6 reasons why I can't afford a Stylist for my Natural Hair

As a Mane Captain, I have to be in complete control of my hair. This means being in charge of the styling, treatments and handling of my tresses. In the last 4 years that i've been natural, I can say that i've only been to the stylist about 10 times in total, only once in the last 1.5years. I am finding that the longer I am Natural, the less dependent I am on a stylist and the better my hair styling skills gets.

So, why can't I afford to go to the stylist? 

1. Most of them braid too tight and are always too aggressive with my hair. In the 7 years that I had my hair relaxed, I only applied relaxer in my hair about twice a year. This means that my roots were always coarse, dry and very difficult to comb. And because I didn't know the basics of haircare (deep conditioning and moisturizing), I would neglect my roots and only comb the relaxed part. So by the time I get to the stylist, my roots would be so matted and tangled that it's difficult to work with. This made my hairstylists angry at me and my hair, and would take out their frustration on my hair by tearing through and aggressively combing it with a fine tooth comb. An educated and compassionate stylist would have applied a leave-in conditioner on my hair and advice me to do the same at home, instead, they would always tell me to relax my roots before coming. Although I always came out with a nice hairstyle, I would always loose huge chunks of hair, no wonder my hair never grew past my chin!  
2. EVERY hairstylist that have styled my hair is IGNORANT and not willing to be educated by their client. In the short time that i've been to the hairstylist, NONE of them gave me a haircare tip, not even on the basics such as washing, deep conditioning and moisturizing. To give two examples, one of my long time hairstylist told me to buy a scented hair oil to spray on my scalp once my weave starts to get stinky. I cringed and taught "shouldn't you be telling me to wash my hair instead of masking it with a scent?". Another example is of another stylist who told me that I had applied too much oil on my hair because it was too slippery for her to handle and I should have came with dry hair.
Ignorant stylists can set you back on your healthy hair jounrney either by brading your hair so tight that you end up with traction alopecia, dry comb and break off all the hair you managed to retain in your last 2months protective style challenge, or apply a damaging product on your hair without your permission.

3. Many Black hair stylists are still inexperienced when it comes to Natural hair styling, and would prefer not to style our hair. The few that are experienced and LOVE styling natural hair can be few and far in between, and if you live in a city with very few Blacks, they might not even exist. Luckily for me, I live in a big city with many Natural hair salons and so I have the option to pick and chooose. However, bad reviews from other Naturalistas on Natural hair salons have prevented me from going to one. Since I would like to grow my hair long, I'd rather style my hair at home and avoid being someone's guinea pig.
4. I don't have the time to prep my hair to be styled by a stylist. No matter how experienced a stylist may be with Natural hair, it's always advised to go with stretched and combed hair so that it's easier to manipulate and handle. Hair that's in this "friendly" form is quicker and easier to style, resulting in a painfree and breakage free styling session.
The only problem with this is that in order to get my hair in a "friendly" state, I would have to spend about 2hours doing a blowout, which I could have spent twisting or flat twsiting my hair up for the week or two weeks. Other stretching method such as braiding and flat twisting doesn't stretch my hair enough and I might have to re-braid my hair over the course of 2-3days to get it to be perfectly stretched. And to perfectly detangle my har, I'd have to spend extra time combing it prior to going to the stylist. As I don't like to comb my hair too often, I figure the only way I could avoid a comb is for me to style my hair myself.

Speaking about time, I also don't have the time to sit and wait around for hours at the salon. So instead of wasting my time going to the stylist and waiting to get my hair done, I could just easily put in marley twists in under 4hours.
5. I just dont want to fork out the cash. As we all know, Black haircare is VERY expensive and can cost up to thousands of dollars yearly. To proof this point, I kept a record of my haircare expenses in 2008 and discovered that I spent about $500 on my hair in that year, this expenses included hair products and synthetic hair that were used on my hair during that year. Because I only knew how to wash and plait my hair, I HAD to go to the stylist every 2-3 months, with each visit costing an average of $80. This was a problem for me because I was a student and shouldn't be spending that much on hair. With hair care gurus, I have been able to master the art of hairstyling and thus save hundreds of dollars. This has also given me some allowance to buy and experiment different hair products, epecially the ones with reduced chemicals. What's also great about this is that these products sometimes lasts me for about a year! Also, I no longer see myself paying someone to tear my hair, destroying all my hard work and putting me through pain.

6. I can't afford any setback. As  mentioned in the first two points, ignorant stylists can make you loose the hair you've worked so hard to retain in the last few months in just one styling session. Since I am my own stylist, I can tell when a particular style is too tight and adjust accordingly, I can also choose to use my finger as the main tool and skip the comb in order to keep more hair on my head and less on the floor, even if this means a less perfect hairstyle. Being a Mane Captain has helped me retain most of the hair that SLOWLY grows out of my head.

Now, I am not saying that I will never go to the stylist because I'm aware that certain styles such as cornrows (ghana/basket weaving) will still need to be styled by someone. And so, I wouldn't mind spending some extra time at home stretching my hair and paying a highly rated natural hairstylist to style my hair every once in a while.

How often do you go to the stylist? How many times have you been this year? Are you The Mane Captain of your tresses?

The Mane Captain


  1. Lol, I'm the polar opposite of you! I go at least once a month. But since I'm in Nigeria, it's MUCH MORE cheaper to get your hair done.

    I do take charge as soon as I get to the salon though. I come armed with my products, and tell them what to do, explaining why it should be done this way NOT THAT WAY. My plan was to get a particular stylist and groom her into learning how to take care of natural hair. Unfortunately, the salon manager pissed me off, so I'm shopping for a new place to go to.

  2. wow, at least once a week? is this because you can't style your hair or can't be bothered? I'm all for taking charge of one's own hair which includes styling, so this is a concern for me.
    I often go to older stylists and so they won't even tolerate you giving them instructions. Perhaps you can start your own Natural hair beauty school? I guess the manager didn't like the way you were treating his/her staff. I would prefer to just go get my hair braided and enjoy the experience than having to teach the stylist and pay her on top of it.

    1. Once a month... Not week.

      Remember 31 Styles in 31 Days? I doubt styling is an issue for me.

      When the water in your house has its on and off days of smelling bad, I'm sure you'd appreciate going to a salon that's guaranteed to have treated water.

      And when said salons manager wants to start charging you extra, even though you're not using any of their products, then you take your business elsewhere.

      Between 2 jobs, blogging for 3 sites and planning a wedding, I'm sure you can appreciate I don't have time to start a school.

  3. I do not wish to visit a salon for my 4c natural hair. i live in Nigeria. i have discovered that majority of the stylist do not want to educate themselves on natural hair. and i cannot afford to lose all the effort i made in having a healthy natural hair. so, i style my hair myself

  4. and the salon managers are not better. They and the stylist want to treat curly african hair just like straighten hair or weaves extensions.

  5. I don't have time,this is the biggest reason!Lol.Thanks for your great sharing!


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