Monday, September 21, 2015

DMV Natural Salon Experience

Trying My First Natural Hair Salon in the DMV

I recently wrote a post about Finding The Right Salon. I put that system to work when I first decided to find a salon in DC and I've recently done it again when I determined it was time for me to find a natural hair salon.

Referrals & Research

I'm a natural hair blogger, so I talk about my hair chronicles often. Along my journey, I recently began researching natural hair salons in the DMV area. I was going to a salon in DC to get trims, but the stylist I was seeing wasn't natural hair focused.

I Googled and found a few salons in the area but none of them seemed to fit what I was looking for. One of my DMV readers hit me up on Twitter and suggested two salons in the area. She gave me their websites and IG names, so for the next couple of weeks, I watched like a hawk!

N Natural Hair Studio

I ended up choosing N Natural Hair Studio. They were very active on social media. I was able to check out their website and read up on the salon and the owner. I liked everything I read about the salon. I liked the spirit of the owner and why she started the salon. I also liked the uniqueness of this place. Here, they charge by the hour. It's a confusing concept to understand and explain upfront because we've never heard of such a thing!! The philosophy of the salon is "Where you get n and out. Giving you more time to live your life." Here's what the salon had to say about the concept:
"Well, by charging by the hour you no longer have to wonder why your price is what it is. And we know what you're thinking...why wouldn't a stylist just spend extra time on your hair. The answer is simple, it's not worth it for them to elongate your service. The most expensive time is the first hour and it all goes down hill from there so we've created a system that gives the stylist incentive to get you out of the chair and on with your life just as much as you DON'T want to be stuck in a salon all day. Pretty cool right!?!"
It is indeed pretty cool.

Try It Out

My flat twistout on natural hair with bantu knots on the endsRight now I'm in the process of trying the salon out and making my pro/con list. I've gotten two different styles but I also broke one of my own rules! I got a trim as well...but only because I needed one badly! The two styles I got were a flat twist out and a flat twist updo.

Here are pics of the finished products. The first hairstyle was the flat twist out. I'd just tried a flat twist out at home and fell in love with the results. I liked it more than my beloved two strand twist outs, so I figured, why not?!

With this first hairstyle, I untwisted the flat twists fairly quickly. I was behind schedule with prep for the event I had to attend so I had to quickly get this done! I feel as if the bantu knots suffered the most because of this, but I've never had success with untwisting bantu knots so maybe it's just me!!

Using a flat twist updo for protective stylingThat next hairstyle was the flat twist updo. I have a love/hate relationship with natural hair updos. I understand the purpose of using updos as a way of protective styling, however I have trouble finding styles I think are pretty and that look mature at the same time. I like styles that fit my head but are unique! I've had two updo styles done before that I loved, but I also had a cosmetologist that I saw regularly who understood my style. Since I'm trying to be more protective of my hair, I stepped out on faith and tried a flat twist updo style anyway!

I showed the stylist a picture and she told me it would be similar but not exactly the same. I was little disappointed that it wouldn't look like I was expecting it to, but at least she was upfront about that. The style ended up looking pretty good. The main purpose was the protect my hair and it did that, so I couldn't complain too much.

The downside of this is that my hair is super soft, so it doesn't hold styles like this for long. I got a good 3-4 day wear out of this before it started frizzing out of control. You just have to know your hair and know what works for it. So, for me, I need protective styles that will hide my hair (sew-ins, braids with extensions, etc.) if I'm going to get my money's worth.

Future Plans

I love the atmosphere of the salon. It's very organized and very well put together. They start on time and you're not sitting in there all day long! I've been more protective of my hair over the last couple of months. I still need to get a protein treatment AND I'm hoping to get one big protective style for the winter, from this same salon. So, I'm looking at two more visits to N Natural Hair Studio, max, before coming to a decision about what to do next. (If you're in the DMV Area, N Natural Hair Studio is having their Third Annual Naturalista Hair Show on my birthday, September 27. From what I hear it's the talk of the town! If it weren't my birthday, I'd definitely be in the place!! Check it out)

I know that charge by the hour concept is a weird one. How do you feel about that and would you feel comfortable going to a salon that does it?? Let's talk!


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