We asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us the worst thing they've ever experienced at a Black hair salon. Here are the traumatizing results.
Note: Responses edited for length and clarity.
1. This super awkward appointment that technically didn't take place in a salon, but UGH C'MON!
In high school, I got my hair done at my stylist's apartment instead of the salon, which I had done multiple times before. Everything was going well until her ex-husband came over. At first they were just talking, but then they were super flirtatious. She pulled him into her bedroom, and after hearing some pretty loud moans I knew they weren't just “talking” anymore. After about 30 minutes they came out, both looking very happy, and she just kept working on my hair like nothing happened.
2. This forehead branding.
In 8th grade, I went to get my hair straightened because I was playing Clara in The Nutcracker. For starters, the stylist was running late. When she finally started doing my hair, it felt like my forehead was burning, but I didn't say anything because I didn't want her to think I was soft-headed. She finished straightening the strand, and then tapped my forehead with her long-ass tacky French tip and asked me if it hurt. I said "yeah." SHE KEPT DOING MY HAIR!
I left the salon with a large black burn mark that stung like a bitch. When I tried to cover it with makeup for the show, it hurt event more and the skin started cracking off. The worst part is that the spot still stings whenever I sweat and is slightly darker than the rest of my forehead.
3. This painful updo that gives the word pinhead a whole new meaning.
When I was about 12, I went and got a ponytail. As the stylist was putting pins in my hair, it felt like she was pulling my hair too tight. My hair felt tight for the entire three weeks I wore the ponytail and I had constant headaches. Before this, I had never had a headache in my life. When my mom took the ponytail out, she discovered that one of the three-inch hair pins had been jabbed into my scalp. Yep, this pin had been stuck in my scalp for three weeks.
4. This stylist who clearly burns ALL her clients because she had toothpaste ready on deck.
My beautician was pressing my hair and the flat iron got too close to my ear. I was already afraid this women would burn me, because she was a little off. Then, I felt something hot. It was the flat iron. It was so hot that it was cold, so I cried. She asked me if I needed toothpaste to put on my ear, and I was just wondering, "Why do you have toothpaste here already?" It was like she knew she was gonna burn me. I never went back to that place again. I didn't even finish getting my hair pressed.
5. This good ol' relaxer in the conditioner trick.
I had been natural for 5 years, so I called ahead to see if the hair salon did natural hair. They said that they do! But it turns out, this salon in particular puts relaxer in their conditioner. Unbeknownst to me, the stylist relaxed my hair, saying that she had to in order to get my hair silky-straight. I've never wanted to end someone's life more than I did that day.
6. This white hairstylist who was given the benefit of the doubt but definitely failed.
Gurl, let me tell you about the night before my high school graduation. I attended boarding school in The Middle of Nowhere, Massachusetts. After Googling "black salons near me," I found a salon that claimed to be a black salon with one or two positive reviews about perms. So, I booked my appointment and showed up.
The place was dead. No customers. Just one middle-aged man who was not black, but I thought to myself, You know, it'll be okay. No judgement. Anyone can learn how to do black hair.
He washed my hair, blow dried it, and everything was fine. He started putting in the rods, and as he is putting them in he goes, "Haven't done this since beauty school, haha." Um, WHAT?! Long story short, I left looking like someone's auntie at church and will always remember the surprised look on his face as he said, "Hey, it's not that bad!" No sir, it was HORRIBLE! He gave an 18 year-old a look worn by 60 year-old grandmas. Needless to say, I styled my hair in an emergency bun for graduation.
7. This car rental pickup that absolutely could NOT wait.
The woman put my relaxer on, LEFT TO GO PICK UP HER RENTAL CAR, came back 30 minutes later and finished my hair. And she was surprised that I was unhappy with my service. —laurenmknebel
8. This stylist who basically mixed up a flaming cocktail on her client's scalp.
I may have been in middle school when this happened. My mom took me to a salon for a relaxer and hair cut. The stylist proceeded to relax my hair, but as she rinsed it out and applied the neutralizing shampoo, she also poured Sea Breeze onto my hair and scalp. Sea Breeze is an astringent with ALCOHOL in it! The relaxer already burned by itself, so when she dumped that shit on my head, I just about lost my mind. —jadad3
9. This shit-storm of fallen curls and gel flakes.
When I was about 10, my mom dropped me off at the salon and then left to get some shopping done. I wanted flat twists in the front of my head curls in the back. Instead of flat twisting at my roots, the "stylist" DRENCHED the front half of my hair in gel, wrapped it around the end of a rat-tailed comb, pulled it out, and stuck it to my scalp. Like, WHAT?!
When she took the back of my hair out of the rollers, the curls weren't dry, even though I had sat underneath the hooded dryer for an eternity. Once my mom came back, I just cried. My hair was a shit-storm of fallen curls and gel flakes. I was too young to speak up, but I def knew the stylist had done a shit job. My mom never let anyone else do my hair unsupervised again. —clarissan2
10. This wash and press with a side of fried ear.
I went to the local beauty school for a wash and press and left with a burnt ear that eventually turned pink because the skin came off. I can still remember the sound of the sizzle!
11. This classic case of giving the client exactly what she did NOT ask for.
Two years ago, the day before a i job interview, I went to an old beautician who'd always hooked me up in the past. She's old-school (like, got the Custer beauty posters and everything in the shop) and will lay that hair like a dream. In the years since I'd seen her, I'd gone natural and had some decent length. I told her I wanted a press and curl for the interview. She laughed and said "Ok, baby."
She throws a the cape on me and starts "basting" my head. By the time I realize how weird this is, she's almost done. I asked "Hey, are you doing some kinda pre-poo?" She was actually putting down a barrier as a prep to give me a relaxer!
12. This simple bob haircut gone very, very wrong.
I had the same hairstylist from the age of 8-18. She was an older lady, but she had always put relaxers in my hair with no problem. By the end of 2011, I was looking for a new style. I asked my stylist for a bob and oh boy did she fuck it up.
When she finally finished, I looked in the mirror and burst into tears. I had about 1-2 inches of hair, which had no style whatsoever.
She asked me what was wrong, but I just ran to my parents car as they tried to figure everything out. She had cut my hair before, so we didn't know why she messed up this time. About two months later, my mom informed me she had closed her shop and hasn't been the same since.
13. This half curly, half burnt fiasco that involved lunch.
I had made a 9:00 A.M. appointment for a weave with leave out. Not only did the lady show up at 12:00 P.M, but she was also eating while cursing out everyone in the salon. To add salt to my already open wound, she forgot to get the hair for the weave. So, she ended up putting in two types of hair in my head—yes, two—one heat resistant, one non heat resistant. Let's just say, on one side my curls were poppin', and on the other side, they were burnt.
14. This client who expected Beyoncé but ended up with little orphan Annie.
A couple of years ago, my sister and I had to get our hair done for our cousin's wedding. I was called up first and showed the stylist the style I wanted. It was this Beyoncé look that was similar to my hair since it was permed. She said she knew how to do it. She washed my hair and stuck me under the dryer FOREVER. My sister had her hair finished by the time my stylist finally came to get me.
When I sat down, she called another stylist over to try and figure out how she should curl my hair. That was the first warning. She then proceeded to burn my ears and the back of my neck numerous times. The lady getting her hair done in front of me gave me one of those "Girl, I feel sorry for you smiles." Second warning.
Now, my hair is about half way down my back, but I felt it being lifted above my neck. By the end, she said "I couldn't really do it, because the hair dryer made your hair too dry." I turned and looked in the mirror to see that I was rocking an Annie hairdo. Then she had the audacity to ask if I liked it.
15. These Dora the Explorer bangs.
My appointment was at 8:00 in the morning, but she didn't started on my hair until around 1:00 P.M. Then, at 2:00, she took a long lunch break until 4:30. I was very upset at this point because the relaxer she used—after I had specifically told her not to use that brand—had burned me badly.
She then proceeded to chop off my hair way shorter than I'd wanted it cut and gave me Dora bangs. Not only was the cut too short, but it was very uneven too. I was13 years-old crying in the salon chair like a baby. On top of that, when I left the salon, I dropped my phone on the ground and it cracked. I never went back to that stylist again.
16. This bald butchering.
I was about six months into my natural hair journey for the fourth time. To reward myself, I made an appointment for a tapered cut with a two-strand twist out at the top. The stylist was friendly and her salon clean. Days before my appointment, she and I shared pictures and talked about the style.
But, on the day of, I looked into the mirror at the finished product and was livid. You could clearly see that she shaved way too high up, leaving me BALD all around my edges and halfway up my scalp. I got in my car and cried.
17. This highly suspect use of Vaseline and scissors.
I needed to get my hair braided, so I went where my grandmother goes. First of all, these ladies used Vaseline in my hair. VASELINE!!! Half way through, this lady got into a fight with another woman there, waving around scissors with one hand and doing my hair with the other.
18. This straight up waste of time.
After transitioning to natural for a few months in college, I went to my trusted hair salon back home to get a silk press. She initially told me she refused to do my hair unless I got a relaxer, but an hour later, finally agreed to do the silk press the next day.
That next day, I waited FOREVER to get started even though I was the first person at the salon. All day, people who came in after me were finishing and leaving. She even made me detangle my own hair because it was "too thick." It wasn't until nighttime that she admitted she didn't want to do my hair because I was going natural and that she'd been purposely putting me off and letting everybody else go before me.
I was there for 8 hours. That was a couple of years ago and I haven't been back since.