I’ve kept my hair in braids for the last few months in an effort to grow my hair out. Growing my hair certainly wasn’t the only incentive behind these protective styles, as mentioned here,this no fuss hair style enables me to be out of the house in no time!
If you’re considering getting your hair braided or are new to the African Salon braiding experience, today is your lucky day.
Lucky in the sense that I’m about to drop some serious knowledge.
Some of you were hoping that I was offering a special discount. Nope!
I’m not even offering to braid your hair.
The latter would be disastrous to say the least seeing that I’m part of the 5% of African women who cannot braid.
Judge me if you will but I’ve come to terms with my inability to do so and I’m okay with it.
Let’s move on.
What I’m offering today is (in my opinion) better than a discount. It is something that should have been created a very long time.
Consider it a gift.
I am offering what I like to call ” The Comprehensive Guide to the African braid shop experience.
A mouhtful? Yes I know, so for the sake of this post, we will refer to it as the CPGABS in the following paragraphs.
The tips included in this stem from my own experiences and before you get your panties in a bunch, please know that there is lots of sarcasm in this post. Light humor is what I like to call it.
Please don’t take offense to it, and as always ad a few of your sentiments in the comment section at the end of this post if you feel inclined to do so.
Also let me remind you, that I’m African and although I cannot braid I know a thing or two about Africans.
Let’s start what we have come to do. I present to you the CPGABS
- Book your appointment… Preferably in person.
So you have an idea as to what you want to get done. You’ve made a board on Pinterest with thousands of different styles, you’ve picked the shop you want and it’s go time. You call Yaya’s salon located on Martin Luther King Jr blvd, talk to the owner and she agrees to a price. You said you wanted box braids, but she somehow understood French braids and quotes you according to the latter ( which obviously is less than box braids). You think you’re getting a deal so you’re super HYPED!
You’re excited! You’re finally going to look like Janet Jackson in Poetic Justice. You get there bright and early, you’ve got your snacks, iPad, bottle of water and your stylist is ready to start. She says: French braids right? You’re like no?! I called, and said I wanted Box braids, they start speaking in an African dialect that you obviously don’t understand and you’re quoted triple the price you originally we’re quoted. You’re not sure if you’ve made the right decision by coming to Yaya’s but you stay, why do you stay?
Because you’re going to blast them online via a negative Facebook review thanks to a language barrier or simple misunderstanding.
THE ABOVE IS A SCENARIO that I’ve seen happen too many times. African braid shops are not your typical salon. Go in person, bring your picture, get the right price (preferably from the owner) and all will be well in your world. I promise.
2. The longer, the pricier.
So you want Solange-esque braids.
You know the ones I speak of! The ones that practically touch your ankles! The thing is you want to pay the price of a braided “bob”.
Where, how and when and also why?
Your hair is not getting braided by a machine. These are people, the rapidity at which they braid may have you confusing them for robots. But they’re not. I assure you they are people, with bills to pay and mouths to feed. Please pay them accordingly. Nothing wrong with counter offering but be reasonable. I’m the queen of deals, but don’t ask to pay 50$ for a job that cost 200$.
3. Bring a snack
If you’re getting the above mentioned Solange braids, you’re going to be there for a while. Bring a snack or in my case a meal. They’re not going to feed you!
4. Pop a pill… or two.
If you have a sensitive scalp, take a Tylenol, before in the midst and after you’re done. Africans don’t care about your sensitive scalp. As a kid I thought getting my hair braided by my mom was a form of punishment because she was so rough. I later got my hair braided by my aunt and realized early on that most if not all Africans “braiders” have rough tendencies.
It’s not you.
5. The overall experience
In the end you’re going there to get a service. They may not be able to deliver Spa like amenities but your braids will make up for that. Come prepared to sit, and for your scalp to hurt, but dang it when they’re done you’re going to look fly and in the end, that’s all that really matters ( sarcasm intended).
Need some inspiration? Check out my Pinterest board by clicking here
SN: working on a list of shops in Chicago and surrounding area for all your braiding needs. Own a shop or know someone who does? Send me a link to be featured!