The #BlackSalonProblems hashtag quickly snowballed into black women sharing their salon experiences. If you haven’t seen all the memes in its glory, check it out! Sitting under the dryer for what feels like hours, requesting a trim that turns into a big chop and a forced smile and nod when the stylist asks, “do you like it?” are some the situations that the memes covered.
These memes are funny but it does cast hair salons in a bad light. Appointments not starting on time, slow service and hairstyles not remotely resembling what the client asked for is simply not good service. Especially since it is not a secret that black women spend so much on their hair, you would think salons would do their best to provide a quality service. In any other service industry this wouldn’t be tolerated. So why do black salons escape criticism? However, this isn’t to say all salons are like this. There are exemplary salons that provides a fantastic service for its clients.
Whatever you may think of hair salons, are they under threat? Well, yes and no. With the rise of social media and of course Youtube, the go to source for hairstyle videos, it seems that everyone can be their own hairstylist. For example, a quick search in Youtube for crochet braids for beginners yields 556,000 results. For some women, they seem to have a natural talent in doing hair and therefore going to the salon is redundant. Why spend money and travel to the salon when it can be done at a low cost and in the comfort of your own home? However, nothing compares to a professional wash and cut or a hairstyle that is worthy of a magazine cover.
#BlackSalonProblems certainly does evoke a sense of nostalgia. Black women can be in on the joke because the hashtag is so relatable. All black women can look back to childhood and remember waking up Saturday morning with a trip to the hair salon- most of the time not for themselves but for mum because she needed to get her hair done. Listening to gossip that you never understood. Or sitting there for 7 hours to get fresh box braids (resulting in a sore head because it was done so tight) does impact, if only partly, on the relationship we have with our hair. Going to the salon was, and is, part and parcel of the hair politics that black women have to negotiate.
We’d thought we’d leave you with our favourite meme from from a natural hair perspective, hands up for those who feel like this!