I posted my previous blog post, Stylists are perming your hair, and you don’t even know it! , on my Facebook fan page for StrawberriCurls. One of my readers commented by saying the very thing that I was warning my readers about, had already happened to her and she agreed to share her story with us:
Late April of 2007 I was in IL house hunting. I was at this time natural, as in I didn’t have a relaxer, but I was in no way as knowledgeable about my hair as I am now.I had an appointment at a local Egyptian salon that was before a meeting I had for my new job. They had told me that I would absolutely be able to be seen on time.. but after an hour of waiting, I had to leave or be late for my work appointment.
I still had some time and a friend I knew in the area recommended an AA salon nearby. The person assured me I could be seen right away and that my hair not being relaxed wouldn’t be a problem. My hair was straighter than my regular texture because I used to straighten my hair all the time and I had a week old blow dry/flat iron when I went into the salon. Once washed, the shampoo girl and my stylist for the day went away from me and started whispering.. I supposed I should’ve worried but I’m not the paranoid type. After the whisper session, the stylist came over and asked what I wanted done… just a wash and blow dry is what I told her.
This should involve them washing my hair, conditioning it, blow drying it and then flat ironing it. I had it done hundred of times before without an issue. She said okay and offered to do a deep condition treatment for me as it would help protect my hair.. her words. I agreed as long as it didn’t take too long and she promised it wouldn’t. To the back of the salon she goes to mix up a deep condition treatment.. I didn’t find this abnormal. I often mix things together to use as a DT myself. She started to apply to my hair and it smelled weird, I asked her about it and she said it’s one of the ingredients for Ph balance.
Ummm.. okay. About ten minutes in it started to burn which I found weird but she assured me it was just “tingling” and it was good for my scalp… another 3 minutes and I told her to rinse me because I was having some sort of allergic reaction or something (I have pretty sensitive skin so this was possible). She rinsed me out and moved me to the chair. My hair was noticeably straighter as my hair wet without product is very curly and big and poofy, lol. This time my curls hang straight-ish which wasn’t normal. She assured me that it was temporary from the heavy conditioner.. “Okay…” I said She did my hair as normal and 2 days later the breakage started. Panicked, I went to wash my hair and again the curls just weren’t there… I had major heat damage. After several deep treatments, co-washes, etc.. my hair never returned to its normal state and continued to break off.
I returned back to Michigan (where I was staying) and had my hair braided hoping that would help. When I finally moved to Illinois (about 3 weeks later) I was ready to take my braids out, upon doing so my hair was just coming out in huge chunks even though I was being gentle. I went back to the salon and pitched a fit demanding to talk to someone in charge. (Yeah, it may seem a bit crazy for hair.. but we know how important hair is to us, right?) When I finally spoke to the manager, she also feigned ignorance. I threatened police action, threatened to sue and eventually someone gave up the information I needed.
She told me that with “nappy” hair, they sometimes add a bit of relaxer to a deep conditioner and apply it. It’s the “kiddie perm” she tells me and most people don’t experience negative results. But it works well because people are happy that their hair is straighter so they continue to come back.
None of these people have healthy hair but that doesn’t matter to the stylists. They liked the ease of dealing with the straightened hair and the return client base who are excited about their “naturally straightened” hair. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much I could do.
I researched natural hair care online, BC’d and never looked back.
I know its hard to believe things like this are happening but this is real. I am applaud that the owner of this particular salon was AWARE of what was going on at this shop and said nothing about it. Luckily, she bounce back from this. If you noticed the stylists said THEY as in the stylists themselves as if it were their hair! Again i ask and warn, please be careful ladies.