For the past few weeks, I've been watching VH1's "Beverly Hills Fabulous," featuring hair stylist Elgin Charles and gang. Initially, I thought we'd get to watch Elgin and his stylists actually do hair, but that's not quite what the show entails. While it is slightly boring, I do enjoy the interactions of the, er, characters.
One character in particular is Sean. He helps keep the drama going, but in one particular episode I was actually offended! Sean threw a hissy fit when a natural-haired woman walked into the salon for her appointment with him! Sean doesn't do natural hair nor does he know what to do with it.
WTF?! Since when is natural hair not welcome in a black hair salon?! How can the "famous" Elgin Charles salon of Beverly Hills have a stylist who doesn't know what to do with natural hair? No matter how you dice it, we all start out natural when we make our very first trip to the salon as little girls accompanying mamas, sisters, aunties and grannies. Think of all the press and curls you got before you got your first relaxer.
Sadly, Sean's attitude is probably reflective of a lot of black hair salons. We've become so reliant on heat, chemicals and wefts, our stylists probably don't know what to do with a head full of natural hair anyway. Given how a lot of naturals are learning how to achieve long, strong healthy hair (something none of my stylists ever helped me achieve in the 20 years I patronized them), perhaps it is the stylists who need to be sitting in our kitchens or on our floors as we show them how to properly take care of natural hair.
Call it a movement or whatever you want, but it doesn't take a genius to see that we are clearly on to something that our salons are not. Natural hair, similar to the introduction of the hair weave, is taking us by storm. So I have to ask, why haven't our salons kept up with this "fad?" Maybe instead of keeping the television permanently tuned to bad BET programming, they should hook up some Internet service and stream natural hair YouTube videos.
If naturals aren't welcome at Elgin Charles or any other salon, that's fine by me. I'll keep my money! They might be the ones with the license, but at least I know what to do with natural hair.