War of the Hair Hagglers

I am going to tell you a story, so that I can protect the identities of those involved I will leave it to you to decide if it is true or not.

Once upon a time a girl was sitting at home and decided to herself on impulse the following “I just want to get my hair done, I want it done today and I don’t care who does it”.  Since there were only a few natural hair salons where this girl lived and she knew they would all be booked up, she decided to go to a local salon.

In the area that she visited all the ‘black salons’ are pretty much awful they are all right next door to each other, awful customer service and when you walk past the workers run out screaming “want your hair done?” pretty much like what is described in this post. (The Black Hair Salons in my area are just nasty) These type of people are called Hair Hagglers as they always haggle with you to get your hair done.

She bravely walked into one of these salons where she was greeted as ‘Auntie’ by a woman with a gappy smile and a dodgy relaxer.  The woman was just finishing off braiding someone’s hair with extensions but it looked too tight and painful. Upon seeing that the girl decided to leave that salon and try the one two doors down.

This salon had a group of LOUD LOUD braiders in, they were having a conversation/argument in the Yoruba language but for some reason the whole street needed to hear. The girl decided that this was where she would do her hair so she spoke to a rather large lady and the conversation was something like this

Girl “Can you cainrow my hair”
Large Lady “you want Ghana braids?”
Girl “no rows, rows in my hair?”
Large Lady “for weave?
Girl “No, just plain rows”
Large Lady “oh did you bring your hair?”
Girl “no, no my own hair”
Braider (looking shocked) “you want me to do this? Your own hair?”
Girl “yes, yes just do my own hair like this” and she showed the lady a picture on her phone.
Large Lady“ok sit there” and they agreed a price.

‘Phew’ thought the girl, ‘we got that straight’ but as soon as she sat down the Large Lady came towards her with a hairdryer and a tub of blue magic!  After a confusing conversation it was established that the hair would be braided without the need for the dryer and certainly without the need for the blue magic. Unfortunately the Large Lady was very unhappy about this, she muttered how it wouldn’t look nice and did some cussing in her own language. At which point any sane person would have just ran out there and then but the girl was a little crazy that day.

It soon became clear that perhaps it wasn’t the girl’s hair that the Large Lady was angry about in fact she was angry about something entirely different. She was shouting with the other women in her language and dramatic gestures. English came into the sentence now and then thus the girl deduced that someone somewhere was not showing the woman respect.

“She No Respect Me” the Large Lady Screamed

This conversation obviously got the Large Lady worked up and she was sweating. The girl having her hair done wasn’t too impressed by this, no one wants someone else’s sweat dripping on their scalp.

It came to a point where the Large Lady had decided that this woman who was not showing her respect needed to be dealt with. Then with her hair comb raised and roar she went out of the shop and the other two braiders chased after her. She crossed the road and into another identical looking salon and I don’t know what happened in there. Hmmm I mean the girl who was having her hair done, not me of course did not know what happened in there, it was all so fast. There was screaming and shouting and then all three of them sprinted back over.

Unfortunately they were followed by some angry women from the identical salon across the road. These women were armed, they were carrying hair dryers, combs, and relaxer (yes someone still had the gloves on and the tub of relaxer in her hand) it was a war. There was a lot of noise screaming and shouting and kicking of the door but no one actually came to blows.

Spare a thought if you please for the poor customer in the other shop who was busy getting her hair relaxed, her stylist ran out halfway though and left her (oh the burns!! Ouch)

So the girl sat there in amazement.Sheer amazement.  People had stopped to film the whole drama on their phones, her hair was sort of done so she slipped a note on the counter and just left without even being noticed. All stylists had forgotten about hair that day.

The moral of the story is….hmmm if you have one leave it in the comments box on the website!



  1. Gina King says:

    Hahahahah – Angel that was so funny! Poor you (I mean poor woman) I know Salons like that in my area

  2. This was hilarious! I think I can guess which area this happened in…! I stumbled across your blog post because I was searching for a salon that will do my natural hair. I just want somewhere sane in London where I can be pampered a little without having it cost the equivalent of a mortgage, I can ask for \\\”no sulphates\\\” and they know what I am talking about and I won\\\’t have fried chicken pieces dropped in my hair. My usual staple, Elegance hair salon in Forest Hill, just closed down 🙁 Any suggestions?

  3. Angel, what a story! Although I can visualise walking down a busy High St and being approached by these ‘hairdressers’ so well the show down of these professionals is unbelievable! The truth is the treatment you’ve described, where the hairdresser engages in every other activity apart from seeing the hair needs of a paying customer, has become a norm. Obviously not all hairdressers like this but, the proportion of professional hairdressers, vs barely standardised ‘hair doers’, will have to increase or risk becoming obsolete.

    A lot of black ladies are beginning to open their eyes and ears to understanding natural hair care and will soon demand more from someone they pay to do it. Or, just will handle business on their own!

  4. @A Poku, yes natural salons can be expensive, but really, I have learned that you get what you pay for, I do have a salon directory on the website if that helps, I have always enjoyed Adornment every time I go. Its not cheap though. haha at your fried chicken comment.

    @Ninette, I agree, I don\’t know how just poor service will continue as we women will demand more in the future.

  5. Haha! Some how the former part of this story sounds quite familiar