Are Black Hair Salons Hurting Black Women? Some People Say So

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by Connie K. Grier

If you are a woman, then it is a safe bet to assume that you are familiar with hair rituals.  As a child, your parent had a certain day or a certain way that you hair was cleaned and styled.  As much as many little girls hated certain aspects, the ritual was still a type of bonding activity.

Upon reaching adulthood, the expectation to experience those good feelings around hair have been outgrown…or are they?

When choosing a hair salon, most women want a stylist that is at the top of her craft, but more importantly, they want superior customer service.  After all, depending on what you are having done in the chair, it can cost you a pretty penny AND a major chunk of your day.

African-American hair salons are notorious for failing to deliver on the service portion of the styling experience.

Najah Aziz, owner of Like The River Hair Salon in Atlanta, Georgia, used to be one of the dissatisfied customers, until a male friend helped her have a breakthrough

“You spent how long in the salon?  Six hours? Why do you tolerate that”

Famous last words.

Aziz shares with Atlanta Black how her own saga of making it on time for an appointment at a salon only to be told her stylist was late.  She recalls getting her hair done in stages interspersed with idle gossip and video vixen music, and watching her stylist eat, take multiple breaks, and double and triple book clients and how it drove her crazy on a regular basis. But, she figured that was the price of beauty.  Her epiphany helped her to think differently.  She was inspired to open her own salon which she runs by her own rules, including fines for her stylists who are late for clients and NO double booking.

Like The River, according to the news outlet, was ranked top in Atlanta for two years in a row and ranked on the list of 100 salons to visit in the United States.

Kudos, Ms. Aziz, on your ability to mix business with pleasure.