Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Hair salon disaster

BabyGirl's long-awaited, eagerly-anticipated Very First Ever hair appointment was yesterday at 2:30. It was awful.

Because this was primarily a braiding salon and not a full-service salon, I pulled her out of school right before lunch to do the wash and comb-out. I sectioned and braided her hair into thick plaits so all they had to do was undo a section and make micro braids without too much pulling and tugging.

We got to the salon at 2:30 and were met by a bunch of blank looks. The owner of the salon, who was supposed to do BabyGirl's hair, wasn't there and hadn't left any notice with the rest of the loosely-organized staff about us coming in. They called someone and the woman came in after about 10 minutes. I should have followed my instincts and just rescheduled but, since I'd already taken her out of school (and that certainly wasn't going to become a habit), I felt obligated. Lesson learned.

When the new woman finished heating up then eating her lunch, she promptly undid all the thick braids I'd put in, fluffed BabyGirl's hair into a giant knotty afro, then got to work on those tender hairs at the nape of BabyGirl's neck. After the first two braids, I told her they were too tight against BabyGirl's scalp and they had to be looser--enough to stick a pinky in so she doesn't develop traction alopecia. The woman, who never even introduced herself, said she'd do them looser, although under protest. She didn't.

By the time the 4th braid was in, I could see the tears welling in my baby's eyes. By the 5th, I called it quits. She was trying to be so brave. She leapt into my arms and sobbed right there in the shop (this from a child who'd rather do anything than cry in front of people), not wanting to get down for a good 5 minutes. We packed up our stuff and went home, holding hands all the way, both of us feeling terrible.

We came home and spent the next 2 hours carefully picking out those 5 tight, tight braids and trying to comb through the rest of her hair. By then, we were both just done with hair for the day so I just put her in two big puffs and we'll come up with a style this weekend. A total of 6 hours of hair related activities for two puffs; what a waste.

I'm much more traumatized by the whole thing. I feel like I led my precious baby into a lion's den, I feel like I should have followed my instincts and left before anyone touched her head. I'm just glad I stopped it when I did, that I did protect my baby (eventually), that she slept well last night (unlike me) and seems ok now. I'm glad we'll never go there again.


Barb said...

oweee. it makes my dreads hurt just thinking about it...

kim.kim said...

I think you taught her that you will step in and protect her, I think you made her feel like her mum is on her side.

I think you learnt to trust your inner voice today.

Mocha said...

Too many memories to count with this story, but you were right to stop them. I recall sitting with tears in my eyes the entire time I got braids even though I was happy with the result.

As an adult, I tried to get them once again. It was ok, but when I took them out a LOT of hair fell out then, too. A LOT. Not worth it. Kiss the precious baby girl for me. Tell her that I know.

tanilan said...

Poor baby! Sounds to me like that lady was just being hateful. She had to have known those braids were too tight.

I would have done the exact same thing you did. Hugs to you!