The Magic of Hairstylists Affirming Your Natural Hair


Image Source: Courtesy of Dove

For most of my career as an editor, I’ve had a recurring nightmare. In it, I go to a hair event, and instead of being happily welcomed into the hairstylist’s chair, they stare at my natural, type-four hair blankly before exclaiming, out loud, that they don’t know how to work with my texture. Mortified, I leave the event fuming because, admittedly, my hair is rather “difficult” to deal with.

In reality, this has never happened to me so blatantly, but I would be remiss not to mention the many times that I’ve forgone having my hair washed to stay within the allotted time of the appointment or have had a stylist claim that they have experience with type-four hair, only to be left with terribly blended extensions or a half-done “silk-press” that frizzes up an hour later. It’s the reason I barely accept these invitations to begin with – I sometimes leave feeling worse about my hair than when I went in.

With this background, when I have an experience for work that goes well, it stands out. At a recent event with Dove, I had the pleasure of sitting in celebrity hairstylist Lacy Redway’s chair. From the moment I sat down and her assistant, Shoshana Contaste, washed my hair with the new Dove Scalp+ Hair Therapy Density Boost collection, the duo constantly reaffirmed how much they loved my hair, and how manageable and how soft it was. At one point, they even said how easy it was to work with and I, very unexpectedly, found myself almost starting to cry.

As someone who grew up with combs breaking in my hair and people telling me how much they fear doing any sort of hairstyling on me, this was the first time that I had ever heard the words “your hair” and “manageable” in the same sentence. Before sitting down, I had begun to apologize to them because I didn’t get a chance to detangle my hair ahead of time, and Redway’s response was, “I will stay here until midnight if I have to – you won’t be leaving my chair unsatisfied.”

The experience underscored just how important the role beauticians, especially hairstylists, play in people’s lives. Redway made me feel seen and, more importantly, affirmed. Everyone should be granted that luxury when they go in for a service, whether they are a beauty editor or not – and especially no matter their hair texture. To me, that’s just as valuable as walking out with a great hairstyle (which, of course, I did).

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