No one woman should have all that power
The clock’s tickin’, we just wait for hours
Black women, this problem is ours
21st century hairstylists
We all know that black women have a special relationship with their hair, it’s been discussed for generations, blogged about on the interwebs and there was even a movie dedicated to it. I won’t rehash all that. I’ll just say that the majority of “us” don’t feel fancy until the do is did, doesn’t matter if it’s relaxed, pressed, curled, sewed, bonded or pinned.Today, I wanna discuss our relationship with our hairdresser/stylist/beautician. More precisely their power to make you their b!tch. Now one of the reasons I’m writing this is because I wonder if it’s just my stylist who wields this power or if I’m just a fool. Growing up (we’ll discuss at what age I started going to the hairdresser at a later date) I always thought the client had the control, but ever since my adult years (21+) I’ve realized I’m usually at their mercy. Why Tip whatever do you mean? Huh? Thanks for asking, here’s an example:
Wednesday afternoon: My hairdresser texts me at 5:37pm, 23hrs prior to my upcoming hair appt. I’m assuming this is my bi-weekly appointment reminder (which I repeatedly tell her isn’t necessary cuz come hail, wind, rain, sleet or snow* I’mma be there.) but to my surprise she is informing me of her abbreviated “snow” hours for the next day which are 11am-4pm (my standing is for 4:30). My first thought GREAT! I need to be somewhere at 7 anyway. I reply I can be there at 4 maybe even 3:30. Her response: no I meant I will be leaving at 4pm. SN: I am the only person who thinks she should have said her last appt time? I mean I don’t care what time she leaves I just want to know when I can come(that’s what he said!). At this point I call her and ask when is she taking her last appt, she says 2. O_O! My workday doesn’t end until 3:30.
SO WHAT DO I DO?!?! I bend over and take it! What, you thought I was gonna buck bad? I JUST told y’all I had somewhere to be at 7 that night and I have plans for Friday too! I have Nigerian naps (yeah I said it) and this 6week relaxer schedule she has me on is already a stretch so needless to say this appointment is NECESSARY! I take 2hrs leave, after losing a day to the snow, in order to get there early enough for her last appointment.
I know some of you may say “It’s not that serious.”, “You could have gone to someone else.”, “You could have done it yourself.”, “You could have held on one more week.” And to you I say HELL yes it IS that serious , NO I don’t let just anybody do my relaxers, NO if I could do hair that would be my career and NOPE her schedule is semimonthly so it would have been two more weeks (a total of 8wks of naps). Besides I think my major issue is that she gave such short notice, if I cancel within 24 there’s a fee…so please extend the same courtesy.
Now some of you may not be as dependent as I, but don’t be too quick to call the kettle black! I would wager that most of you have taken it in the rear in a time or two. Maybe she kept you waiting for 1hr, maybe she took a lunch break while you were at the shampoo bowl, maybe you’ve stood over a sink, maybe you’ve smiled at an awful cut/color/style, maybe you’ve paid the extra $10 for the deep conditioner she didn’t tell you about until checkout and I know every black women has been told her microbraids would take 6hrs and it really took 12. My hairdresser takes the cake she will Trump you. Umm hmm, that’s right “YOU’RE FIRED!” Yup, if you work her nerves, show up late repeatedly or simply no longer fit into her ever-changing schedule she will cut you, not your hair, YOU from her schedule! I’ve survived at least 5 layoffs already in just 5 years. As a matter of fact the girl who referred me has been let go. Actually I’m almost scurred to post this for fear she’ll read it and figure out I wrote it and fire me.
Which is the real reason I (or any of us) put up with it they know that we know nothing is worse, besides looking for a new job in a bad economy, than trying to find a new girl to do your do!!! As with any relationship it takes time, effort, patience and communication to find the right fit. You’re lucky of you make it out with a manageable do and your sanity. So when she starts to frustrate you, you just take it because when you think back at some of the messed up styles you had to suffer through in order to find her after you quit your last stylist, you say “It really wasn’t that bad.”
So I guess my questions are: Has this happened to you? Why do we put up with it? How much do you take before you move on? Do I care too much about hair? Is there anything worse that looking for a new beautician? Am I too loyal/tolerant/lazy to up and leave?
*Seriously me and my sister’s main concern on day 2 of this blizzard was making our hair appt
**I really LOVE my stylist. She’s just been working my nerves recently