most stylists has a niche precisely for this reason. I have natural hair now and would not think that the place that used to give me great relaxers would do well with what I have now.
    I would not expect a great loctitian to be able to do a great relaxer. It’s not that complicated.
    People focus on one thing to be the best at it.
    There are natural salons that won’t do relaxers. I don’t think it is out of ignorance or laziness. I think it’s so they can be the best at something.

  • Cece

    What sucks is that Cosmetology schools don’t really teach their students how to do black hair, well not in CT/NY area. I worked white in salons before and had the OWNERS (20 yrs in the business) asking me about my hair because their client base was mostly white or hispanic. So I don’t blame the stylists at all. Its not their fault. However I do think that hair schools should teach how to do ALL types of hair. not just touching on the ‘less pupular.’

  • Lady Ngo

    The one bright side to my getting my hair done at a beauty school was that the instructor supervising the ditsy broad that was doing my hair kept reiterating to her how important it was to learn how to do “black hair” because if nothing else it will increase her marketability. I could tell she wasn’t hearing her though, she obviously didn’t want any parts of it. But i still appreciated the message the woman was trying to give her, even if it was just so this chick could make an extra buck off of us.

  • Rosey

    I do think its sad that many stylists aren’t trained to do black hair. But I’m happy that these pple are up front in admitting that they don’t know what they are doing. If they don’t know and aren’t comfortable…why would you want them messing up your hair?

  • MissAnthropist

    This is why now, I don’t like letting ANYONE touch my hair. My aunt, a (Black) beautician, tried to treat it like “black hair”…she burned the crap out of it. The first white stylist I went to dyed it but failed to give me the proper products to take care of it…I lost almost four inches with split ends breaking off. Another white stylist I went to failed to get a blowout/straighten style right…I had to go home and blow dry it again myself to get it completely straight. Another Black man decided putting a ton of oil in my hair was the best way to straighten it…he left me looking an oily, stringy, MESS. I am bi-racial…Mom is black, Dad is white, and I’ve learned that people (besides my mom), just DON’T KNOW HOW to deal with my hair…But, I DO. I am QUICK to tell a stylist, (BLACK or white) what they can or cannot do with my hair, what will or will not work. If they don’t listen, I get up and LEAVE. IMMEDIATELY. I’m not ashamed. Everyone should know THEIR OWN HAIR, and if someone tries doing something YOU KNOW is bad for your hair…SPEAK UP! You need to know your hair better than any stylist you choose, so that you can police what they do and don’t do to it.

  • Nic

    “have a niche”…

  • Sue

    I agree with you. In places where there is a substantial number of black people, investing in a salon or barber shop may be a good idea.

  • TheBestAnonEver, Part 3

    I have type 4 kinky hair and I don’t find it hard to deal with. Based on these comments, I must be doing something wrong.

  • TheBestAnonEver, Part 3

    African Americans don’t like to be associated with Africa eh?

    See the foolishness in your comment?

  • livs

    Sigh, except that we buy our products from Korean-owned hairshops…

  • sweetie

    you are a fool! in Williamsburg there are hundreds of “Dominican Style” salons that recognize hair is a texture not race and instead you chose to go to a “trendy” caucason-centric salon.

  • Tay

    Natural is the best way to go. Love your hair and take care of it yourself!

  • zena

    I walked into a salon here in Austin, TX with my husband to get his hair cut. he is white. There were pictures on the wall in this salon. One was a white blond woman, one was a dark haired white guy, one was an hispanic woman and in the corner covered by a very, tall large potted plant was a black woman. It’s like they did not want black women to come in. Its a chain salon so I guess they couldn’t just take it down. He never went back, he was more offended than I was. I have natural hair that I care for myself so I don’t need a salon. But seriously I would not want a non black stylist touching my hair.

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  • Lillian Mae

    I agree. My hair has been a challenge since I’ve moved to FL. A lot of black stylists I saw could not style hair, period. One stylist told me she couldn’t do my hair but she could do a sew in. It makes sense here since a lot of women wear weaves, but at the very least, be able to care for the hair under the weave!
    I’ve had a white stylist cut my hair once when I was relaxed…I hated the way she looked at my hair…The cut had no shape what-so-ever!
    I’ve been to the Dominicans here in Orlando, they don’t speak English and are rough with natural hair. Also, I’ve heard stories of them sneaking relaxer into the conditioner. Even if they could do my hair, it would be using so much heat that the hair would fall out…won’t go to them again.
    I’ve been fortunate to find a black woman here who can do a blow out and trim on natural hair…
    A good stylist is hard to find, takes time and energy, The writer of the article is not being discriminated against, however. She failed to use common sense. If she gets to sue for discrimination, they should sue her for being stupid.

  • dana

    As a white stylist I’d love the opportunity to learn. Unfortunately, I have no idea where that opportunity would come from. I can’t see that any black woman would allow me to practice on her hair and no black salon would hire me. Just imagine a white girl with a hot comb coming at you. You would run because you’d correctly assume that she had no clue and would fry your hair off of your head. Short haired men are a bit different. I’ve been lucky to have enough black men figure I couldn’t do any damage that wouldn’t grow out in two weeks that I’ve learned to fade black men’s hair. So I disagree with the author that it’s racism. It’s sheer terror of messed up hair on both sides of the chair.

  • dana

    I disagree. The only difference between doing Asian hair and Caucasian hair is that you have to be careful not to cut Asian hair too short or it’ll stick straight up. There are however, major differences between black and white hair. White people get their hair cut wet so as a white stylist, I don’t know how to control dry hair while cutting. We don’t use relaxers, we do extensions differently and in general styling is limited to a blow dryer and flat iron, never braids or hot combs. As for whether it’s harder, I can’t say but it is completely different and I think very few stylists have learned to do both well.

  • RMW77

    This article is ridiculous. Just go to an african american beauty salon. Why would you seek out a white stylist, then cry discrimination because he or she can’t work with your hair-which is different from their usual clientele?

  • aDORKable

    An African American salon isn’t always available depending on where you live and you can still have problems with an African American beauty salon as well. Finding a stylist is hard work, finding a stylist that will listen, understand, is knowledgeable and use the right products on your hair, and be affordable is even harder.

  • T

    After visiting many Black stylists and leaving with uneven cuts(or too much cut off) or damaged hair, I started doing my own hair at home. However, if I ever get micro braids, I’ll go to an African shop. If I want a trim, I go to a White salon, and they welcome me and cut/trim my hair right. (I do wash and flat iron my hair at home first).

    I prefer to do my own hair because most people simply don’t know what they’re doing. Many Black stylists don’t even know how to properly take care of Black hair, especially curly hair because many/most of their clients have relaxed hair. Even finding an African stylist who won’t braid too tight/break your hair off is a challenge. Hair care takes time and patience.

  • T

    Not sure if my comment posted, so I’ll again just in case. Basically I was saying if you wanna learn how to do Black/curly/coarse hair you should check out Youtube. Urban Bush Babes, ElektricTv, and HairCrush are good channels to start at. Good luck :)

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