The Beautychair Battle: Black vs Dominican Salons

My stylist, and good friend since high school, has been doing hair professionally for about four years now. Yes, she's black, specializes in black hair care, and works in a black salon. Her workplace is on a bustling urban street in North Philly, surrounded by nail salons, barbershops, beauty supply stores, and right next door, a Dominican hair salon.

As a young hairstylist, you have to build your clientele through a strong portfolio and word-of-mouth, especially in the black community. Now this girl (my stylist) can slay everything from a weave to a natural press and curl. Because she is still new to the industry, she typically will take the walk-ins that come into the salon. On several occasions while I've been there, black women (young and old) would inquire about the price about a particular style, either my stylist or one of her co-stylists would inform the guest, and the guest would say "Oh ok" and leave. Thirty to forty-five minutes later, that same black woman would be seen walking out of the Dominican salon, hair as straight as ever, and typically with a trail of smoke following her from all of the heat that was just applied to her scalp.

Now, don't get me wrong, I support female hustlers of all races. But when it comes to the field of black hair, I question sometimes why we (as a whole) are sometimes not as supportive of our fellow black business women as we should be. My stylist had the same question, and in a candid Facebook post asked: As black women, why would some of us much rather go to the Dominican salon as opposed to the black salon?

As I read through all of the comments, there seemed to be a trend in the responses: price, time, and persona. Most women responded with price; being strapped for cash and wanting to look attractive on a budget. Others said they hate having to wait in a black salon, even with an appointment. And then there were a select few who said that black stylists always have attitudes. While everyone is entitled to their own opinion and preferences, I'm curious to continue the conversation—lets engage! Is your stylist black? Do you frequent Dominican salons? Share your experiences, thoughts and comments below. As always...

Stay gracious,

MJ