Yay. Like for the longest time, some of you guys have been asking me to open a hair salon. I even got ultimatums several times and honestly then, I just felt I still had a lot on my plate. You know, figuring out making products, selling them and blogging takes a lot of my time. Not to mention that I am a wife and a mother which I sometimes feel is also a full time job. Talk of school runs, sporting events and still have time to breathe. However, this year, I knew I could not keep pushing this project forward anymore. So the year started with me thinking about a salon, praying about a salon and obsessing about salons on Pinterest. And that salon which I call a Hair Studio has finally opened its doors with itching fingers to give your natural hair the perfect salon experience.
Hair Styling Background.
I have always been doing hair as far back as primary school. Who taught me how to do hair I may not know but what I remember is, I started doing people’s hair back when I was grade in 6. And this was not so that a person could wear a wig on top t cover it. But really styling someone’s hair for the street. So throughout high school, I was doing my peers’ hair in boarding school and during school holidays when back home. When I went to college, my weekends were often filled with appointments from Friday afternoon. I always joke about the fact that I have never been in a night club to dance all night because when the other girls went clubbing, I would be doing someone’s hair or would be too tired to go dancing all night anyway. There was a time when I had a full time job and my weekends were kind of free, I still did people’s hair then. If I would go for a while without doing someone’s hair, I would even start craving for it and I remember, I would ask the little girls in the complex we staid in to go ask their mum if I can do their hair. And I would do hair for free just to satisfy my craving and passion to be doing hair. I never used to take payment for it so that people would not come all the time though because sometimes I would be too busy to do hair. That arrangement suited me well because I would do hair only when I had enough time to do it. I also do my own hair most of the times which I sometimes record and share on on my YouTube channel. So, doing hair has been part of my life for so long and this hair studio was inevitable.
Why Now Though?
Well, the timing just seemed right. I was more settled in Natural Moisture as a manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer of natural hair products. I needed a new challenge. Something I had never done before and something I knew will be highly beneficial to Natural Moisture’s business, our loyal customers and the readers of this blog. It was long overdue as well. Even when we used to rent office space in Eastgate Ext 21 and we had no drainage at our unit for us to be able to wash or treat hair. But I still had customers insist that I do their hair anyway and some came several times even. So they used to come washed up, water dripping still and I would do their hair at the back office while they sat in an uncomfortable plastic black chair. So, I had to open this salon either way. It would have to be natural salon though because that’s what I stand for.
Why Only Natural Hair?
As I mentioned before, that’s what I stand for. I don’t stand for all types of hair as much as I may be able to handle all types of hair. I stand for African, curly kinky coily hair. So, if you come to the studio with relaxed hair what happens? We will not send you away. Of course not. We will welcome you, wash or treat your hair and do all other tings that you may want us to do on your hair. But we will not apply a relaxer or a perm to your hair. That we can’t do. Natural hair care has been by far the most sidelined hair even in Africa. I have visited many a salon and stylists are frustrated because they don’t know what to do with our shrunken coils and naturalistas have told many horror stories about their salon experiences. So this has to stop and our natural sisters need to have a home. A place they can go to where they know, no one is going to ask them to just relax their hair. No one is going to sneak a relaxer in a deep conditioner to texturise the hair just to make it soft nyana. The right tools are going to be used every time and using heat to stretch hair is going to be an option and not a must. There are a number of trusted friends who advised me against making it only natural hair care and include the relaxers and perms because they bring in more money and they are quicker to do. You know, a hair salon is still a business and still needs to be sustainable and profitable. Their advice makes a lot of sense. It really does. It takes way less time to deal with relaxed hair than natural hair. But I feel that’s what created the discrimination in the first place where stylists prefer straight relaxed hair because it does not take long to wash, detangle and style. But, what about our hair? Can’t we have an option to wear it the way it grows out of our scalp? So, I created this studio to be a place where naturals can completely feel at home. I am busy training stylists to understand the unique needs of Afro hair, the terms us naturals use and all that stuff that only us know about and matters a lot to us. You know, a little naturals haven of our own.
NMHair Studio will be using mostly our loved and trusted Nashe Organics products which are available at Natural Moisture Online Shop and In store but, we use other brands as well depending on clients hair needs. We currently have Design Essentials Naturals and Head & Shoulders African Scalp Care.
We have tried to have the basic equipment since we are still starting out so, we besides the wash basins and mirrors, we also have a hooded dryer and a steamer which are both top of the range ionic and all that good stuff. We also have a hand held blower with cold air function so we can still stretch the hair without using heat if you want us to. Tjo, we ask a lot of questions to make sure that what we do to your hair is what you want us to do. No guess work. We also have a flat iron for those silk press styles just in case although since we opened, we have only used it like once.
Our prices start from R250 for a wash and cornrows start from R150. A wash comes with either blow drying or a simple flat twist or braid. There are bundles as well which turn out cheaper like a wash and cornrows will be R350. I have had some people ask me why our prices are not like the other salons in Edenvale or Jo’burg and this why. We will not use any of those products that are sold at R45 for 5 litres. No. And we will not hurry through your hair, pulling and combing as fast as we can so that we can quickly finish so that we can work on the next head. No. We use real products that are specific for our type of hair and are known to be great for hair. We will take our time to work through your hair. Detangling, washing, detangling again and then styling so that there is no unnecessary pain and breakage. With the knowledge that each stylist has, your edges will not be pulled and your hair will be dealt with as gently as possible.
Her are some of the styles we have done in the studio