Carrie Bradshaw once said, “In New York you’re always searching for a boyfriend, an apartment, or a new job.” Well for me, I’m always searching for a hairstyle, a stylist, and a perfectly blended hair color. When I was six years old, it was a press and curl from Ms. Jean; around 12, it was box braids with Eartha; 16 was when I got my first weave by Taneisha; and at 18, I discovered colors and cuts with Adia.
As you can tell, my hair and I have been through a lot together, so you can imagine the panic I was in during my new transition from New York to LA – who I could trust with my hair? So first, I did what any self-respecting woman would do: I sent an S.O.S. out on every social network – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even Pinterest, just in case I fall into desperate times and have to jump in with a full-on DIY hair project.
While I was waiting for the suggestions to start pouring in, I went to search on message boards. But even then I got stuck. What terms do I search? Black hair, Los Angeles stylists, untamed mane in California? I settled on “African American hairstylists” and called the first salon that came up. After a few rings and professional greeting, I asked the receptionist who she felt was most skilled in handling ethnic hair. She was unsure what I meant, so I re-clarified, “Who is the most skilled in handling African American hair?” Somehow, she was still confused, so I blurted out black hair and hung up the phone. My panic levels shot from 4 out of 10 to a solid 8.