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The Recession Is Closing Many African-American Salons

Are African-American Salons in Danger?

The recession has adversely affected salons across the US, but it's been disproportionally hard on small, locally-owned salons that cater to African-Americans. Apparently, with clients going longer and longer between appointments to save money and the popularity of formerly profitable treatments like relaxers on the wane, hundreds of shops have been forced to shutter. Their stylists then head to larger salons, often corporate owned.

It's already bad to have locally-owned businesses closing, but salons can be community anchors, and their loss is deeper than simply no longer having a neighborhood beauty parlor. Hopefully, the closings will finally get large salons to actively hire stylists who can work with very curly hair. But, being able to walk into your nearest salon and be sure that they can work with your hair no matter its texture still seems a long way off. What do you think the fallout from losing so many community salons will be, and do you think they'll make a comeback?

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florida-style florida-style 6 years
The recession came in, but I saw this coming to black salons years ago. The clients just needed a reason to leave. They were tired of the fighting among the workers and owners. I lefted salons for this same reason and now I've lefted the field my only regret is I didn't leave sooooner!! THIS ISN'T JUST ABOUT ABOUT MONEY, THE WORKERS WERE NOT PROFESSIONALS (including the owners) They sat there and watched and did nothing, they had no management skill at all. This Field Is A Big Joke!!!!!!!
Naturalhairdiva Naturalhairdiva 6 years
I thought that the subject had to do with the decline in salon visits, not relaxers. I agree that more women of all hair textures may be opting to do their own hair to save money. The first area that people tend to cut back on when it comes to saving money in unnecessary spending. Going to the salon becomes unnecessary when you can do a good job your self at home. Thanks to Sally's and other beauty supply stores this is possible for most. This is off the subject, but I decided to go natural because I wanted fuller healthier hair. I also stopped going to the salon as frequently to save money and also because I know my hair better than all of the stylist I've been to. Although their styles were nice, the over all health of my hair was diminishing under their care. I now have a healthy head of beautiful long natural hair.
Christian-Richardson Christian-Richardson 6 years
I decided to go natural, because I like versatility. I also notice that when my hair is relaxed I cannot color it, for it breaks immensely and can't handle a double chemical process. Overall, my hair feels thicker, softer, and healthier when I do not relax. I will admit, it is not the most convenient method of maintaining my hair. However, it works for me.
teaisme teaisme 6 years
I live in an area where a salon visit for me has always been a 300.00 plus visit, so I'm an infrequent salon goer anyway. I used to always go once in the Autumn to relax my hair (straight for Fall, then by Summer I'd be curly again.)But after I got pregnant, I didn't want any harmful chemicals in my life. Plus, technology has gotten so much better over the years as far as hair products are concerned that I find relaxers unnecessary. If I want to have straight hair for a week, I can get a blow out and keep it up with product. But I have changed my blow out/flat iron routine when I want straight hair. Instead of doing everything at the salon, I arrive with conditioner in my hair; both to save time and money
Annie-Tomlin Annie-Tomlin 6 years
All very interesting comments. I definitely think more women are going the natural route, but I would be curious to know why. Some women I know are doing it because they don't want to use harsh chemicals on their hair; others are doing it for style reasons alone. And there are a hundred other reasons, too.
Talldiva45 Talldiva45 6 years
I have to say thank you bellasugar for posting this topic! I have been getting my hair relaxed since I was in 5th grade (26 yrs old now) along with my sister who is two years younger. We have never gone to a different stylist - she is a Caucasian woman w. fiery red hair who lives in a town or two over and shares a place with a barber. My mom and her grew up together. Let me tell you she knows African American hair like no one else! My hair is relaxed, thick and mid-back. I have had to go to other stylists when she was out sick etc. and that was a mistake... I believe that salons in general are suffering. I hear people talk about going longer/stretching their relaxers for sure and she talks to me about having more frequent slow times now. My sister no longer goes to her now because about a year ago she decided to cut most of her hair short and grow natural. It was more for growth and handling reasons/ finding what worked best for her hair as a relaxer always seemed to give her much breakage because of her kinky/curly, springy texture. She has a nice afro now w. some highlights and it seems to be working for her. I am still maintaining my relaxers on the same basis because I just find that it is what works best for me currently...I just think women of color have perhaps given more thought as to what works for their hair texture best causing a shift in these rough economic times.
abeautyloft abeautyloft 6 years
I don't think so. I think the real issue is more and more black women going natural. That being said I think women across the board color wise are trying to go longer between salon visits to save some money! I'm in dire need of color touch up, but it's not in the budget right now. So I usually pull a DIY.
ashleyheatherr ashleyheatherr 6 years
I don't think they are. Black women are always going to spend money on their hair....that is really important to us!
I went natural as a means to reduce costs for a couple months and it didn't work for me :0/ however, when I went back to get my hair done, I felt bad because I didn't realize the financial impact my decision would have on my stylist (who has been doing my hair for the past 22 years). I definitely believe this is an awesome topic for discussion. I also do agree that many people are embracing their natural hair and the long-lasting ramifications of this is yet to be truly determined... When I think of the topic I liken it to furloughs... Who would want to be subjected to that?? I am sure it sucks for their pocketbooks!! As far as when the recession rebounds, I feel that the people who prefer natural will remain natural, but people like me that choose to stay in the salon will go back just like I did....
celebritycatwalk celebritycatwalk 6 years
This is a great topic & worth addressing....being fortunate enough to live in NYC I defected to Dominican salons 10 years ago for cheaper prices & a fraction of the time spent.
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