I was totally shocked by this story on strawberricurls.com about a readers’ experience getting a wash, blow-dry and flat iron at a salon. Here’s an excerpt;

Once washed, the shampoo girl and my stylist for the day went away from me and started whispering. I suppose I should’ve worried but I’m not the paranoid type. After the whisper session, the stylist came over and asked what I wanted done… just a wash and blow dry is what I told her. This should involve them washing my hair, conditioning it, blow drying it and then flat ironing it. I had it done hundred of times before without an issue. She said okay and offered to do a deep condition treatment for me as it would help protect my hair.. her words.

I agreed as long as it didn’t take too long and she promised it wouldn’t. To the back of the salon she goes to mix up a deep condition treatment. I didn’t find this abnormal. I often mix things together to use as a DT myself. She started to apply to my hair and it smelled weird, I asked her about it and she said it’s one of the ingredients for Ph balance.

Ummm.. okay.

About ten minutes in it started to burn which I found weird but she assured me it was just “tingling” and it was good for my scalp… another 3 minutes and I told her to rinse me because I was having some sort of allergic reaction or something (I have pretty sensitive skin so this was possible). She rinsed me out and moved me to the chair. My hair was noticeably straighter as my hair wet without product is very curly and big and poofy, lol. This time my curls hung straight-ish which wasn’t normal. She assured me that it was temporary from the heavy conditioner.

“Okay…” I said

She did my hair as normal and 2 days later the breakage started. Panicked, I went to wash my hair and again the curls just weren’t there… I had major heat damage. After several deep treatments, co-washes, etc. my hair never returned to its normal state and continued to break off. I returned to Michigan (where I was staying) and had my hair braided, hoping that would help.

When I finally moved to Illinois (about 3 weeks later) I was ready to take my braids out, upon doing so my hair was just coming out in huge chunks even though I was being gentle. I went back to the salon and pitched a fit demanding to talk to someone in charge. (Yeah, it may seem a bit crazy for hair.. but we know how important hair is to us, right?) When I finally spoke to the manager, she also feigned ignorance. I threatened police action, threatened to sue and eventually someone gave up the information I needed.

She told me that with “nappy” hair, they sometimes add a bit of relaxer to a deep conditioner and apply it. It’s the “kiddie perm” she tells me and most people don’t experience negative results. She said it works well because people are happy that their hair is straighter so they continue to come back.

Click here for the rest of the story. This is so ridiculous!! What are your thoughts ladies? Has this ever happened to you?!

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noelliste, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop culture and black beauty enthusiast. bell hooks' hair twin...

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216 Comments on "Stylists Adding Relaxers to Conditioners on Natural Hair Clients??"

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**JAW DROPS** Omg….I’m so upset reading this post.
SUE THEM! That will teach them a lesson.
This is just appalling. How can a stylist put a product in another person’s hair (that somewhat permanently alters it) without letting them know. Its THEIR hair!!
SMH….This just makes me even more paranoid about salons.


That is why I do my own hair, the police would’ve had to been called if that was me… Somebody would have been hurt.

Leo the Yardie Chick



This has almost ruined my day…what is WRONG WITH PEOPLE?!
Please tell me you are going to sue these people…someone needs to teach them a lesson….


We take too much of this stuff sitting down. I would’ve gone apes*** on them – in a court of bloody law. All them heifers would be f’red – bet they’d never try that mess again. OOoooohhhh I can’t TAKE ignance!

African Violet
I’m speechless. I’ve always been apprehensive about salons, even back when I was relaxed. It happened twice at two different locations in two different states where I told the stylist that I didn’t like gel in my hair because no matter what gel they used, the gel would harden, making it difficult for me to do anything but wash my hair all over again. And on those two occasions, I was told, “Oh, I’m only going to use a little.” Instead, each used a lot, and my hair got what? Hard. I understand that they went to school (most of… Read more »

What is it about hairdressers NOT DOING WHAT YOU TELL THEM TO! Jesus Lord, I’ve had this experience on DIFFERENT CONTINENTS for God sake! I treat stylists like doctors, personal trainers and other ‘practitioners’- they may I advise but MY body knows best, I KNOW best. I’m having a mini meltdown just thinking about this.



“they may I advise but MY body knows best, I KNOW best”

African Violet

They don’t listen to us because they think they know better for our own hair. It’s like you said–we know our bodies best, but we let someone tell us otherwise because they have letters behind their names or a certificate on the wall.


I have read similar stories on other natural hair boards. Has anyone this has happened to gotten any more than an a BS explanation? I don’t see how anyone can be so polite about having an unsolicited permanent process done to them and not demand something to be done. This is unexcusable. We all know how much time and work maintaining natural hair can be. To have a “stylist” ruin that work without permission is unthinkable.


There is no way I would not be taking some kind of legal action!

Robin Nicolew
Wow… We grown, but that is really ’cause for an ass whoppin’. Really. I would like to hear a legal professional’s opinion on this matter. There has to be some type of legal action that can be taken for this foolishness! I am TERRIFIED of going to ANY salon. I have not allowed any salon professional to do anything to my hair other than buzz it/cut it. I really wanted to go to the salon and have my hair washed/deep conditioned/cut, but this post has aided me in my decision of going to a strict (most likely) male barber who… Read more »

I have never ever heard of anything like this before. I am floored!!! I haven’t been to a salon in ages and hearing something like this makes me GLAD!!! I don’t know what I would have done if I was her. SMH…

I think I would have known that something was up when I got a wiff of “Deep conditioner”. The smell of a relaxer is one that is not easily forgotten.

I feel bad for her though.


WHAT?!?!?!?! I would have torn that salon up, my beautician knows that I’m natural and she would NEVER put relaxer in my conditioner. She needs to take action ASAP, that was rude and unethical as a beautician! Your job is to satisfy the customer and not make decisions without the customer consent. She doesn’t make the decision of how straight or curly you want your hair. I’m utterly shock. smdh

Ballerina Girl

Omg!! Seriously my mouth is like wide open.
I’m sure it’s totally illegal to do that? Words can not describe what I would do to that salon.
I would be incandescent :-(((
Action needs to be taken, quick time! Just the assumption that you would want your hair straighter makes me so mad..


:O :O :O
oh hell no! this lady handled that with a lot of grace. I would have probably gotten violent. I feel angry on her behalf. This story increases my distrust of salons and stylists and reinforces my love of the diy natural culture.

im honestly not surprised….i remember an incident at a dominican salon in queens ny where i was offered the same thing…i have big but fine curly hair so it looks wayyyy more intimidating that it actually is…the stylist told me i should get a texturizer to make my hair “easier”…i said “what? no.” she continues to push the issue saying “its just a little relaxer in a lot of conditioner, it will make your hair more better”….now im like “excuse me??!! i said no” these so called beauticians have a lot of audacity and i feel they are lazy. id… Read more »

atleast that stylist NOTIFIED you of what she wanted to do. this lady was tricked and untold. smh.


This is why I was like I do not get why this keeps happening they are supposed to be trained stylists. It is unfortunate that this happened.


This is shocking and unethical…….i would have taken this Salon to court.But there is deep problem underneath:the respect of our ourselves.What is it that there will always be someone to think that he knows better than yourself whaqt you should do ….And this old idea that our hair is better when relaxed..this story makes me mad


the fact that these stylists put a relaxer on top of wet, freshly washed hair & scalp is blowing me! what if she was natural b/c she is allergic to the chemicals in relaxers, what if her throat closed up in the chair?! i think some stylists need to be reminded that the idea of beauty varies, & stupid mistakes like this can cost you your ass!


That was my first thought also. Why in the world would anyone put relaxer on wet hair? I think if this was a chain I would report to the regional or national management. I think I would also contact the cosmology board.

And because I would want anyone else to experience the shock, I would post the name of the salon, the stylist and the manager on this site, naturalcurlly.com, napputuality.com, twitter and facebook. When someone googles or bings that shop they will know exactly what they are getting.


so true!



I am sorry but I do not get it why this keeps repeating itself e.g. “she gave me a cut instead of trim” now you get a “kiddie relaxer” instead of a DC. That would never happen to me. I always take my own products even when I was relaxed and I spoke up. If I was not happy you were not getting paid. I would be watching their every move and side to the side so I can see in the mirror. Plus I would smell the products just to get a feel for it in case something was… Read more »

Wow. Do you want a cookie?
Blaming the victim and being all “I would never” isn’t helping anyone. Have a seat.


No but you clearly do! For you weak statement. How is that blaming the victim??? You go and sit down somewhere.

What you have proposed is a good solution and one that I am going to follow should I ever find myself in the position of going to a hair salon again (which is highly doubtful). HOWEVER. I don’t think that this woman should have been blamed for not bringing her own products to the hair salon. We don’t blame people who get salmonella or other forms of food poisoning because they “should have known to bring their own food to a restaurant” or for people who suffer from poor care at the hands of other professionals whether they are doctors… Read more »

Mina that was funny, “bring your own food to a restaurant”. but good analogy, this definitely wasn’t that woman’s fault. a shame that one would have to be on their guard in a place that is charged to do hair.

so true, I’m ashamed of these stylist. (as a natural hair pro) They shouldn’t touch their hair if they don’t want to deal with it or understand it. I would have been off the chain in that salon the second my scalp started BURNING. They could have done some very serious damage to her scalp. Especially if they were applying it like a conditioner instead of a relaxer. (usually massage conditioner it my clients hair) and then if they werent washing the active chemicals out properly. Which I’m sure they weren’t since they were trying trying to fool her into… Read more »
I NEVER blamed (this word is being used too much in these comments) her. This is how wildfire spreads when people dont read things properly.I was quite upset hearing this again not realising until someone pointed it out this story was out in 07 I had heard of the story some time ago though and thought not again smh. The client should never be blamed,obviously. Having said that not all stylists are bad but like I said someone may not be on point that day. There has to be something in place for customers and a procedure we can take.If… Read more »
Where did I blame the lady if I was doing that I would have addressed her directly. I said I do not get why this happens not blaming her but why are the stylists still doing this?? I was stating what I have done before and would do concerning my hair. I can only speak for my hair. So next time please read properly. If Jaz could get it others should too. What would I gain by blaming anyone? Will it make my hair grow?? So your statement is redundant as per the “should have known to bring…” smh I… Read more »

I don’t believe that she was blaming the lady for not taking in her own products, but she was sharing her experiences and what she would do at the salon.

Sorry, but she does seem to be doing that in the first part of her response, you should read it again: ” I am sorry but I do not get it why this keeps repeating itself e.g. “she gave me a cut instead of trim” now you get a “kiddie relaxer” instead of a DC. That would never happen to me. I always take my own products…” That is great that she had the foresight to do that, but I will reiterate what I wrote earlier: if you are paying for a service you should not have to go to… Read more »

Sorry but you misinterpreted what I meant. I was referring to these bad practices occurring again and again and especially in a place where you are meant to have a professional service. Sure you should not have to go to such measures but better safe than sorry.


Thank you at least you got my statement.I am glad there are people like you. Clap clap.

She must have missed the “However, that is just me” part smh.


I hope it hasn’t come to that (needing to bring your own products). This is supposed to be a professional service.


This is not the first time people would bring their own products it is not a new practice. People even get charged cheaper for bringing their own products.I know what products work on my hair I would rather use that than something that may not work well on my hair.

I would hope it does not but for me better safe than sorry. “supposed to be” that is it right there but unfortunately this as we know is not always the case.


WOW. i know not all salons are like the one in this article but it makes me very apprehensive about going in to get my hair done.


+ 1




Uhh, can we say serious ass whooping?




This is very unethical. Can’t something be done about this?

honestly I would have wrung their necks, kicked them in the butt repeatedly then shaved their heads. I would have gone incredible hulk on them and I am not even kidding. Just because it’s hair doesn’t mean all the months of hard work in maintaining its beauty should be thrown down the drain because of some rubbish of a salon. If I wanted a perm I’d ask for it. Damn them and I am not even kidding. For real, I’d sue them, for emotional grievance and falsifying information. In no way did the woman ask for a relaxer, so she… Read more »

I burst out laughing at this because its so true.


yes, this is grounds for a major beatdown and a lawsuit. she has to cut off all her hair and start again. Nope, i wouldve wiped the floor w someones face. this is why i stopped going to salons. they really dont know how to do natural hair. and the natural salons are too damn expensive. $80 for some two strand twists? thats bs.

Bella Duafe

I think you have started something! I live in Atlanta and there are tons of natural hair care salons, all of them charging anywhere from 60 to 80 for two strand twist or some variation of that. There is even a salon here that requires a deposit at the time of your appointment! I want to have the experience of being in someone’s chair taking care of my hair, but it’s becoming too expensive and it doesn’t last. I can get maybe a week, week and a half from most places! I’m on #teamoverit!!!


Not as bad as $90 for only a trim!!!!


Wow, how do they justify $90 for a trim???


or $100 to start locs PLUS $90 every 4-6 weeks to maintain them. you cant win for losing :-/



I am thankful to have a natural hair salon near my house that I can trust and is cheap. I’m flabbergasted at the prices. For a trim it’s like 5 to 10 bucks. For twists it’s 35 dollars on tuesday. How awesome is that?

Just as I am

Very, since the only salon I know of that caters to natural hair charges extra for washing, blow drying and trimming if your hair is natural.
And I still ended up with split ends.

You’re very lucky.


@ Chimmy, whats the name of the salon? I go to one that’s a little far from me but worth it. The first time I sat in the chair I felt right at home with my stylist. They’re about average priced for my area esp. since their in a prime time spot.


I live in Indianapolis, In and the salon is called Naturally U, It’s a pretty nice salon. The lady that did my big chop was as talkative as I was, but then the lady who did my twist when I had gone a second time to the salon was soo quiet, I get nervous around quiet people lol.


this this THIS!!!!! you have a lawsuit for real, they did something irreversible to your hair that you did NOT ask for under false pretenses. omg, i can’t explain how incredibly angry i’d be


YOU MUST SUE THEM. They need to be punished for thier reckless behavior, and you can help protect other naturals who may unwittingly visit that salon. OMG!


Wow! I am not shocked one bit. Sad!! I guess it can happen anywhere but I only go to salons that cater to natural hair. It is an atmosphere where natural hair is encourged and celebrated! “Regular” salons hate to see me walking through the door with my huge nappy Afro! 🙂


Since I BC’d, this has been one of my biggest fears, which is why I’m skeptical of going to salons, even the natural ones. The life lesson here is that no one is going to treat your hair as well as you would. Situations like these could be easily avoided if more women realized this.


WTF??? I’m blown for her…I would’ve went OFF…how dare they! The ignorance of some folk still gets me. SHM!!!!