Oh Afro hair salons, how I love and loathe (mostly loathe) thee!
I needed Senegalese twists for the summer, but I couldn't book my favorite salon (yelp.com/biz/honey-hand-…). My friend recommended Crown and Glory. She must not really love me, because this place is not up to par.
Right off the bat, I noticed that the salon is run down. Paint is worn, fixtures are broken, and corners are crummy. The walls are plastered with glittery glamour shots of the owner, Victoria Cole. But her sequined gowns don't sparkle enough to cover up the fact that the salon desperately needs a make-over.
I came to Crown and Glory on Tuesday (18th) at 9:30am. I was warned that the salon does not take appointments and can become unbearably busy. Instead, it operates on a lottery system. When you walk in, you receive a ticket, take a seat, and wait until your number is called. Additionally, you must pay cash up front. That's how they get you! No matter what your style looks like, they've already got your money.
Like I said, I wanted bra-strap-length Senegalese twists. I paid £60, which is more than the "normal" length price of £50 and less than the waist-long length price of £70. These prices are relatively cheap for London. I'll give that one star. I have natural 4C hair, and I came to the salon with a one-day old twist out. My stylist began the booking by blowdrying my hair straight(er). Though my hair was super soft from two leave-in conditioners, I guess she didn't feel that it was manageable enough.
Then she asked to see the braiding hair that I brought, which was100% kanekalon. She let out a heavy audible sigh as she opened a pack and began to comb it out. I figured that she was having a personal moment, so I just left her to it. As she braided the back of my head, the stylist next to me looked over and made a comment about the braiding hair. I asked if there was a problem. She replied that I bought the wrong brand of hair. I've gotten box braids and twists more time than I can count, and I've always used kanekalon. There are a ton of brands with a kanekalon line, so I really don't think it matters which one you buy. But my stylist claimed that this hair was too hard to twist.
A more accurate assessment of the situation is: my stylist lacked the ability to do Senegalese twists! Though my glasses were off, I could tell that the entire style was off because the twists were uneven. She installed so many WONKY TWISTS in my hair (see pix)! Some of them look like she only twisted one strand, and then twisted it around the other strand. Rookie mistake! One twist in the front was so bad that I made her redo it while I was still in the chair. There were so many wonky ones that it would have been too much wahala/hassle to complain. My stylist literally would have had to start again.
She finished my entire (big) head in five hours, which is impressive. I'll give that another star, bringing the total to two. When she finished, she put the blowdryer on the hottest setting and blasted my scalp/hair with scalding heat as she finger combed my twists. I absolutely could not figure out why she did this. Next, she walked me over to the sink, I assumed to seal and straighten my ends with boiling water. Nope. She merely ran a little lukewarm water over my ends and walked me right back to the chair. Afterwards, she put my hair up in a half ponytail like it was 1996. Then she clipped the stray hairs around the crown of my head, but nowhere else. Finally, she removed the cape to signify that the style was complete.
Errrr no ma'am! I put my glasses back on and was sorely disappointed with what I saw. I immediately took down the half ponytail because it quite obviously didn't suit my face, and proceeded to inspect my hair. I asked her to clip the rest of the stray hairs that poked out of my twists. The stylist next to me -- yes that nosy women again -- said that clipping the remaining stray hairs wasn't possible, and my stylist agreed. I'm astounded that she was able to clip the ones on the top of my head but suddenly couldn't complete the task. Instead, the nosy stylist suggested that she blowdry them to burn them off. What the f*** type of logic is that?! My stylist busted out that blazing blowdryer again and put my hair at risk for heat damage (3rd heat use) instead of just clipping the damn strays! I wasn't as upset this time, because the alternative would have been to walk out of the salon with wet hair. Yeah, she never dried it after she wet it.
After she finished blowdrying my hair, she took the cape off again and walked away. That's it. She didn't ask, "How does it look now?" She didn't enquire, "Are you satisfied?" She didn't even say, "Goodbye." She just walked away without a single word. This wasn't a classic case of the UK's poor standard of customer service; this was just plain RUDE. So I walked out of the salon horribly dissatisfied with my WONKY TWISTS, HALO OF STRAY HAIRS, and RAGGEDY ENDS!
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