The Cut and the Care

Sunday, June 30, 2013

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Those who believe that churches are the most segregated institutions haven’t stepped into a hair salon on a Saturday morning.  Rarely will you find diversity of hair and skin tones located under the roof of one salon.  The huge transition currently underway in black salons due to more women of color embracing their natural textures has only made finding the right salon even more difficult as our hair institutions struggle to find stylists with skill to “manage” natural hair.  When it came to relaxers, it was so much easier to find a salon to touch you up, flat iron you, and send you on your merry way.  But returning to kinks, curls and coils, the hair we were born with, hasn’t made finding a salon easier than you think.

Caring for textured hair is a multi-layered process that honestly impacts not just women of color but all textured-hair women (as evidenced by the curly-hair “online support group” Can you cut?  Can you color?  Can you care?  And most importantly (and rarely) can you do all three?

No Decoding Required. Welcome to PRIME.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

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I thought I’d scored making a last minute appointment with the celebrity stylist-owned salon in my hotel. However, once I checked in with the administrator, she looked at my natural, short 'do, looked back at the screen (at the name of the stylist assigned to me) and let me know that the stylist in this African-American owned salon could not do my hair.  The stylist then came out, looked at my hair from behind the counter and let me know that her "comfort level" was not high enough to even attempt to shape it as requested.  That was all I needed to hear.  If the stylist was not confident enough to do my hair, why would I be comfortable letting her try?

I’d specifically asked my booker if the stylist was capable of doing natural, African-American hair and she assured me that as she herself had curly hair, "of course" the stylist could shape mine.  When mentioning this to the woman at the front desk, the black assistant whispered to me, “She’s new.  Had I taken your call, I would have advised you against the stylist.”

And this is one of the reasons why we've started PRIME .  When it comes to beauty and women of color there is a bit of “decoding” that needs to be done.  A salon review mentions that a stylist is good for “curly” hair.  Does that mean “African-American” hair as well?  If an Asian actress endorses a product citing it’s benefits to her “coarse” hair, does that translate to other ethnicities as well?  If a new body cream is touted for it’s “moisturizing benefits” can the same benefits be felt when it comes to darker skin? “The best new cuts” special in your favorite beauty magazine lists an “Afro” as a cut but you consider it a hair type.  What’s a girl to do?

PRIME aspires to be your first step and your first resource for beauty- no decoding required.

 So send your comments, questions, ideas, and inspiration.  We're ready.

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