Graphic images below.
Instagram, Yelp, and StyleSeat have been top contenders when it comes to searching for the perfect hairstylist. If you’re looking for natural hair stylists or local braiders a quick search using a hashtag and your city will show both top results and posts in chronological order. As of this morning if you search #labraiders upwards of 11,000 results appear. It’s great! You can see the quality of their work, bio, and contact information. But remember Instagram is controlled solely by the stylist; you only see what they want you to see (this is why I always recommend going to Yelp or StyleSeat and check out reviews and client feedback).
This brings us to today’s story. @yvngcourt_ found a hair braider on Instagram and decided to take a chance. To make a long story short the work was beautiful but the braids installed were entirely too tight and it took out a good amount of her hair leaving bald spots and signs of additional fall out to come. The photos are pretty graphic. I feel awful for this young woman. I actually apologized to her and didn’t have anything to do with her hair. I’m sure it had to be a traumatic experience for her and she decided I can share her story. I can tell from the first photo that it was highly likely if kept in for even a couple of days that it was going to take out her hair. Once you see the scalp “buckling” or pulling it’s a wrap. Sadly, Court kept them in because she was advised by the braider and friends that they would loosen up and did what many clients in her position does. She consulted the braider (although braiding from her home she’s still considered the professional… unlicensed professional…) kept the braids in, greased her scalp, and tied her hair at night. Once she was able to get them loose and took them down hair and scabs came along with it.
Now I get what many of you might be thinking; it’s clear the braids were too tight from jump. Believe it or not, not everyone is well versed or knowledgeable about what is deemed as braids or weaves being installed “too tight”. Everyone has different levels of tolerance, what they deem as regular tightness, some clients are totally hands off when it comes to their hair, and some receive bad advice from professionals (both licensed and unlicensed). In the stylist’s’ defense her work doesn’t look like this in many of the photos I’ve seen so this might not be something she does on the regular but it was done nonetheless. As a client consulting a professional you expect to get correct information and you shouldn’t be at fault for what would be considered by common sense by most. But the damage is done. Her hair might never grow back and I doubt this braider had insurance to cover damages of this magnitude. This is another reason why it’s always best to go to a licensed insured professional.
She will be babying, oiling, and repairing her hair for years to come.
In a perfect world the braider could have handled things a lot better before everything made it to Twitter; several missteps were made. From not properly following up with the client post service, consulting her business partner that wasn’t involved to come to the conclusion that the client “did not deserve a refund” (girl… girl… handle your business), to arguing back and forth with the client which happens to be 19, putting the blame on the client for not following up at the time of the appointment, to simply not taking responsibility, not promptly issuing a refund, to not apologizing. And just when you think, okay this is over with….*hits the brakes* the client recaps and apologizes for airing her out on Twitter and explains why she did it (mostly because no proper resolution was made nor an apology) and the braider decides to double down then call her a derogatory word because of her sexual preference.
You won’t make it far as an entrepreneur with that type of behavior.
- If you ever get your hair braided and you’re experiencing pain let your stylist know immediately
- If they’re pulling from the root or scalp try turning them in the opposite direction to loosen them
- A hot towel can help
- Understand that grease and oil is soothing but it does not resolve the issue
- Take them down at the early signs of a problem
- Wait before manipulating and styling, my general rule is that if I can put them in a ponytail from day one without any discomfort they’re just right
- When in doubt, take them out!