It was a cold and dreary Sunday morning....
My hair was coated up with 5 days worth of product and I was a day overdue my routine deep conditioning session. Now, normally, I would go through the motions of cowashing/cleansing and deep conditioning my hair myself as I have done for over a year... But this Sunday was different. I was lazy as hell.
Suddenly, it dawned on me, why not visit any random hair salon nearby to have it done for me! Huzzah! I be genius. I decided to cleanse and detangle my hair at home and simply go to the salon for my steamer deep condition and blow out! (I figured I would get some mini twists or cornrows done while I'm at it... kill a whole bunch of birds with one stone, right?).
So there I was cruising the block for any Ma' & Pa' type hair salon, I found one not 5 minutes away from my apartment. Upon my discovery, a deep feeling of dread began to set in... Before I go on to describe the events that took place, let me reiterate that I hardly ever allow strangers to touch my hair - paid or otherwise - I have one braider who has gained my trust 10 years down the line, and one other hairdresser who is yet to earn his stripes.. I digress, the hair salon had your typical Nairobi estate hair dresser feel to it, quaint and cosy. I walked in with my natural hair equivalent of a Batman utility belt, ready to do this.
I was greeted by a lovely young lady who was setting up shop. I quickly asked her if there was anyone who could deep condition and blow out and twist, I also added that my hair was natural. She assured me that she was more than capable and ushered me to the nearest station.
Part I: Not-So-Deep Conditioning
Heart rate - 60 bpm
As the young lady (let's call her Sarah), began applying my deep conditioner (I carried my own of course), I noticed she was focusing on my roots and not the tips of my hair. I then asked her to spread the conditioner evenly from root to tip, and in fact, add a little more on my ends... We smiled and she complied.
After Sarah was done applying the Deep Conditioner, she began to scrub my scalp. By scrub I mean shampoo scrubbing my scalp! Heart rate - 70-80 bpm. I reprimanded her and got her to seal me up and get me under the steamer.
Before I settled under the steamer, I asked her for some sort of shower cap, to which she answered, they had none. Heart rate 85 bpm. I reached for my utility bag and grabbed one.
15 min later, part one of my ordeal was over.
Part II: Get.. that.. Blow Dryer... AWAY FROM ME!
Hear rate - 80 bpm ... and rising
I need a moment to compose myself. This was a traumatizing moment that will be forever etched in my mind.
So there I was, back at the hair station, ready for my blow out. Based on what just happened with the DC session, my guard was way up. I handed her not one, but TWO different heat protectant serums (paranoid much?). I slowly and deliberately explained how to apply each product and sat back waiting for the foreseeable horror show, which did not fail me.
Sarah started by separating my hair and proceeded to place the first serum ON MY SCALP. Heart rate - 94 bpm. That did it. I grabbed the product and proceeded to spread it myself in disbelief. After taking another 5 minutes to explain why the serums were meant for my strands, Sarah once again assured me that from here on, I would be well taken care of.
On went the blow dryer; heat setting cool (as instructed). Heart rate - 90 bpm.
Now I've got to give credit where credit is due, with a bit of supervision, for a moment, Sarah worked the blow dryer like a pro. She started by carefully parting my hair into sections and went on to tackle each section carefully and gently (based on my screams and demands). By this time, there was a small crowd of patrons and stylists gathering around my station for the free show.
Things quickly took a turn for the worst when Sarah decided to turn up the heat and grab a narrow toothed comb and attack those "pesky curled roots and ends". Heart rate - 102 bpm. I damn nearly tackled poor sweet Sarah and told her she had done all that she could do for me and that I would take if from there. Looking like a mad woman, I went on to finalize my blow out.
Part III: The End.
Hear rate - 75 bpm.
That was more than I could take for one day. I decided against putting both of us through this ordeal any further. As soon as I was done, I packed up my products and tools and went on to pay.
Total bill: Kshs. 350 for the CD and blow out combined. A whole Kshs. 550 less than my normal guy at Leos Hair Salon, but not worth it at all.
Ladies, if you aren't used to doing your own hair, or if you decide you want to "treat" yourself to having someone do it for you, here's my two cents:
- Carry EVERYTHING you would normally use if you were to do it yourself, (save your own machinery). I go as far as carrying my own combs, but that's only because I have serious problems.
- What you would generally need is: your own deep conditioner (it's way cheaper than using the in house products), your own moisturizer, (chances are they won't know the difference between that and normal grease), your own sealant, (if need be, say you are getting your corn rows or natural twists done). Again, Kenyan hairdressers tend to reach for the grease. Your own disposable shower caps, and, if you're like me, your own combs.
- BE STRAIGHT UP DEMANDING: look, I'm generally a nice person, (try to be) but if I'm paying for a service, I want it done to my specifications and requirements. Lots of people are afraid to voice out their displeasure, this is madness. Be respectful, but remember, it's your body and your money at the end of the day. Get what you came for.
- If you can do it yourself, just do it yourself. We are big DIY-ers, we encourage you to join us.
I never know what to do with my hair all puffed up...
Enjoy your day!