Friday, 28 September 2012

Natural hair, Relaxed hair, Is it even a debate?

I view this whole debate though as another divisive thing that women have to have. From high school, girls split into groups and are always loyal to them for whatever cause.

The various debates as I have seen them through my life:

  • The marriage debate. Those who want to and those who don’t.
  • The child debate: Those who want children and those who don’t.
  • The breastfeeding debate: Breastfeeding mums vs those who can’t or prefer not to.
  • Closely followed by the stay at home mums vs working mums. 
  • And now the relaxed vs Natural hair debate.

All of these  are valid groups of people with valid views and I think everybody has a choice in the matter which is great.
If you are a member of any social networking group, you have seen how these debates can and do get heated. And that is not because 'everybody' believes with the greatest of conviction, but because somewhere along the way a lot of us  have learned to get on the defensive, and jump to protect our views. 
The Internet also helps by providing a screen behind which people can get away with saying just about anything. 
And this always goes for both camps. From the person comparing people who use relaxers to smokers, to the one who calls people who have natural hair Nazis. Both of them are not having a useful debate. Both are doing the equivalent of hair pulling in school.
But, I am glad that this is being talked about. I am glad that hair product manufacturers are taking this seriously and beginning to provide ample information on their packaging.
I think that that is a start. I am also glad that it has gotten people out there writing and blogging and providing information on our hair care.If we have enough knowledge, (more facts, less name calling and hair pulling), we will eventually make the right decisions for us. 
In my opinion some good has come out of this and more good will come out of it.

But meanwhile, my opinion may be different from yours and as long as I am not oppressing anybody's human rights,can’t we all just be friends? 


Tuesday, 25 September 2012

New Hair, New Hair

Taking a break from the salon complaints, I thought I would write about a good hair experience.
I have new hair! (In case the title had not given it away)
I have not tried the wavy look before and when I did the kinky twist a few months ago, I decided I quite liked big curly hair.
This was done by my lovely hairstylist Lola who came to my home last night to do it. She had to buy the weave on my behalf as she was worried I would buy something too curly. It should be wavy and not curly for it to work. She knows that I am clueless about hair so she is always good at advising. This here is a jazzy wavy weave.
What I asked for was a curly bouncy weave with 'pick and drop' braids at the front. Something big but pretty.
I think I got exactly that!
The only thing I would fault her on is timekeeping as she is always running a couple of hours late. But otherwise, result!

Side view(the one pictures favor)
Big and wavy at the back!
And you can tie it back!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

An Open letter to afro/black/ethnic hair salons 3


3: The lack of set prices. 

I love it when I walk look at the price board in the salon window and all the prices are 'from £20'. LOL. Jokes indeed! This means that the 'from' is the set price if you come in bald and simply need a wash. When you get into the salon and ask, they claim that depends on your type of hair.
What I really see though is the salon 'boss lady' looking at my bag and shoes and setting her prices based on that. I am unsure what that has to do with the price of fish or hair in this instance.
I understand that afro hair may be hard to judge and therefore setting prices before seeing/touching (or even ruffling) said hair may be difficult, but wouldn't it be nice if these prices had upper limits?
And on the same note, when they quote a price, why do they then change it midway and offer excuses like, 'your hair is too long.' Knowing how long it takes for my hair to grow, I am always shocked when they say this as it suggests that my hair grew while I was in the salon. While I may wish, I think we all know it didn't.
So, dear salons;
-Please set some kind of price range.
-Don't tell me prices are subject to change without prior notice and at manager's discretion.This in no way endears the salon or it's management to your customers.

Sincerely again,


There are 2 more of these coming, and I am hoping to put together all the comments and responses that we have received, both here and on twitter #whatihateaboutsalons.
Thanks for all the support.

NoScrunchie, for a better salon experience

Friday, 21 September 2012

An Open letter to black/afro/ethnic salons 2

continued from part 1:

2: Hairstyling should not take all day!

Many of us have been in this situation. 
You go to a salon at the weekend. You find there are a number of people there.
You think, that’s fine, I will go somewhere else.
The lady catches your eye before you leave and says, ‘come in darling, I can fit you in.’
She points at the sink, and although you know what’s coming you excitedly sit down.
Then, after your hair is washed or un-plaited or un-weaved/de -weaved?( basically anything that ensures that you cannot step out in the street looking like that), they go back to the person whose hair they were doing to begin with. Your heart sinks...
They continue this cycle for hours and you leave as they close. In fact all the customers end up leaving as they close.
Now dear salons, wouldn’t it be easier all round to serve people either by appointment (chance would be a fine thing) or by first come basis?
You are not being clever by doing this, you are just annoying your customers.



Thanks for all your responses to part 1 on fb, twitter and the blog itself. Please keep letting us know the things that you want changed.
No Scrunchie, for a better salon experience.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

An Open letter to black/afro/ethnic salons 1

This is a very long list for me so this blog post will have number one of a possible 100.

           1: Hair Salons seem to have a hairdresser revolving door.

I am not sure if salon owners realise what makes a good salon. Contrary to popular belief,  it is not the fancy shop front and swiveling chairs.  (I am not disputing the fact that looks matter or how would we explain explain the cute but dumb guys always getting dates.)
So dearest salon owners, I will spell it out for you THE HAIRDRESSERS make the salon. I would like to go to a salon and find the same good hairdressers. If I go in and someone does my hair really well, I would love to find them there next time. I hate to go back and have somebody else attempt to recreate what they never even saw  as they worked somewhere else at the time.
The only staff members salons seem to retain are the salon owners’ cousins and friends who are asked to wash your hair, like hair care is a  genetic thing. Hair care is a skill and should be considered as such.
So salons, please try and keep your staff happy in order to retain them because if they are good (which we presume is why you hired them), they will end up at another salon.(Probably the grubby looking one down the road) 
So if you want loyal customers, we want you to have loyal staff.



Let us know what you hate about salons. Add your comments, or add your tweets to #thingsihateaboutsalons

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Does the boy know it's not your hair?

  So long long time ago, even before Facebook (If you are below 20, this might not be a thing at all), stages of relationships were determined differently. Telling a boy that your hair was indeed not your hair was akin to becoming Facebook Official.

So I have collected stories from days gone by with reactions to that all important moment:
My responses in italics, some of these things I said, some I couldnt, but I surely thought.

 I prefer girls with long hair. ( Don't worry love, he has NEVER been with a girl with long hair, he just doesn't know it.)

He freaked out because it was someone else's hair he had been touching. (Ofcourse it was your hair, you paid for it. )

He dumped me a few days later. I was not the girl he fell in love with apparently. (Me thinks he found an easy way out)

He thought I had cut my hair. (Well, he ain't no Einstein, but I guess he gets to stay)

He didn't notice. (Umm, right, if I ask how long it took him to notice, I may have to become an agony aunt, so let's move on.)

He screamed. (Damn, girl hook me up with your weavologist's number if she made you look that different)

He said he loved the new look. (Nice one player, you live to see another weave)

I am sure some of you have heard different responses to this? Please share. 

Friday, 7 September 2012

Hallo, hallo, you dropped your hair...

So walking through the car park at work today, I saw this and thought, hair fail. One that I know a lot about...

A few years ago at work, someone said to me, 'Leillah, Leillah, look you just dropped your hair!'
He looked shocked and awed all at the same time at the sight of one of my braids on the floor.
Umm umm, I stuttered as I tried to explain that I did not need it, I could just chuck it in the bin.
This nice guy then proceeded to tell me about vitamins that I could take to strengthen my hair. I was dumbfounded as I wondered whether it was worth it to explain the difference between extensions and my hair.
I didn't! I picked up the 'traitor braid' and stuffed it in my bag. He looked at me with great sympathy and I wanted to scream, 'I am not going bald, HONEST!' Instead I shuffled away and avoided him for a week.
It has happened to me since in a supermarket and this time I owned it and said, 'Oh yeah, must remember to take those hair vitamins huh!'
Cue lady whispering to her friend, 'does she think we do not realise it is a weave?'
I could not win this one either so I laughed and laughed until they all shuffled away thinking I was mad.
Not sure what to do next time....

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Hair collages

A friend of mine has done her own collage and I am hoping it inspires a few more of these.
If you can do one, it's quite easy if you get the photo collage app on facebook. Please send it if you do it.
Photo collage here:
You can then use pictures that you already have on Facebook. This app will pick out some pictures for you as well!

Here is Samantha's.

 Here is another of mine, not that different from the other:
Hoping to add a few more to this collection.
Get 'collaging people.'

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Changing hair; different strands for different days

I decided this week to do a collage wih different hairstyles that I have had in the past couple of years, and thanks to facebook and photo collage, I managed to do this today.
When I talk about afro hair to people, they are often surprised by how versatile this hair is, but look at that collage above. That is atleast 16 different hair styles, some make me look totally different and I hear you, some were uncalled for.
But I love to experiment with my hair, I love the ability to do all sorts. I also love that some Mondays I get to work and they have no idea who I am. I love that when I go to the salon, my friends and family say, 'what are you doing this time?'
I have sat in a meeting where they were waiting for Leillah (that's me) to turn up. I have had conversations with people about myself (aka the other black girl in your office.) I find this all very exciting. (Some say I need to go out more, but hey...)
Thing is most of these hairstyles are done in different salons. But how do you choose a salon or even a hairstyle? It is always a mystery to me and to be honest I am tired of this being a guessing game. 
And this is one of the reasons why we are setting up NoScrunchie. Find a salon by hairstyle by area by peer review. Watch this space people...