Many people have asked this question and the answer in my opinion will always be the same. Let me first five you the textbook answer to the question…..What is a professional hairstylist?
Cosmetologists are expanded into multiple fields including cutting and chemically treating hair, chemical hair removal without a sharp blade, fashion trends, wigs, nails and skin care, skin and hair analysis; relaxation techniques including head, neck, scalp, hand and feet basic massage and aroma therapies; plus ability to expertly apply makeup applications to cover or promote and can expand into further specialties such as reflexology; theatrical applications; cosmetics and others as listed below. A cosmetologist is someone who is an expert in the care of hair and makeup as well as skincare and beauty products. They can also offer other services such as coloring, extensions, and straightening. Cosmetologists help their clients improve on or acquire a certain look by applying advance trending aesthetic applications to persons such as career goal or undergoing stress that may hinder a favorable inner & exterior self-image. Hair stylists often style hair for weddings, proms, and other special events in addition to routine hair styling. All states require professional hair stylists to obtain a license; requirements vary by state. However, most require the completion of an approved cosmetology program and licensing exam.
Why has the importance of receiving professional salon services become obsolete?
We searched for some answers to this question……..
We found this article on atlantablackstar.com by Najah Aziz is the owner of Like The River Salon in Atlanta, Ga
Here’s what she had to say……
Let me paint you a picture. For many of you, it is a picture that will look familiar; a picture that describes the humiliation and fury millions of black women feel on a regular basis all across America.
Your hair is in need of professional attention, so you head to your favorite salon. You get there and you take a seat in the waiting area. And you wait. And you wait. And…
Finally, you’re taken to the shampoo bowl, where you wait some more. Eventually, your hair gets washed and conditioned. And you wait—with a wet head. All the while, you listen to inane conversation not fit for public consumption.
And the music? You might as well be at the local night club.
So much time passes that you become anxious.
You finally are ushered to the dryer, where you sit until the timer goes off. Then you sit and watch client after client go to your stylist’s chair to be serviced. You wonder where you fit in, whether you’ve been bypassed for someone with an appointment after yours.
Now you’re more than just anxious; now you’re angry. Angry and hungry. Just when you’re about to lose it, you get called over to the stylist’s chair. But it’s almost too late. You’re infuriated, disgusted and, above all, disappointed.
By the time you have been styled and stop at the front desk to pay, you’ve been there for six hours.
This is where black hair salons have, for decades, failed black women.
Visiting the salon should be a pleasant, peaceful experience, not an hours-on-end drudgery that leaves you fighting mad—and wondering why you put up with such disrespect of your time.
And yet, this is what millions of black women endure to get our hair professionally done.
It is a failure of gigantic proportions. It is a failure that is sad because black women are failing black women. This has nothing to do with relaxers vs. natural hair. But it has everything to do with respect.
If there is anyone who should be operating with the best interest of black women in mind, it should be other black women. There is not another industry in the world where black women dominate and can set its rules and regulations.
But what we get is blatant disrespect of our time, without any trace of remorse. These places go about business in this ridiculous way, as if that is the way it should be, as if it is all right, acceptable.
Well, it isn’t. But it will not end until we, as women, as clients, demand that our time be respected. We certainly don’t send the right message when we go back the next week and endure it again—only because we like the way that particular person styles our hair. How silly is that?
I know because I did the same silly thing for years. Before I became owner of Like The River The Salon in Atlanta, I was a client, and my stylist would not be there for my scheduled time or she would take a break before styling my hair or gossip on the phone when she finally did service me. And I was foolish enough to take it.
It took a man to snap me out of the madness. He said one day, “You spent how long in the salon? Six hours? Why do you tolerate that?” And that was all it took. I knew there had to be a better way.
After a 16-year corporate career, I followed my passion and pursued a career in hair. In 2008, when I opened Like The River, I opened it with two core principles: community service and customer service.
This is not a self-serving position. I simply did not want to fail other black women. We deserve better, especially from each other. In the hair business, we have the power. We can establish professional standards that make the salon an oasis and not a place of discomfort and frustration.
To break it down, we’ve got to do better. But how, when most stylists never worked in a “real” job where they were required to be on time, dress professionally, conduct business in a respectful manner? They get into hair as a youngster and fall right into the disrespectful habits of those before them—and stay there. Those habits include showing up late or not showing up at all, double and sometimes triple-booking appointments to “get the money” and having an attitude that they are doing the paying customer a favor.
In order to change the culture, the clients have to demand it. Do not put up with the madness. Accepting it only enables the bad behavior. Express your concerns to ownership, threaten to take your business elsewhere. And if there is no change, then find another salon.
I had to issue fines to my stylists for lateness . . . until it became a part of their makeup that they be there waiting for their clients, not the other way around. We do not allow double-booking—that compounds the problem. And we operate on the idea that coming to our salon is a break from work, family, kids, men, and so we create an environment of peace.
The failure of black women by black women has to stop. And, really, it is up to you, the clients, to make it happen. Reference: http://atlantablackstar.com/2012/06/25/black-hair-salons-failing-black-women/
On the other hand
Are black women failing the black salons? Well lets think about it….. The black salon used to be the place where black women would gather on the weekends just to get away from the kids and her man. The black salon used to be where the younger generation of women could come in and get advice from the older generation without even asking because the conversations were always bold and heart felt so all they had to do was sit and listen. The black professional hairstylist was not only your hairstylist but she/he was your friend, confidant and psychiatrist, so whatever she charged the clients never complained because her services were worth every penny!
The truth is your hairstylist is one of the best people to have in your life especially if you can’t do anything to your hair and you care about how you look in public. A professional cosmetologist doesn’t have a limit on the services that she provides because she/he has been trained to provide services on men, women, children and any ethnicity. She/he cuts, colors, gives facials and more. A professional cosmetologist makes sure that his or her clients hair and scalp stays healthy, strong and manageable.
The thing is clients aren’t loyal anymore and they are looking for the cheapest hairstylist and they don’t care if they have to go sit on TT’s front porch as long as it’s cheap. But why put your hair on sale? Meaning why look for sale prices on something that’s supposed to be your glory? One thing I have learned is black women will pay for things that they want, but won’t pay for things that they need! Even if I wasn’t a cosmetologist I would have to pay to get my hair done! Black women are also failing the black salons and professional cosmetologist by going to the Asian beauty supply stores spending hundreds of dollars on hair and accepting the hurry up and buy treatment but they go to the salon and pout about spending $50 but want the royal treatment! Yes there are bad hairstylist who could care less about how healthy your hair is, your time or your feelings but if you chose that stylist you definitely didn’t do your research! Don’t put all black hairstylist in the same category, just like you wouldn’t put all doctors, nurses, lawyers or teachers in the same category. Some good some bad it’s all about finding which one is best for you.