Monday, 15 October 2012

Salon International or the Caucasian salon show

Last weekend I had the pleasure to attend 'Salon International', the exhibition at excel. I did not do much research into this before booking tickets as I was taken in by the word International.
Being in London, I expected the International salon show to showcase different hair types.
How wrong was I? Very!
There was not a single black/Afro/Afro-Caribbean hair salon exhibiting at this show. I did not want to believe this and therefore kept going round and round in circles for most of the day.
All was not lost though as mixed chicks were there. If you haven't heard of them, there is a link.
They were very friendly and gave me a few samples for my child. She is not mixed but 'hair will not know the race' That is a direct quote from the people at the stand. Waiting to use those and I will let you know.

The only other thing available for me was the black hair magazine. They were there offering reduced price subscriptions and I quite happily grabbed one of these so I could say that my day was not totally wasted.

When I told someone this story, they said to me, 'well it wasn't the black hair show so what did you expect?'
But actually, I expected more.
I did ask if they could have named it the Caucasian salon show, but I guess in the world we live in where you can call a show black but not Caucasian, some people would find that racist. (I call this reverse racism by the way and I do not agree with it)

I am not sure if anyone is to blame here as the show organisers can only exhibit the salons that want to be exhibited. And the 'black' salons will probably not exhibit because apart from silly me, their clientele were not expected there.
Are salons really that racially diverse? I am quite passionate about this due to memories of living in South Africa and walking past salons with a poster at the door saying, 'we don't do ethnic hair here!'
In my mind this is the same thing, just with no posters outside.

What do you think? Should salons do any type of hair? Should they exhibit side by side? Are the markets so different that it is a totally different ball game?


  1. Wow at the ' we do not do Ethnic hair here' sign? As in, please don't even walk in... What if you wanted your eyebrows done or something??? OMG, that totally reminds me of a salon i went to in my neighbourhood in South London to ask it they did tweezing or threading or whatever and the STUNNED looks I got for even walking in (I lived a 3 minute walk away down the road) before one of the hairdressers composed herself and responded that they didn't before directing me to the 'black' salon at the corner (which I usually used but was closed that day) SMH, we still have such a LONG way to go!

    1. Well I should point out that this was SA years ago so things have hopefully changed.
      But if I got that reaction in UK, I would kick off.

  2. I think that in representing their event as international, they also had a duty to encourage a diverse range of people to come up. Black hair dressers, form a small percentage of the market at the moment so they really need active encouragement.

  3. Sorry about the disappointment...I know the biggest hair show that does mainly ethnic hair and some caucasian is here in Atlanta every year...that show runs for like 3 days and lots of vendors with products new and improved etc and all manner of saloons across tge US and the best stylists too...its a shame that people say that...that's one of the reasons I went rock my hair in its glory ..wait till it goes midback ill be whipping in it in white peoples faces to prove we black women can actually grow our hair....

    1. Shamim,so why did you go natural? Surely not so you can show 'white` people that your hair can grow. Have you had any experience where someone has specifically said they don`t think your hair can grow?

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  5. Hi, I was wondering how the mixed chick products worked out for your daughter? I went natural mostly because of a lack of "ethnic" hairdressers in my area and I've been looking for a good product.

  6. The mixed chick conditioner works well, so when you comb the hair out after its soft. A day or 2 later though, the hair is back to it's normal 'impossible to comb' state.
    By the way this blog has now moved to and the website is now live, it has a lot of salons listed on it at the moment., check it out.