D-Day at the Salon

Long hair...chewed up ends

The long awaited day finally arrived. My day at the salon.  Saturday, Feb. 20. And apparently, for the sake of my hair it couldn’t come soon enough.    

Two nights earlier, I’d rinsed my hair and did something I rarely do; I did a blow out with a blower dryer and then flat ironed my hair.  I have to say I’m not very good at this. Back in the day, when I used to do a press n curl all the time, I didn’t have this much hair, and I had really mastered how to do it.     

Now I haven’t pressed my hair regularly since the early 80s. And apparently that time lapse, coupled with my length has made it difficult to get good results under the best circumstances. Well trust me, these were not the best circumstances, which means I was doomed from the start.. First of all, I couldn’t find any pressing oil or hair grease in the house. Shoot not even an old jar of Ultra Sheen or  can of Royal Crown. Then I couldn’t find my pressing comb. Hmmm…did I throw that away? So, I um…flat ironed it dry. Lawd hammercy. When I was nearly finished, I spotted a jar of (ok get ready) vaseline. Uh…yeah. So I used that to soften it up a bit. It worked, but gawd y’all vaseline?    

So, while I didn’t get the best results, it did help me find out what I needed to know for sure. And what I saw, as you can tell from this picture confirmed what I suspected for a really long time. My ends were shot. I know I thought at least two inches had to come off. The beautician two days earlier said she thought the same thing too. But seeing my hair like this is what made that assessment REAL.    

Yowser…this is really bad.   


So Saturday, I get to More Hair Salon by Kessa, the name of which is a play off her full name Kessa Moore. Eighty percent of her clientelle is now natural. Some opting for press n curls while others choosing to wear their hair natural. She’s also a certified sister lock technician, and she wears them herself. In addition both her young daughters have sister locks. They’re adorable. I know I’m in good hands.    

From the comb down is what she wants to cut off.

I sit in her chair, and tell her I’m afraid my hair is not healthy. I point out the damage. She does an elasticity test and tells me she thinks it’s in good shape. That’s the good news. The bad news is that she thinks I need MORE THAN TWO INCHES cut off. I sigh…really? Well let’s get some pictures and then just get it over with.    

IMG_1192.jpg image by Nappyme
IMG_1189.jpg image by Nappyme
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IMG_1201.jpg image by Nappyme
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IMG_1201.jpg image by Nappyme

There...it's a done deal. And it wasn't THAT painful. Nope not at all.

Time to Shampoo
Ever since I made up my mind to get this done, this is the part that I was most looking forward to. The shampoo. Kessa has done my hair one time previously and she gave a good message and scratched my itchy scalp till I was in heaven. So I couldn’t wait, and she didn’t disappoint. You can tell by the pics how good this felt. This all by itself was soooo worth the visit.  

IMG_1216.jpg image by Nappyme

IMG_1217.jpg image by Nappyme   

IMG_1218.jpg image by Nappyme
IMG_1214.jpg image by Nappyme
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Time to Blow Dry
Now I’m NOT sure this is a good idea. I’ve already tortured it once this week by my own hand with a blow dryer. I tried to be gentle but in my opinion blow drying is one of the worst things you can do to nappy hair. She asks me if I want to sit under the dryer instead. Well it’s getting late and my photographer, my friend Regina, is dog tired and keeps falling asleep. I have to repeatedly wake her up to get some pics. Plus, I need to be done more quickly so I can make it to my niece’s basketball game at 5:30. She’s a freshman this year and she plays varsity. It’s one of their last games in regular season play, and I don’t want to miss it. So blow dry it is. Kessa is the professional and she should know what she’s doing.  I sit back and hope for the best.
She spritzes my hair with some Infusium 21 and gets started.
IMG_1230.jpg image by Nappyme
IMG_1233.jpg image by Nappyme
IMG_1234.jpg image by Nappyme
IMG_1235.jpg image by Nappyme
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IMG_1247.jpg image by Nappyme
 After a while, I start to think it’s a good thing I’m not tender headed cause while this doesn’t hurt as in, I’m not in excruciating pain, I have to tell ya that my scalp is starting to feel sore with all the pulling its been through over the past couple of days. First my feeble attempt to blow dry and flat-iron it. And now I’m going through it again. I’m really starting to feel it in the back lower crown area where my hair draws up tighter than a fist. That’s where I feel the pulling. I’ll be really glad when she moves on from there and gets finished.
IMG_1243.jpg image by Nappyme
IMG_1242.jpg image by Nappyme
IMG_1244.jpg image by Nappyme
IMG_1250.jpg image by Nappyme
IMG_1252.jpg image by Nappyme
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All Done. Thank goodness!
Time for a Press n Curl.
When I decided to let her blow dry my hair, I was pretty resigned to letting her do a press n curl. It’s been five years since I’ve had my hair pressed professionally. And I’ve never had a bad experience with regard to having any kinda of damage to my hair. But I also wasn’t getting it pressed all the time…just for special occasions. Truthfully, the only time I’ve had heat damage is when I did it myself. And that was with a pressing comb that you put on the stove where you can’t control the heat setting. In the hands of an inexperienced person heat like that is a dangerous thing. But Kessa does this everyday, so it wasn’t hard to trust that Kessa knew what she was doing. So I sat back and relaxed and let her do her thang.
Now I thought this was going to take hours but girlfriend whipped through my hair in just a little over an hour. Add the time it took to curl it and all told, I was in and out of her shop in about 3 hours flat.
IMG_1262.jpg image by Nappyme
IMG_1264.jpg image by Nappyme
IMG_1265.jpg image by Nappyme


And Here’s the Finished Do!
IMG_1281.jpg picture by Nappyme
I hate it! LOL! Too many curls. She asked me if I just wanted a few or a whole lot of curls, and I opted for the latter. Big mistake. Even back when I was pressing my hair in my teens and early 20s and later as a permie, I never did like having a head full of curls. I always liked and thought I looked better with just bumping the ends or something like that. That’s probably why I wore a bob cut for years; it’s classic and timeless and fits nearly any face shape. But since this straight-hair thing doesn’t happen that often, I wanted to try something different. But it wasn’t meant to be. When she finished putting in all these curls, neither she nor I couldn’t get it styled quite right, andIMG_1276.jpg picture by Nappyme I look like an overweight, middle-aged woman. Oh wait. I am! One of these days I’m do something about that. The overweight part that is.
I wore it out and about and ran into people who have never seen me with straight or curly hair. One lady at my niece’s game said, “Oh, now I like THAT!” Well we all know what that comment implies. So whatever dudette!
No matter though cause my naps will be back soon enough. It’s day two, and I’m missing them already.  




24 Responses to “D-Day at the Salon”
  1. kisha says:

    your hair looks BEAUTIFUL!! as long as you’re happy – thats what counts in the end.

    b blessed!

  2. Dwana says:

    LOL @whatever dudette!

    Wow! I’m sorry you don’t like it. I think it’s adorable. It’s been a while since I stepped into a salon, unless I’m getting micros. It’s so great you were able to find a stylist that works with natural hair. While I knew they exist, I don’t have any near me :2 (

    Thanks for sharing your experience!

    • nappyme says:

      Thanks for stopping by dwana and I’m glad you think it’s adorable. As I look back on my straight-haired days I was never one for a lot of curls. I wanted to try something different so I did. I didn’t hate it, I just didn’t like it. But eh…it was good enough to wear in public. LOL!

      Last night I wrapped some sponge rollers in end papers and rolled my hair up. Put my scarf on. It held up really well. Today I’m wearing a tripple pony updo It’s soooo cute. I’ll try to wear this for the remainder of the week if my press lasts that long.

      We’ll see.

  3. CoCo says:

    Your hair turned out great! It looks really healthy and soft. Kessa did a wonderful job! I have to admit I’m glad to hear you’re going back to your box braids though. I think those are just so cute! I can’t wait until my hair is long enough to play with.

  4. MilliePat says:

    It looks good, but press and curl is major heat on the hair with the petroleum grease. A flat iron would cause less damage if you are going with heat.

    • nappyme says:

      Hi MiliePat,
      I won’t be doing that again anytime soon. But if and when I do, I’ll be sure to have a much better product on hand to help facilitate getting it straight. But I’m not sure WHAT my beautician used on my hair but my hair isn’t greasy at all. It’s totally touchable, soft and yes, silky but not oily or even greasy. That’s a first and I like it.

  5. Hi there,

    I’ve only been natural for two years this past Wednesday and haven’t stepped foot in a salon since my last relaxer on August 24, 2007.

    I trim my hair by snipping the ends of my two-strand twists.

    After following your hair trimming story the past few weeks, it make me wonder how much of a trim I would need if I were to straighten.

    • nappyme says:

      Well I’m just not a fan of using heat on my hair. But I’ve come to the conclusion that the only way to periodically see what is REALLY going on with you hair is to do so. It doesn’t have to be a hard press with high heat.

      Like I say in my post, I suspected my hair was in bad shape, and seeing it straight confirmed my suspicions. I’m not glad that I had to do it but I’m glad that I did.

      Hope that makes sense.

    • nappyme says:

      Kinky Rhonnie,
      I just wanted to say that unless you’re at a point in your journey where you WANT a precision cut, then the way you trim now is most likely sufficient.

      I twisted and snipped my ends for years until I got to a place where I wanted to cut out my layers. Since I couldn’t do that myself, I started going to salons.

      I’ve TRIED to just stretch my hair in braids to let beauticians do the cut, but that would never be sufficient enough for them to see what they were doing. I’ve ended up with some pretty jacked up hair this way.

      I finally resigned myself to the fact that most beauticians cannot cut textured hair in its natural state.

      That’s when I finally broke down and reached for the blower dryer and the flat iron.

      Kessa was the ONE beautician I found who could cut textured hair but I opted to blow dry and flat iron myself to save time at the salon.

      Doing it this way, this time I have no regrets. Everything seems to have turned out just fine.

  6. Nicole says:

    Your hair is still very beautiful. So what if you take an inch off, you are still left with a lot of beautiful full hair. I just love it! I really really do!

  7. Tashina says:

    That turned out really nice. It looks much better after the cut. I don’t think there is anything wrong with the occassional use of heat….I just don’t do it unless I am doing a hot oil treatment or something.

  8. nappyme says:

    @Kisha, Coco, Nicole and Tashina thanks so much!

  9. Kyla says:

    I LOVE the curls !!!!!!!! Keep them !!!

    • nappyme says:

      Another vote for the curls. For as long as my press hold up is as long as I keep ’em. After that, it’s back to the kinks! And really, I can’t wait. 🙂

  10. BRH says:

    You do not look like a middle aged woman…you look like a beautiful young woman. I’m so surprised that you straightened your hair. Now I know that I can straighten my hair once in awhile (it’s not going to kill me). Thanks for sharing your salon experience with us.

    • nappyme says:

      Well, part of me has wanted to see it pressed for a really long time. I haven’t done it myself cause it’s just tooo much to work with. Also, I’m wary of the damage that heat can cause. But the main reason I’ve not tried to wear my hair straight in a really long time is because early in my journey, like everyone else, I had to get out of my head that wearing straight hair was the epitome of beauty. The ONLY way to do that is to stop running to straight hair every time a special occasion came up. It was really hard at first. But years later, I find my natural texture acceptable for any occasion. And with that mindset, I find that wearing my hair straight is just another option should I choose to go there.

      Having said that… I’m sooooooo ready to go back to my box braids. I done sweated out my edges big time. The old me would have kept pressing my edges…not wanting to show my naps. Now…eh…I don’t care. Let the naps be free!

  11. dovly says:

    If you had clipped you ends on a regular basis would you have had to have two inches cut off?

    • nappyme says:

      That’s a good question. I started noticing my ends were bad last fall I think. But it seemed to happen over night. But I keep my hair in twists for months and months at a time and so just how bad it was getting just wasn’t registering. Plus, in all my life, I’ve never, ever seen my ends so bad even with infrequent trimming. So I’m not a big believer in trimming my ends, just for the sake of doing so. I think you have to really know your hair, watch it and act accordingly.

      I think my biggest variable here was the color. I’m new to the hair dying game. I’m convinced the color is what finally did me in. Now that I know, I can react accordingly, perhaps having to do more frequent trims (dunno), so that my ends never get this bad again.

  12. Sharon says:

    Hi from Sharon.

    I have been lurking on you site off and on for the past 2 years. I just wanted to say that you have really nice hair natural or straightened. I enjoyed reading your story about how you went natural. I am 47 yrs old and went natural back in February 2008. Like you, I’ve had bad experiences with relaxers . My hair type is mostly 4a coily, so I guess I’m not a “cnapp”, but anyway I really like reading your blog. The lady at the salon that you went to did a great job on your hair. In thr last 2 years , I have learned a lot about taking care of natural hair, mostly from online forums and Youtube videos.
    I also love your braids too. Take care.

  13. Kessa says:

    I thought I would check in and see how the salon experience was. I’m glad that you share your journey with everyone, it helps encourage them on their journey. If I may, I would like to add to the comments. Heat is heat, whether it’s a blowdryer, pressing comb, curling iron or even a flatiron, each will alter the structure of the hair. Not only will the elements on the outside harm your hair but also what you put on the inside as well will determine the condition of your hair. Eliminating chemicals is great, but if you began to consider the things you allow in your body as well as on, you would be surprised at the changes that will occur with hair and skin. Because hair is just an extention of your skin. So, make sure you stay hydrated with H2O, vitamins & minerals and a good diet.

    A good way to know if it’s time for a trim is when combing through the ends become matted or knotted . It will be more then the regular detangling. Lastly, color is a chemical that will cause some dryness to the hair which can make the hair become brittle, hard and change texture and curl. So, even though many are wanting to do it themselves, I HIGHLY recommend leaving the chemicals to the professionals. One that knows what their doing and that you can build a trust with. Okay, I’m off my soap box!! Have fun and enjoy the journey & freedom of being natural, naturally you. It’s just wonderful.

    • nappyme says:

      Hey Kessa! As you can see I really enjoyed my visit to your salon and reconnecting with your mom after all these years. I was sooooo excited to see her. I wish we had had more time to visit and catch up with one another. I’ll have to call her and see if we can get together again under more leisurely circumstances.

      Anyhoo, again, thanks for taking the time to stop by Nappturology 101 and add your professional perspective. I agree with everything you’ve said 100 percent. In fact, it’s on my mind to have you do my color next time around…which is coming soon.

      Also, as I share my experience at my usual places on the internet, everyone marvels at your skills for doing natural hair. Too bad we can’t clone you and send you ’round the country to do some nappy hair. Not only would you make a mint, you’d have a bunch of satisfied, nappy customers too!

  14. Mwedzi says:

    You went to the salon?! Wow! You’re brave. She did a good job, though. I’m surprised she cut it before completely straightening it. But it turned out nice. Love all the pictures.

    • nappyme says:

      Hey Dr. Mwedzi! Glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for stopping by.

      • nappyme says:

        Hi M,
        Well, it sounds to me like you have a good routine going. Personally, I don’t see how you can keep her hair up in twists for a month with out spot touch ups. Twists in my opinion aren’t NO maintenance on anyone. If you to keep her hair from matting and tangling, you’ll need to continue to check her hair and redo her twists on an as needed basis.

        Good luck!

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