I’ve had my fair share of experiences in Black salons and not the fancy new-age kind. These salons are always located in grimy passages, where you will be hassled by women ( with strangely not-so-nice hair) offering to take do your hair cheap-cheap. The hassling gets really intense when you’re carrying a plastic bag full of hair extensions. You become shit and the flies come abuzzing. Here’s my list of things that will invariably happen to you at a black salon:

  1. All of the stylists are busy doing microbraids. They will ask you to wait anyway.
  2. A man who smells like a mixture of steak and kidney pie and sweat will walk in & try to sell you DVDs/shades/jewellery.
  3. A semi-dry, semi-clean towel will be draped on your shoulders.
  4. At least one of the stylists will be complaining about her lover/s.
  5. You’ll get your scalp rubbed while shampooing. It will feel like sex.
  6. After relaxing your hair, a jar of  yellow petroleum jelly purporting itself to be “hair food” will appear. Most of its contents will be emptied onto your hair.
  7. You will feel crippling fear ’cause you KNOW your stylist doesn’t understand you, because of some sort of language barrier.
  8. You’ll leave already planning to cut/straighten/fix your hair at home.
  9. You will not pay the advertised price.
  10. An argument is likely to break out between the stylists. Over what? You won’t know. It will not be in your own language. It will be entertaining though.

Salon in South Africa


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