The black hair salons in my area are just nasty!

If you walk down our local high street there are about ten black hair ‘salons’ all side by side (yeah silly I know) every one of them is a disaster.

They have no proper signage and dirty windows with perhaps one smashed. If you were to glance inside you would see weave hair slung on the back of mismatched chairs, old discoloured sinks and relaxer kits plied up in the corner. No mirrors and a TV on with a very poor signal. I always glance at the women who is in there getting her hair done and see her unhappy face as she is sitting there head half braided waiting for someone to return. The woman actually styling the hair will usually have nails so long you wonder just how she is doing it. In fact today I saw one salon had a handwritten sign in the window advertising cheap pricing. It was a turn off.

At the bottom of my high street there is one white hair salon. I don’t know why the other salons don’t just glance in the window there to get inspiration. It’s so nice in there I want go in! I always sigh when I see the wooden floors, clean windows, beautiful inviting signs, and products neatly for sale on glass display cabinets. I see the women drinking tea whilst seated on comfortable leather chairs in front of clean long mirrors having a happy chat with their stylist. I guess I sometimes wish we could do a little better.

Today as I walked past one of the nasty salons a woman ran out with jeans cut so low her bum crack was showing she said “Oy, you, wait” When I turned to face her she smiled right at me and said “we do natural hair now as well”

I glanced behind her at the salon and inside I saw a little girl crying in the chair. The stylist was pulling so roughly at it to do face lifting cornrows I did not know what to say. 

I just smiled at the lady and said “thanks I will bear you guys in mind”

LOL – I don’t think so…..



  1. This pretty much sums up my experiences with black salons. The sad truth is that the standards are so low. I recall speaking to a non-black friend who recommend that I try her salon, she then described how they create a profile for all of their clients based on their head shape and hair texture. It sounded like heaven! I still haven’t worked up the courage to visit a white salon but I may do sometime soon. As much as I love to support black businesses (and know there must be some good salons out there) I’m yet to find one that has great service, is affordable and understands natural hair. Till then, I’ll keep styling my own hair.

  2. I stopped going to black hairdressers full stop for just some of these reasons. Though my chief reason was the ridiculous length of time they imagined I had to spend in their salon! Am off now to learn how to do hair myself to save the peeps in my local area from having to tolerate such foolishness! As an aside, have decided to go natural just because I want to, and am off to see the much proported Joon at Aveda on Wednesday to get my current “situation” sorted. Wish me luck!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I think that you a being a bit unfair. There are quite a few salons like this, but to imply that all ‘black salons’ are like this is wrong. I’ve been to and see a few really nice ones e.g. CDS, afrotherapy etc. So there are some who bring really well. I have also seen some horrible ‘white ones.’

  4. Anonymous says:

    Also, I think Joon at Aveda is somewhat overated. All they do is blowdrying straight and relaxing. I phone up and apart from that, they don’t do any natural hair styles. Also, adornment is very lovely.

  5. Anonymous says:

    This article made me chuckle, it’s true, there are so many hair dresser’s like this. Where I live there are tons of them, and they are all a bit run down and shabby. But then again, we tend not to be willing to pay high prices for our hair care.

    I had the most wonderful experience at Puerita in Stoke Newington. They SWEEP the floors, constantly. The salon is new and beautifully decorated. They offer you a drink when you get there.
    Another novelty is the fact that they make APPOINTMENTS and politely ask you to respect them, so that they can too.

    They use Mizani products, so are not quite so much on the natural tip, but it means the stylist looked at my hair and said “your ends are split, you need a trim”. They also did an analysis of my hair and put the details down into the card index, which they will consult next time I go in.

    You pay for this professionalism, I had my hair washed steamed and trimmed and came away with little change from £60 odd pounds (usually the price of an entire head of weave at the shabby places), but it was worth it for the lovely experience.

    Hope that helps anyone in the Hackney area.

  6. I find that a lot of black hairdressers these days judge you as soon as you walk in, and you ask them to do one thing and they do what THEY think you should look like. One day i went to get my hair canerowed and when I walked in one of the hairdressers wispered to her friend. She looks like a tomboy do her hair back…I’m fed up of being judged okay so I was wearning trousers and a big coat. It was cold outside…! I’m even more scared of going into any of them because I’m currently transitioning and they will most likely tell me that my hair is going to fall out or something else so I’d rather do my hair myself.

  7. @Victoria, awwww I hope you do find a good salon that’s easy for you to get to.

    @ Princess 8, please post back and let us know how you got on with Joon, I have heard so much about this woman as well

    @Anonymous, I wasn’t saying that all salons were like this, just the ones in my area. I posted a review about adornment a while back and they were brilliant – or where you referring to Princess 8’s comment

    @Anonymous x2, glad it made you smile, yeah its true we don’t want to pay a higher price for our hair care. Send me the details of Puerita I need to add them to the salon directory and I have to visit them at some point.

    @ Simone, what a horrible experience I have seen your blog and photos and you don’t look anything like a Tomboy you are stunning! Good luck with your transitioning x

  8. Hi again,

    This is a link to their web site.

    Hope you enjoy…
    Its not an amazing site, but you’ll find their ocntact details at least.

  9. Oh Angel you really hit the nail on the button there. This post made me want to laugh and cry. It is so true!! Black salons are a bloody shame – aside from Adornment who are a real pleasure to visit (once you get an appointment) and Morris Roots, they are dire. I am actually getting to dread getting my hair done because it is such a horrible experience. The so called salons are cold, shabby and noisy, it is only the thought of a well deserve facial at a spa that keeps me going. When I tell my white colleagues that I going to the hairdressers they say how lovely that is, getting myself pampered. Pampered! More like torture.

  10. @Anonymous, thanks for the link

    @Onodo Lady, lol you are so right totally like torture!

  11. I think Joon at Aveda is excellent. I now have my natural hair again after 20 years and after visiting Joon in November I left the salon with soft, easy to manage hair and also loads of advice on aftercare and products.

    My hair is still in lovely condition and it’s growing! I was so used to the breakage caused by relaxers which used to upset me. I have some grey hair now which I HAVE to colour. I can use a semi permanent colour on my natural hair without any breakage.

  12. @anonymous You know when I get the cash I will HAVE to try out this Joon lady, everyone talks about her

  13. Joon at Aveda Covent Garden is leaving now, has anyone got any idea where she is going to?

  14. I’m also desperate to find out where Joon has gone…anyone any idea??

  15. Anonymous says:

    Joon left in September 2011. Aveda said she has stopped doing Black hair and is going to concentrate on European hair. I think they’re lying because I saw her 3 weeks before she left and she didn’t mention anything to me.

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  17. NYCinLondon says:

    You guys are doing a lot of talking bit not stating where to actually go here in London or where your had some sort of success (minus Joon at Aveda whom nobody can find any longer.) there has to be somewhere here, the black population is too great. Weaves, natural, sensible? Somewhere? Help from NYC!

  18. Hey NYC – there is a salon directory on this website 🙂

  19. Anonymous says:

    I have gone to Cindas in New Cross London for over 10 years. It’s clean, professional, the staff stay up to date in all the latest techniques and I wouldn’t trust anyone else with my hair.

  20. Most of the black salons in my are like this too, but off the top of my head, I can’t think of any White salons in the same area to compare them too.
    However, this could easily be the result of one type of salon owner being able to get a good loan and the other not…
    I used to get my hair cornrowed and relaxed at the same salon and the price was the cheapest I’ve seen anywhere (for many years it was £15-18 for relaxer, my last relaxer cost a whopping £20!). When I mentally calculated the price of a box relaxer kit, minimum wage for the one or sometimes two ladies that did my hair for the hour, it didn’t leave much for bills let alone cups of tea and new chairs. A lot of people are in for hours doing extensions so bring their children, so easy to clean lino floors is understandable.
    However, a professional and polite manner is free! Many times I’ve entered a noisy salon and felt I was seen as a nuisance and often there appeared to be no organisation as to who was doing whose hair and in what order.
    I also don’t know how many black salon workers are professionally trained or had any sort of hair schooling. A lot of the stylists I’ve seen over the years do not seem to love what they do. Maybe it’s a job they can get quickly or a business they think will be easy to set up because they grew up doing hair, and it’s not a vocation or life-long dream and maybe that’s what comes across in the running of their salons…