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Six Struggles of Finding The Best 4c Natural Hair Stylist

(Last Updated On: February 21, 2021)

Ever since I went natural, I have been very careful when it comes to choosing my hair stylist. Even if it means being in charge of the styling, treatments and handling of my hair. In the past few years that I’ve been natural, I can say that I’ve only been to the salon about ten times in total. I am finding that the longer I am Natural, the less dependent I am on a hairstylist and the better my hair styling skills gets.


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So, here are the struggles that I have with finding the best hair stylist for my 4c hair 

1. They Braid Too Tight

Most of them braid too tight and are always too aggressive with my hair. In the 7 years that I had my hair relaxed, I only applied relaxer in my hair about twice a year. This means that my roots were always coarse, dry and very difficult to comb.

And because I didn’t know the basics of hair care (deep conditioning and moisturizing), I would neglect my roots and only comb the relaxed part. So by the time I get to the stylist, my roots would be so matted and tangled that it’s difficult to work with. 

This made my hair stylists angry at me and my hair and would take out their frustration on my hair by tearing through and aggressively combing it with a fine tooth comb.

An educated and compassionate stylist would have applied a leave-in conditioner on my hair and advice me to do the same at home, instead, they would always tell me to relax my roots before coming. Although I always came out with a nice hairstyle, I would always lose huge chunks of hair, no wonder my hair never grew past my chin!  


2. Uneducated and Impatient hairstylist

EVERY hairstylist that have styled my hair have been uneducated about natural hair and weren’t willing to be educated by their client. In the short time that I’ve been to the hairstylist, NONE of them gave me a hair care tip, not even on the basics such as washing, deep conditioning and moisturizing.

To give two examples, one of my longtime hair stylists told me to buy a scented hair oil to spray on my scalp once my weave starts to get stinky.

I cringed and thought “shouldn’t you be telling me to wash my hair instead of masking it with a scent?”. Another example is of another stylist who told me that I had applied too much oil on my hair because it was too slippery for her to handle and I should have come with dry hair.

Ignorant stylists can set you back on your healthy hair journey either by braiding your hair so tight that you end up with traction alopecia, dry comb and break off all the hair you managed to retain in your last two months protective style challenge or apply a damaging product on your hair without your permission.

3. Lack of experience with natural hair

Most stylists are still uneducated and inexperienced when it comes to natural hair styling, and would prefer not to style our hair. The few that are experienced and LOVE styling natural hair are few and far in between, and if you live in a city with very few Blacks, they might not even exist.

Luckily for me, I live in a big city with many Natural hair salons and so I have the option to pick. However, bad reviews from other naturalistas on Natural hair salons have prevented me from going to one. Since I would like to grow my hair long, I’d rather style my hair at home and avoid being someone’s guinea pig.

Speaking of time, I also don’t have the time sit and wait for hours for my hair to be done at the salon. Also, the time that I would have spent getting to the stylist and waiting to get my hair done, I would have installed a Marley twist in the comfort of my bedroom.

4. No time to prep hair before going to the salon

I don’t have the time to prep my hair to be styled by a stylist. No matter how experienced a stylist may be with Natural hair, it’s always advised to go with stretched and combed hair so that it’s easier to manipulate and handle. Hair that’s in this “friendly” form is quicker and easier to style, resulting in a pain-free and breakage free styling session.

The only problem with this is that in order to get my hair in a “friendly” state, I would have to spend about two hours doing a blowout, which I could have spent twisting or flat twisting my hair up for the week or two weeks.

Another stretching method such as braiding and flat twisting doesn’t stretch my hair enough and I might have to re-braid my hair over the course of about two days to get it to be perfectly stretched. And to perfectly detangle my hair, I’d have to spend extra time combing it prior to going to the stylist. As I don’t like to comb my hair too often, I figure the only way I could avoid a comb is for me to style my hair myself.

5. Can’t afford them

I’m too educated about my hair to fork out the cash. As we all know, Black hair care is VERY expensive and can cost up to thousands of dollars yearly. To prove this point, I kept a record of my hair care expenses in 2008 and discovered that I spent about $500 on my hair in that year, this expenses included hair products and synthetic hair that were used on my hair during that year.

Because I only knew how to wash and plait my hair, I HAD to go to the stylist every 2-3 months, with each visit costing an average of $80. This was a problem for me because I was a student and shouldn’t be spending that much on hair. With hair care gurus, I have been able to master the art of hair styling and thus save hundreds of dollars.

This have also given me some allowance to buy and experiment different hair products, especially the ones with reduced chemicals. What’s also great about this is that these products sometimes lasts me for about a year! Also, I no longer see myself paying someone to tear my hair, destroying all my hard work and put me through pain.


6. Can’t afford the setback and breakage

I can’t afford any setback. As mentioned in the first two points, ignorant stylists can make you lose the hair you’ve worked so hard to retain in the last few months in just one styling session.

Since I am my stylist, I can tell when a particular style is too tight and adjust accordingly, I can also choose to use my finger as the main tool and skip the comb in order to keep more hair on my head and less on the floor, even if this means a less perfect hairstyle. 

Now, I am not trying to say that I will never go to the stylist because I’m aware that intricate styles such as cornrows will still need to be styled by someone. And so, I don’t mind spending some extra time at home stretching my hair and paying a highly rated natural hairstylist to style my hair every once in a while.

How often do you go to the stylist? How many times have you been this year? 

Bids in Graceland

Monday 2nd of September 2013

Absolutely agree with all the points above, couldn't have put it better myself. I am at peace with myself as captain of Grace (my hair). Visits to stylists are just painful and counterproductive!

The Mane Captain

Tuesday 3rd of September 2013

lol, I can't believe you actually gave your hair an actual name! The post is not meant to bash hairstylists, like some readers on BGLH thinks. It's actually a wake up call to professionals who would like to cash in on the growing industry which is Natural Hair. I look forward to the day I can walk into the salon with my hair in its natural (unstretched) state and recieve excellent customer service!Thanks for stopping by, hope to read more of your inputs

Leila Daily

Monday 2nd of September 2013


This article is a great discussion starter! I'd love to re-post it on Black Girl with Long Hair with prominent links back to The Mane Captain. Let me know if this is okay.


The Mane Captain

Monday 2nd of September 2013

Hi Leila, Yes, that sounds cool! Please feel free to share, along similar posts other women may find useful.


Thursday 22nd of August 2013

After a little unfortunate incident that happened a while back, I finally decided that going to the stylist is over for me...even if they specialize in natural hair. I just don't want to deal with it... they always think they know better than the client. If I say i want you to trim only half an inch... don't tell me my hair has many split ends and needs more to be cut.

By the way... do you trim your hair? I am considering never getting a trim... I am yet to understand the concept of how its meant to help your hair grow longer or better. Afterall, people with locks never trim their hair. Would love to hear from you...

The Mane Captain

Sunday 25th of August 2013

No, I can't feel my split ends. but I can see it when I bring my hair in front of my face. But I can definitely feel SSKs (single strand knots) and these bother me than split ends so I trim them off when I can't stand them.

I aways examine the shed hair that comes out of my head for breakage, split ends and knots. so you can see the different types of split ends. If most of your shed hair has split ends on it, then you know a majority of the hair on your head has them too. I usually trim my hair every 3mths as this is when the SSKs and split ends starts to tangle so much that styling becomes a chore so I quickly grab a scissors to get rid of the nuisance. My hair has it's own "biological" trimming schedule which is about every 3months, though I wish it's only once a year :(


Thursday 22nd of August 2013

lol, but how do you see your split ends though? My hair is so curly, I never see anything (unless I blowddry it myself, which I hate doing) or do you just do a standard trim ever once in a while? yes a full post!!!

The Mane Captain

Thursday 22nd of August 2013

Hi Jem,Thanks for stopping by and sharing some of your experiences. I completely understand you and feel your disappointment.with trimming, it's funny you mentioned because I just spent 3hours this evening trimming my hair. Hair trims gets rid of split ends and splitting ends which often results in breakage. Split ends results when a single strand splits into two or more tiny strands and becomes a splitting end because it will keep dividing/spliting. It's best to clip them off before they get to the middle shaft, which may mean cutting off half of your hair! Clipping split ends help you RETAIN length because your hair is healthier without them and can keep getting (not grow) longer. people with locs often don't have the same problems as loose haired women since thier hair (and ends) are bounded and clumped together. There is power in numbers and so locs provides the support. This means they don't have split ends since theres no room for the ends to split and also no breakage. so, they don't need to trim their hair like we do. As a result, they get to keep almost 100% of the hair that grew out of their head. Whereas, it could be 0-90% for women with loose hair.

please be on the look out for a fuller post on this. and feel free to send me a message via my facebook page or click "welcome on board" on the top right to email me.

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