Salon Search Episode 4.

Hello My Cakers, Bakers and Beauties…

Here is a review on my latest salon experience, the Salon I’m reviewing is Ziuzo Hair and Beauty Salon in Lewisham the address is:

84 Lee High Road,
London,
Lewisham,
SE13 5PT

Based PURELY on the reviews from NoScrunchie.com, I thought I’d give this salon a try.

I called up at around 10am on 3rd Jan 2014 and made my appointment for 14:00. I arrived ten minutes early and was told to take a seat on the sofa, which I did. The owner/manager Vicky was finishing off cutting a lady’s hair who had just had a wave nouveau treatment but there were 3 other natural haired ladies in the salon, one was waiting on the sofa with me, one was under the steamer and one was at the next work station, I couldn’t see any other stylists there but there was a Junior there who was sweeping up hair and so on.

After waiting around half an hour the Junior offered to take my coat and asked me if I wanted a cup of tea. I let her hang my coat up but declined the tea. Then I waited some more, all this time Vicky had not said a word to me although when I first came in I said hello and that I had a 14:00 appointment. by 14:50 I was fuming! No word of apology or explanation was given to me about why I was waiting so long. I asked Vicky if she knew how much know how much longer I would have to wait and she coldly replied “about 20 minutes”. I really needed my hair done that day or I would have walked out already, I waited 20 more minutes and nothing happened, well nothing happened to ME the other two ladies were getting their hair blow dried and flat ironed. The lady on the sofa was still there next to me… waiting.

At around 15:15 the Junior was instructed to put gowns on both of us who were on the sofa and by 15:40 I was finally in the chair Vicky said we were both having treatments and started on the other lady first – fair enough. When Vicky finally got round to me she roughly undid my twists and started feeling my hair, she seemed confused as to why my hair was slightly damp so I explained that I always detangle my hair using water. Vicky parted my hair to look at my scalp and then started roughly raking her hands through my hair! After a while she stopped and asked what kind of treatment I wanted, I knew I needed a moisture treatment but I wanted to see if she was a decent hair dresser or not, Vicky actually said your hair is not breaking and is quite strong so I will give you a moisture treatment. Ok fair enough – I asked how much that was and she said £30 so I agreed but when I asked to read to ingredients in the Treatment It was a Motions Deep Treatment I read that it had quite a few proteins in it, as far as I’m concerned a moisture treatment for MY hair shouldn’t have protein in it. However as I was pressed for time and I’m not particularly protein sensitive I went along with it . Vicky Shampooed my hair first and then wrapped it in a towel before preparing the other girl’s treatment, I noticed that the other girl had olive oil and another conditioner mixed into her motions treatment but they were both finished up on her.

The Junior was instructed to apply the treatment to my hair and to her credit she was very gentle but applied the treatment to my hair in the same way you would apply a Relaxer, only on my roots and with a hair “paint” brush. As the Junior was obviously Caucasian I asked her a few questions about how long she had been working with Black People’s Natural hair I won’t write down the whole conversation but her answers satisfied me and the way she handled my hair was the same way I handle it so I was happy. The treatment was applied to my ends and I was put under the dryer, not the steamer but whatever… Ok.

I did let Vicky know that I was EXTREMELY dissatisfied at waiting over an hour and a half with no explanation or apology, and told her that the only reason I selected her salon was because of the reviews on No Scrunchie .com, I said that I had an event to attend to and had practically run out of time and although I respect her as a business woman and a Sister I was not happy with the service I had received on that day. Vicky did apologise and explain that she had been let down by her other stylist and we had a mature adult conversation about the whole situation and what it’s like to run a business on your own. In the end I found that although Vicky handled my hair a bit too roughly for my liking she is knowledgeable and not prejudiced about natural hair.               I did get a style in the end, Flat Twist in the front and two-strand twist in the back, Vicky was happy to work with my hair from damp which suited me. In conclusion, after talking it out with Vicky I would go back to the Salon one more time to see how things are on a day when Vicky is not rushing. I am happy with the hairstyle and my hair was and is soft and shiny after the treatment.

I’m sincerely sorry I do not have any photos I was really pissed off that day, but when I go back to the Salon I will take some photos.

Thanks very much for reading especially if you made it to the end with no pictures!

Luv

Sian

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Origins of The Afro Comb Exhibition – The Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge

Origins of the Afro Comb: 6,000 years of culture, politics and identity

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 Hello, How are you today?

I have been to the Afro comb Exhibition twice and I hope to go again before it finishes on Sunday 3 November 2013.

The first time I went, I went on a day trip organised by UK Hair Blogger Crystal Afro. Unfortunately my  camera battery was dead on that day but please take a look at Crystal’s photos here.

The second time I visited the exhibition I went with my cousin. This time I made sure my camera was in full working order!

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The exhibition is FREE and is still on until Sunday 3rd Nov 2013.

Cambridge is a beautiful city and well worth a visit. On Crystal’s trip we were also introduced to Tina Lasisi, Tina is a university of Cambridge Student and she is doing an amazing study on African Hair Diversity, you can read more about the study here and here. I donated my hair to Tina for her research and if you have time please also donate some of yours too, as you can see the amount of hair Tina needs is not much at all.

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The next date Tina is collecting hair in London is FRIDAY 11TH OCTOBER 2013.

As well as the Afro comb exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Musuem, there was also a connected art installation at the nearby Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology,

My Hair: Black Hair Culture, Style and Politics by artist and writer Michael McMillan.

The installation showed part of the development of the global black hair industry, including posters and images of different hair styles and produts. In addtion there were accurate displays of the ‘Cottage Salon’ in the Home, The Barber Shop and The Hairdressing Salon.

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Although I really enjoyed the “My Hair” installation there were two things that I really didn’t like:

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This was just nonsense, we’ve been canerowing our hair for thousands of years, without needing “permission” from any body.  Maybe Bo Derek gave permission for more Non-Black people to canerow their hair… I can’t bring myself to use the word “cornrow” sorry, I’ve been saying canerow for so long I’m not going to change now. (In relation to hair, cornrow and canerow are the same style of braiding.)            Image This Wig was just awful, it was crispy and hard like the rough side of your plastic/nylon washing-up sponge. No natural Afro hair feels anything like this wig, I know it was a synthetic wig so it wouldn’t feel right but I only know this because I have Afro hair myself and have many family members and friends with Afro hair. However if I was of a different ethnicity and I felt this wig I might believe that Afro hair actually felt like that. If the point of the wig was to demonstrate how Afro hair feels then it was a huge fail. If that wasn’t the point of the wig then why was it there at all?

The “My Hair” installation ended on 28th September 2013.

 Thanks for reading.

Luv

Sian

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Salon Search Episode 3.

Hello my Cakers Bakers & Beauties!

On the 21st of September, I happened to be in Brixton and wandered past this salon:

Heavenly Hair

The name piqued my curiosity because it seemed to suggest that the salon catered towards the health of hair and not just the look. I went inside to ask some questions as I could see that it was not very busy, I was welcomed in and offered a seat by one of the Senior Stylists- Maureen, I asked if they do Natural Hair and what kind of products they used. Maureen was so professional and knowledgeable that I felt at ease with her immediately.  The salon was also clean and well presented.

As I had a photo shoot the next day and since I wasn’t sure how I was going to do my hair I asked if I could have my hair done straight away, Maureen said that was fine as she was not busy until later. I only had a wash, condition and style as my hair was not in need of a treatment. Maureen was VERY gentle with my fine strands and let me read the ingredient list of every single product she used before she used it on my hair. If I wasn’t happy about an ingredient Maureen showed me an alternative product to use instead.

Maureen also explained what she was doing each step of the way and let me see the tools she was going to use on my hair, I don’t know if she does this for every one or just for me because I had explained that I don’t like going to the hairdressers, either way I was very happy with the service there. I also met the owner and manager of the salon, her name is June and she too, is very experienced and professional, June also has her own range of all-natural hair care products, some of which were used on me. I have a selection of her range and will be posting a product review when I’ve used up some of the products I already have piled up ..Lol!

I recommend paying a visit to this Salon if you can get to Brixton.

The style I had was two strand twist in the back and a few canerows in the front, I’m sorry I do not have any photos of the process as June was very private about the techniques they use in the salon. My final aim was to have a twist out the next day for the shoot but as the shoot was outside and it was VERY windy my hair ended up doing it’s own thing and I just went with it!

Heavenly Hair and Scalp work on appointments but walk-ins are welcome.

To book an appointment you can text Heavenly Hair and Scalp Salon on 07940925410 (mobile)

or call them at the shop on 020 8671 3357

Opening Times

Monday: 10am – 6pm

Tuesday: Closed

Wednesday: 10am – 6pm
Thursday: 10am – 8pm
Friday: 10am – 8pm
Saturday: 10am – 8pm

Mon & Weds By booked appointments only, Text or call 07940925410

Address:

112E Brixton Hill

Brixton,
London
SW2 1AH
UK

 Website

Hubby, Me & My Windswept Fro!

Photo By Raymond of A-Picture Photography.  For more Photos from that day please see my other post .

Thanks For Reading

Luv

Sian

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Darren Scott Salon, Visit 2 “Birthday Hair”- Perm Rod Set

Hello my Cakers Bakers and Beauties!

Sorry This post is late, I had a busy weekend! This Salon visit was actually before my birthday, in future I will try to make sure I post about events in chronological order.Image

On May 23rd I went back to Darren Scott Salon for a perm rod set, I wanted to have a lot of curls and volume since my own curl pattern is currently “lost”…

I had Kerri for my stylist again which was good but we didn’t do a treatment this time as I’d     pre-pooed with organic raw coconut oil the night before.

The treatment I would have had, is put on  before the hair is washed but it would have been a waste of time (and money) because my hair had soaked up the coconut oil over the preceding 20 hours or so and wouldn’t be able to take in much more product, if any at all  – and yes I went to work with the greasy coconut bun!

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“Greasy Coconut Bun”

The whole process was pretty straight forward but LONG… 

Kerri washed and conditioned my hair with Mizani products, she was very gentle and gives an amazing scalp massage!

My hair was detangled with the conditioner in and a wide-toothed comb, I had minimal tangles and hardly any breakage.

Then my hair was blotted with a (regular) towel a light moisturiser was put in then a light holding product I’m sorry I don’t have the names of these products, I will do better next time!

Next the perm rods were put in, they used a mixture of small and very small rods, most of them were put in on a slight angle, except the ones in my nape.

Kerri had help putting the rods in from another stylist I’ll call her Ms X, but after a little while Ms X had to finish work, once she had left, I told Kerri that the rods Ms X had put in were not tight enough and Kerri was happy to re do them, after about an hour Darren came back to the salon and helped Kerri finish putting the rods in, as they went along they re-moistened my hair as it had begun drying out.

I had mentioned to Ms X  that the rods were too loose but she explained that she couldn’t get them any tighter, I’m not holding it against her as she is a lovely person but I knew that on one side the roots would be puffy once we unrolled them, as I’ve done rod sets on my hair before and  the whole reason I was going to the salon to have it done, is because at home I can’t get the rods tight enough in the area just behind my crown.

However I’m not a professional stylist and everyone knows it is easier to work on the back of someone else’s head than your own. It doesn’t matter that much though because as I said Kerri was happy to re roll the loose ones and Darren helped.

Once all the rollers were in, I was put under the dryer.

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Head full of rollers!

I had prepared myself for the torture of being put under the dryer by bringing water and snacks and making sure my phone was fully charged to I could read my novel on my kindle app.

However all my preparation was still not enough! I do not have the patience and it was entirely too hot under there! It was a catch 22 situation I could have the dryer on a higher temperature and it will dry quicker but I will be uncomfortable or have the dryer on a lower temperature and stay under there longer, I actually tried a combination of both of these techniques but after about 2 hours it was all too much for me and I couldn’t bear it any longer!

The reasons why I went natural and why I stopped going to hairdressers all came back to me…

*At this point I’d like to mention that, Darren Scott Salon is in no way responsible for my lack of patience and no one forced me to have this done*

BUT still.. I was feeling awful, my back and neck were killing me as I was sitting in a kind of hunched position but leaning back at the same time. I know that sounds odd but imagine the salon chair is a stylish leather chair with a straight upright and chunky back section, and the dryer is positioned just slightly too far back from the back of the chair for you to sit upright in the chair with good posture and be under the dryer at the same time.

Couple that with the fact that the dryer was too low, or you could say I am too tall (5ft6″) or the chair was too high (but it couldn’t be lowered any further). I did let Kerri know that my body was in pain but due to the issues I just described nothing could be done physically about my position under the dryer.

The salon was empty except for Kerri and Me soI couldn’t even look around at what every one was having done. I was also under partial sensory deprivation as I couldn’t see hear anything except the incessant blowing of the dryer. I had lost interest in my novel (The Great Gatsby in case you were wondering) and the dogs were making friends with me…

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I’m not sure why they chose to sit and then later frolic so close to me. As I said before, the salon was empty so they had plenty of empty space in which to play and sniff around and engage in general doggy behaviour but maybe they came over to me because it was so warm over by me.

At one point the brown one decided to take a nap under my chair so my legs were also restricted as well as my back and neck. I also have a very sensitive sense of smell…                 I’m not saying they did their business in the salon at all, the salon is scrupulously clean I just happen to have a very sensitive nose and every living thing has a smell, even plants and animals and yes even me!

After 2 hours some of the middle rods were not dry but Kerri took pity on me and used a blow dryer to finish them off, at this time possible heat damage was not in my mind at all, I just wanted it to be finished!

The rods were unravelled once they were finally dry and then the separating and twirling began, they were only separated a little bit as the idea was for me to preserve the curls and fluff it out fully on the morning of my birthday. By this time Darren had come back to the salon and helped Kerri finish off the style.

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After I unrolled my spine and decompressed my vertebrae , my first thought was SHRINKAGE! Yes of course I was expecting shrinkage but maybe not this much… However I knew I was not in a fit state of mind at that point, to put it simply I was VEX!  But due to my good bringupsie (upbringing) I thanked them both politely, smiled, paid my money and bounced!

Well of course I didn’t bounce more like skulked off but you get the idea that basically I made my exit from the salon.

Once again I’m not holding the salon responsible for my lack of patience, Kerri even told me that another UK hair blogger (I won’t name her as she might not like me telling her business) sits under the dryer for this style for upwards of 3 hours!

Ms Anonymous UK Hair Blogger, I SALUTE YOU! From your photos you look even taller than me!

I also salute Kerri because it must have been a long and boring process for her too.

I paid £50.00 for the perm rod set and considering the time and work that goes into the whole process I think that’s very reasonable.

Would I do it again?

Well the short answer is Yes, but I would use a different curling method such as bendy rollers (flexi rods) or Curlformers and I would make the sections larger so more air could circulate around the curling tool and it would dry quicker, in fact maybe I would ask for my hair to be only damp before rolling it.

Would I go back to Darren Scott Salon again? 

ABSOLUTELY!

I’d had a long hard week at my day job so that also contributed to my general Vexosity (yes I’m making up words). Darren Scott Salon is the most professional salon I’ve been to, since I’ve been natural plus Darren and his staff are very friendly knowledgeable and well trained. Even though the Salon is on the other side of London I will be going back!

Thanks for reading!

Luv

Sian

x

Salon Search Episode 1.

In the past when looking for a new salon we have had to rely on word of mouth or pound the pavement and look through windows before taking the plunge and allowing a stranger to tousle our tresses.

Now we have the internet to help us choose a new salon and more specifically a website called no www.noscrunchie.com .

Descritption from their Website: 
NoScrunchie was founded in London by Leillah to solve a problem that she has. Every other weekend, she needs to do her hair and every time will wish there was a website that would show the salons nearby that are any good, or even those that are far off but will do exactly what she wants.

Although salon listing websites exist, they don’t have peer reviews, written by people like us who are looking for the same hairstyle and either got it or did not. We often walk past salon windows and take a risk and sometimes it works, but most times it doesn’t. 

Our focus is greatly on reviews. We want you to tell us about great salon experiences. We want to find out before we leave home if the salon will do the hairstyle we want, if they have a price list, clean bathrooms, good hairstylists, etc. 

And that is how NoScrunchie came about. It is about Leillah solving a problem that a lot of us with hair that is not straight Caucasian (therefore niche) have. So welcome to the salon ratings site where we name and shame the bad salons and heap praise on the great ones. Our aim is to ensure that all salons are forced to clean up their act or lose the savvy customers and great salons will have us flooding in by the bucket load. 

NoScrunchie was co-founded by Alex, who has far more boring hair than Leillah but loads more of it on her head.

I searched for a salon close to my home first (London SE1). I found a salon with one very good review in SE1 so I decided to try there first. The salon is very near The Young Vic and Waterloo Station and on Wednesday evening I popped in to see if I could book a consultation.

The salon was empty and I spoke to the lady behind the counter and explained that I wanted to book a hair appointment for 25th May (my birthday) and I wanted a spiral set done without heat, the lady just stared at my head for a while before informing me that they don’t really like to do natural hair as its too time consuming but since my hair is “not too nappy” (What!?) then they might be able to do it for me. I asked her what “nappy” meant and she told me that it’s “hair that is too kinky and tough to be combed with this” (she held up a fine toothed comb).

I was horrified at this statement and the attitude that the lady had. I tried to explain that, “nappy” curly kinky hair like mine is not supposed to be combed with that anyway, but the lady was off on a tangent. She said “you natural hair girls are too demanding and fussy” and that natural hair is “just a fad” and I’d soon be asking for a relaxer.

At this point I’d like to mention that this lady had very thin and fine , short uneven relaxed hair which was breaking off in several patches around her hair line, this did not instil me with confidence to begin with and her attitude towards natural hair didn’t help matters.

I said that I’ve done the style before with flexi rods but I had difficulty in the area just behind my crown and so I’d like a professional finish for my birthday. I also said that I needed a trim as my ends were splitting.

The lady said “what are flexi rods ?”

I thought it was odd that she didn’t know but since I used an American term,

I said “sorry I mean bendy rollers” she still didn’t understand me so I looked around for some but there were none in there, only those horrible rough plastic rollers with the teeth.

I tried to hard to explain what I meant but to no avail. In the end I gave up. The lady wanted to book my appointment for 25th but I said shouldn’t I have a proper consultation first?

The lady said “oh yeah I suppose so I’ll book you in for a consultation tomorrow when the stylist will be back”.

I was flabbergasted to discover that this lady with so much mouth was only the receptionist! However I was also glad that she would not be the one touching my nappy hair!

      We arranged the consultation for the next day at 17:30.

The Next Day 17:33

I rocked up to the salon and greeted the ladies who were present, Ms Mouthy Receptionist was there – of course and the stylist was there, doing a clients weave, another lady in a green top was also there.

I apologised for being late and Miss Mouthy said “Sian I was just about to mark you down as a no show”

I said “I’m only three minutes late” and she replied

“no you’re over half an hour late”

I didn’t want to enter into another debate with this woman, so I just said I’d come back another time,

but green top said “you are here now so we can still do the consultation”

With no further ado green top grabbed my hair and began pulling it about and dragging my twists in every direction, not very hard but it wasn’t exactly soft either.

The stylist who was installing the weave asked what I wanted and I  explained again and she said she should be able to do it. I asked if she would be the one actually doing my hair on the day and she said yes.

I asked “green top” if she worked there and she told me no. I was furious inside!

I wanted to know what made this random woman think she had the right to touch my hair and she didn’t even work in the salon! But out of respect and due to my impeccable home training (thanks Mum and Dad) I didn’t shout at the woman and explode, I politely asked her to stop touching my hair.

I explained that I didn’t want to use directheat and that the style could be achieved with bendy rollers, blank stares again but this time I  had my photos on my phone and could show exactly what I was on about.

The stylist said she would use “coilformers”

I said “do you mean Curlformers?”

She sent the receptionist out to the back of the shop and shortly she shuffled back in with Curlformers.

The stylist said that she hadn’t used them before but she was looking for someone to test them out on! At this point I knew I would NEVER get my hair done there but for the sake of curiosity I asked how much would it cost to have it done and she told me £45 at first but then she said “actually since your hair is natural and I don’t like doing natural hair it will be £75”

Needless to say this was not a pleasant experience for me and the Salon Search Continues…

Take Care

xSx

Review on Almond Avocado Stone Therapy Massage.

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On Wednesday 6th Feb 2013 I had an appointment for a Hot Stone Massage with Annette of Almond Avocado. I had booked the massage as a way to de-stress and relax before getting back into the world of full time work after being off work with a broken foot for a while.

My appointment was in the evening and the Hair Salon through which I  entered the building, was beautiful but completely empty and quiet which suited me fine. I called out a tentative “Hello” and a lovely gentleman informed me that Annette was just arranging the room and would be with me shortly, I was early for my appointment though so I was happy to wait. After about five minutes Annette came out to greet me and gave me a form to fill out which contained questions about my health and fitness, nutrition, sleep patterns and stress levels. I answered the questions honestly, as  I didn’t see any point in lying to save embarrassment and I could put myself at risk by omitting pertinent details.  I gave the form back to Annette who read it  and gave me a consultation based on my answers.

I felt immediately at ease with Annette and glad that she explained the benefits and possible side effects of having this therapy.

When the room was ready Annette left me to undress and lay down under the towels. The room was very calming and peaceful, tastefully decorated in neutral cream and brown tones. Once I was ready I let Annette know and she began with a Cold stone massage on my face, she explained that the cold stones would refresh and tone my skin, it felt a bit of a shock at first although it was very gentle, the stones were definitely cold! Once the initial shock wore off it was a very soothing and relaxing feeling.

After my face was finished I had a full body massage with Coconoil Coconut Oil, (which is the same brand I use at home it’s lovely) and the hot stones.

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Every step of the way Annette asked if I was comfortable and explained what she was currently doing or what she was going to do next. Annette noticed that I have particularly cold hands and feet so she spent a extra time massaging them. The hot stones felt quite warm to begin with, but like the cold stones I got used to it and it felt incredibly relaxing.

The only negative part of  my experience was that the Therapy Room seems to be below a family residence and there were noisy children thundering around upstairs. I understand that this was beyond Annette’s control and I was able to tune the banging out. Part of living in this amazing city is that space is at a premium and many of us are literally living on top of each other, I imagine that if I’d had a day time appointment, the hair Salon at the front of the building would have been noisier and upstairs would have been quiet. The slight distraction did not ruin the experience for me and I have already booked my next session. I was even given a massage/body oil to take home with me. All in all I give the whole experience 8/10.

I paid for this treatment with my own money.

Details of the other treatments available (including the text below) and prices can be found on:

http://www.avocadoholistic.co.uk/ 

Stone Therapy/Geothermotherapy is a more therapeutic form of stone massage and is also known as LA Stone Therapy. It uses alternating hot and cold stones resulting in the same naturopathic principles that you find in the combination of sauna and cold plungle pool. It tones and detoxifies, improves circulation, stimulates digestion and immunity, and calms and de-stresses. While hot stones can relieve tension & help warm the body, cold stones help the cells in the body to receive more oxygen and nutrients and encourages a more efficient removal of toxins.

This is an incredibly relaxing treatment, more penetrative than holistic or swedish massage, it helps eliminate negative energies and by resetting the body it helps to restore harmony in the body.