The first question that I usually get from a new potential client is "DO You do natural hair?"
Like many hairstylists, I don't know how to answer this question. I can offer color, smoothing treatments, sew-in, crochet braids, and individual twist styling. However, I am not a barber; so the small and big top loose naturals may need to seek a barber for haircuts.
I would prefer for people to ask for a specific hair service versus walking into the salon with a short, natural fro and expecting me to have a vision as to which direction to take them. Most don't want a relaxer, and they don't want locs. However, protective styling (i.e. covering it up) seems to be top choice.
I am a locked natural wearer, but my locs keep my hair consistently under control. I can use a wig for a loose hair look. I do maintain my own locked natural hair, but the majority of my clients are relaxed.
Flat irons gave relaxers a bad wrap. Relaxers have been around since the pressing comb timeframe. The flat irons are the "new kids on the block." The flat iron damage propelled this natural hair movement. As long as the flat irons continue to be required for smoothing treatments and the preferred tool for straightening, the relaxer-free movement will continue.
Due to my aging, I decided to abandon relaxers as a personal healthy choice. My decision to loc was also the best decision for me, but from what I know now, I would not encourage locking for everyone. Everyone's hair will not loc the same way. I am four years ahead in my loc process so many who have begun to fall in love with my locs want the immediate long look versus the journey.
Luckily, micro faux locs can be crocheted for a practice loc run. Now, back to the original question:
What is a Natural Hairstylist in 2016? What's your answers? Feel free to leave your feedback.