My Second Time at The Nature’s Gentle Touch Hair Institute

Hello people!

Long time no see! How is the going going? ^_^

My Tuesday started off on a slightly wonky note but I’m positive that it will end well. 🙂

I took my Nazuri Curls extensions down on Friday night, after wearing them for six weeks. 

I was ready to go even longer but I had really missed my hair. The extensions weren’t so much different from my own coils- let’s just say they are kinda close to what my hair would look like if it were a little longer and if I had a magic shrinkage defying product. I’ll do a post this week about how I tried my best to make the faux hair look as real as possible. So blending information and maintenance, you want to come back for this 😛 Seriously, I learnt more about manipulating this hair than I did when I wore it last year.

So. On Friday, I decided that I was going to take my ass to a salon on Saturday. Why? I have been sooo so busy, I have not been able to have any free days to myself, even on weekends. My wakabouting is just too much. I was determined that Sunday would be an easy day, and I did not want to do hair on Sunday. Washing my hair is really not a problem. It’s drying time that takes so long. I prefer to style my hair dry and stretched, so if I leave it to airdry in twists, it could be damp till Sunday night. So I decided that just this once, I’d go to a salon.

Back at the Nature’s Gentle Touch Hair Institute

I got to the salon in the morning, because I had somewhere else to go. When I don’t have time to waste, I like to go with the tested and trusted. I don’t try new things, or new people. The only place I’ve had my hair washed at since I went natural, is the Nature’s Gentle Touch Hair Institute. I know, I know- their products are greenwashed, with mineral oil very present- but I was there in February and I really enjoyed it. My hair was nice and soft, and the blow-out was so bouncy. The creative updo Ruth styled me was pretty cute and lasted for like 5 days- so I thought I’d try them again. My first visit was on the house, so I called in advance to get a quote. The man I spoke to on the phone told me it would cost 4k to wash and do a simple style- not too bad, right?

Except that I did not get the memo.

As a salon that does just real hair, no extensions, I didn’t know they put “virgin hair” in its own category. Also, I was aware that they don’t let people use other brands at the institute but it didn’t click that this meant that you should also bring their stuff if you have it. I have the Herbalblend line they use there, gathering dust in my house. Sigh. My stylist for the day, let’s call her T, informed me that because my hair is “long” (har-har-har) “virgin” hair, I was going to pay 5,500 to wash and dry. Wash/ simple style to hold body till I get to proper styling. Apparently if I brought my own products, I would have spent 4,000. And if my hair was relaxed, I’d have paid 2K pere. Just great. I got there an hour 30 minutes later than I had planned (it was raining and I was super tired) and they were already filling up so I was like whatever, mehn.

T must have thought I was being a bitch lol because I was NOT pleased. She shampooed okay, but I felt she was a little stingy with the deep conditioning treatment. I went with it, though. Time to blow my hair out, she was being a little rough with the comb attachment and I gave her a couple side-eyes through the mirror. Of course she was having a hard time putting a comb through my hair, when she had put so little leave-in/moisturiser in all this hair. At some point, I had to tell her she was being rough. And she was like “No, I’m not… What did I do? It’s because your hair is natural.” I told her I do my hair myself, so I know what I’m saying. Like you guys, I was there simply because my experience with Ruth was so amazing so you can understand my disappointment. I’m really bad at blowing my hair out myself (hand coordination not great!) so it pained me to see her give me a struggle blow out. It did. I touched the sections she had done and my hair was crazy dry. I didn’t say anything. Until…

Her: YOU HAVE DRY HAIR

Me: NO, I DO NOT HAVE DRY HAIR

Her: Yes, you do. I even used the moisturiser.

Me: Maybe you should have used more moisturiser? *side-eye*

Now, I know nobody likes being told how to do their job but- I do not “have dry hair”.

In fact, my hair was drier than it was when I came into the salon- 2 weeks since my last wash, oily with coconut oil. That Saturday, I remember thinking how surprising it was that my hair felt soft. Coconut oil prepoos nicely but it always leaves my hair crispy by the next morning. After our small exchange, she was quiet till we finished.

All the time I was just thinking I should have stayed home and washed my hair myself. The salon where I got the weave done, maybe I could work with someone in particular- maybe we could work out an understanding.

I don’t think she has much experience with natural hair because when we were finally through, she called someone else to come style my hair. A multi-bun updo was the first thing that came to mind but, the blow-out wasn’t a good enough stretch. I asked that they did 2 braids or flat twists. Maybe it’s because my hair wasn’t stretched enough, the results of that were also kind of “meh”.

Long story short, I’m going to have to get a hooded dryer to speed up the drying process when I style. Or in the alternative, I need to learn how to blow dry. Threading is not for me because it takes 2 or 3 days to dry and fully stretch.

On the bright side though, T gave me a decent trim. It was good, but I didn’t appreciate the over-combing of the sections and when she trimmed a section, she didn’t throw the hair off. She would let it fall back onto my head, which bothered me because, my hair likes to tangle and form complex knots. I protested and she said it didn’t matter because she would still comb it afterwards. No, aunty. Like ehn ehn.

You know how stylists can bully you at the salon? I didn’t feel bullied by T.  She was nice, well meaning, but nope, I do not want a repeat experience. It’s just, if I’m going to pay for someone else do my hair, I want it to be awesome. It should be two relaxing hours, not me tense and eyeballing you through the mirror. It’s like going to eat out (and being disappointed by the food) when there is rice at home.

In other news, my hair isn’t growing o.

Who have I offended? It is still the same length it was in February and I am SO over it. I’ve been protective styling a lot so I’m tempted to say protective styling may be overrated. I’m really really bored with my hair right now, and I want to do something. Cut it? Color it? Cut and color? Go through a phase of styling and wearing it straight? Something has to change. 🙁 Please if you know anywhere in Lagos that does amazing dye jobs, let me know in the comments, thank you! 

Bluddy Bleeding Bonnets

And one last thing- I bought a satin bonnet in June, at the Game store at The Palms. It is being produced by Lolavita Hair, I believe. This bonnet has stained my pillow cases. 🙁 I really wonder why. I didn’t want to believe it until I stained my friends’ own and she pointed it out. Have you tried this bonnet and experienced the same thing? If they have other colours apart from black, maybe you’d want to try them because, proper proper stains.

I’m not at all crusty on this blessed Tuesday, no. This post has been one long rant lol- but the only thing not cooperating in my life right now, is my hair. Life is good, and I’m thankful for that. We are working on making Naturals in The City 12 much more fun than all the others, so please save the date- September 26! More details soon!

Alright beautifuls. I want to know how you’re doing, how your hair is doing, what you’re up to. If you have any questions about the Nazuri Curls, feel free to ask away, so I’d put that in the post.

Love,

AB,

xx

34 Replies to “My Second Time at The Nature’s Gentle Touch Hair Institute”

  1. That plaiting style was wacky! And you paid so much for it! You should have done that yourself! I’m considering locking… At least I won’t have to comb hair for a while or have others rip me off!

  2. I never comment but I do follow your blog. I am natural, for 51/2 years and I have waist long natural hair. No it has not been easy. The only thing I will say that may affect your hair growth is combing. I cringed throughout this piece when you talked about the stylist combing through your hair. I had a similar experience when I was in Nigeria. The combing caused excessive breakage from the mid-shaft of my hair that the whole of that year, I did not see one inch. So perhaps, reconsider. Also, I will not recommend that you color your hair now since you are experiencing dryness and issue with length retention.

    I will suggest the following:
    1. cut down on your coconut oil use. You wrote your hair is straggly in the morning. This is a sign that you have protein overload in your hair. Coconut oil is a protein treatment. So try grapeseed, almond, or avocado oil.
    2. cut down on styling. A simple bun will do.
    3. Cut down on washing. I used to wash my hair weekly, now every two weeks. Less tension, more retention.
    4. use your fingers instead. If you must use combs, I suggest the gloves used for applying relaxers. That way you know when you are being harsh on your hair.
    5. More moisturizing treatments. Perhaps, try a different product than you are used to.

    But believe me, your hair has grown. Beautifully and full. I enjoy each and every post. Goodluck.

  3. That’s a really cold water experience especially since your first time was encouraging…kpele!
    Pls don’t color your hair if you’re currently in a bad place with it.
    Dyeing causes the hair to get drier and break more so you actually need to up your moisturising game before and after you color.
    So if you’re struggling with moisture and maintenance and length retention, dyeing your hair at that point is not the best idea.

    In terms of styling, I think being able to do your hair differently day to day is really overrated. Let’s forget all those random styles on Instagram and ish.
    Real life situations call for buns that last all year if possible. Random styles are usually just for special occasions or having so much time with so little to do.
    I really loved your buns and it’s okay to rock that until you’re inspired to try out something new.

    For length retention, I’ve noticed you’ve had a lot of styling going on, weaves, flat twists, threading, trims, heat etc. As your hair gets older, it gets weaker and what you did a year ago and still retained length, you can’t do the same thing and not experience some form of breakage. The less styles you do, the better. Maybe your hair is saying just leave me alone in a boring old style for 7 years…. Lol!

    Long epistle but I hope it helps.

  4. Five thousand five hundred naira did you say? To wash and dry? And you didn’t come out of the salon swinging your head and crumping to Uptown Funk? She washed your hair with two teaspoons of conditioner and ARGUED?
    I’ve only been to a salon once in the last 2 years and it was compulsory for bridesmaid duty. I got sick of the mental stress of policing these stylists abeg. Sorry about the rubbish experience.
    If your hair is really not growing, maybe try scalp massages to wake it up?
    I’m giving colour a try with hair chalk too. Fingers crossed I don’t stain everything before morning

  5. I’m laughing my as off and crying on your behalf at the same time. This is why I never go to the salon for anything more than braids or a weave. No natural hair care knowledge at all. That’s how one stylist was telling me with all conviction that edge control would make my hair soft. I was just there like…. You. Have. Got. To. Be. Shitting. Me! If I can’t do it myself in front of my mirror,, then it’s not a style I need to wear.

    I got a cut and a bold (considering I’m in med school) colour this year and I’m loving it! I got bored with my hair as well and decided to throw caution to the wind. If the colour ruined my naps, no problem, I’ve been looking for an excuse to do a big chop anyway.

  6. You’re right it really does get boring. I took of my weave too, expecting shoulder length hair lol but na. Nothing changed. Plus stretching takes forever 😔😏 I dyed my hair at home and love the results. Truth is the hair does grow but you need to see before and after pics to notice it. Shrinkage is nobody’s friend 😓😢

    http://www.artbecomesyou.com

  7. Sorry about the salon experience. I have just learned to accept that nobody can treat my hair to my own satisfaction. Maybe that’s why I hardly do protective styles because I dislike Nigerian Salons ALOT. And well the natural hair friendly salons are just too expensive. The only thing that would take me the salon are just protective style installations and Straightening. I hope to straighten my hair in October. I just go a new hair color and well the feeling is exciting.

  8. N5500 for washing and drying natural hair? When my hands are working very well? With a sass-mouthed hair stylist to boot? No can do. People do not realise that hair care is an art. You can just be clawing at people’s strands stupidly. Sorry about your experience. Don’t fret about your hair growth dear. I think you should try the hair trigger growth elixir or do the inversion method and see if they work for you.

  9. Aww sorry about your salon experience. It’s really annoying when you complain about how someone is handling your hair and they disagree like you’re not the one feeling it. I wish I could do braids myself so I wouldn’t have to spend my time and money at a salon.

    I feel like my hair isn’t growing too but I’m expecting some length retention after the trim I got. I’m also with you on getting that hooded dryer. Please let us know how it goes if/when you get it 😀

  10. Sorry about your salon experience. One wants to go there for a relaxing experience not to get stressed out. I haven’t been to a salon in almost a year because it ends up stressing my hair too much.

    Did you notice any change in the volume of your hair? I think it was IgboCurls who uses volume as her growth indicator. I’m excited to see what you decide.

    I use the Savvy and Chic bonnet and I find that it helps retain moiture better than my old one from the abroad. 🙂

  11. Hello Ekene,

    This post made me chuckle, Lol.

    “Know-it-all” hair stylists are one of the reasons why I learned how to fix a full head of weave all by myself. I sit calmly in front of the mirror in my bedroom, patiently doing the cornrows and then sewing the weave, track by track, exactly how I want it done and at a pressure that won’t kill my edges. I mean, there’s no point sewing too tightly and then having to give my own self the *side-eye* XD

    My mother says to me “Ijebu, you don’t want hairdressers to touch your money”, I flash her a grin and continue sewing my weave. She admires my perfectly styled hair and sings my praises when I’m done.

    I agree with you, sometimes one simply wants a Salon visit that is both relaxing and feels like a treat.

    I use the Savvy bonnet, perfect size and super nice floral satin fabric.

  12. LOL!
    This just reminded me about my experience at Lumo Naturals I blogged about in February.
    Gosh!
    I hate how it’s ridiculously more expensive to do Nh than relaxed hair, come on that’s slightly unfair.
    Hay and to think I’ve been saving date of when I’d go there to get a nice blow out and trim in November when I go to Lagos, ha Ono I must find my own Ruth oh lol.
    I think NH salons should employ stylists who know HOW to care for our mane, I mean, how you reacted was exactly how I reacted when I went to that NH Salon.
    Maybe you should try Kl’s salon? I think that’s my best option right now.
    Sorry about your unpleasant experience jade, better salons to open in the future, yass!
    My hair is in a protective style but is itching like crazy so I’m going to do a peppermint + avocado oil ‘cleanse’ because my hair ‘revolts’ when I fix.
    Dye dye dye dye dye but read about the changes your hair will go through before dyeing oh, you can also chop some lengths off if you feel like it, but for me, unless it’s a much needed trim, no to scissors lol.

    1. I’ll try Kemi next. I had my hair styled at hers last year and I liked it. A friend of mine told me about her unpleasant experience at another natural hair salon- they tried to blow dry her hair and pretty much succeeded in putting her off heat for good. It’s not easy running these places, can’t be easy. And though very good, the madams can’t be there all the time. Sorry about the itching, thanks girl! 🙂

  13. Lol.. Honestly i cannot stop laughing.
    But wait o, #5,500 for just a simple wash! Hmm.. Plenty money.

    My dear you did not offend anyone o. There are days like that, and the protective styling thing isn’t overrated. It has done wonders for my hair growth. But i suggest you give it a break now though, the growth thing is a phase. You will definitely come out of it..

  14. Eya! sorry about the salon experience, the lady should hv allowed you to add extra conditioner after she heard ur complain now, abi, for that price, the customer is king. Really loved ur piece abt Nola. Maybe u shld try weaving styles (going African).

  15. I totally relate with your salon experience. I couldn’t help laughing from every line of your post. For this very reason, I haven’t stepped in a salon for one whole year. I couldn’t stand how I had prepared to be in a place for stress to be taken off me, and then I end up getting stressed. Whew! Most salon stylists need to broaden their scope of knowledge. And keep up with trends- natural, texlaxed, relaxed…. anyway… my solution from unpleasant salon experiences, is to wash my hair at home and get a stylist to come by the house. Then we both go through sessions of “no! Not that way, please do it this way!”. I have even trimmed my hair severally by myself but then I ended up with one part short, and the other longer. #thatsAHabitIMustQuit but then are there any good recommendation for a good trim by an informed stylist? #HelpASister. As for hair Color… you really have go get an informed person to do that. I bet you don’t want to be a lab.rat! :).
    Love,
    Mobby.

      1. LOL, I was about to say KEMI LEWIS NATURALS ALL DAY EVERY DAY!

        BTW, from what I see on Instagram and from her dye jobs on wigs, Tasala HQ in Ikoyi seems to do well in that department.

        I’ve never been to Nature’s Gentle Touch, not sure I’ll go just because I really like Kemi for the few times I go to salons. Sawry about your experience sha.

  16. LOL! I have also been in the phase where I thought my hair wasn’t growing but that was after I dyed my hair! Guess what I did? I kept cutting it.. I think you need a trim..

    Don’t Dye your hair it would only get worse! From my experience and we all get to the point where we are bored with it.. I guess it a stage we have to pas through.. Start styling your hair a lot more.. Use new products, new diy tricks. And so on.. It should excite you a bit!

    Be easy..
    Love Laila xx

  17. You can try the savvy chic bonnets, I’ve been using mine for almost 2 years now. After my own terrible salon experience, I’ve been wary of salons. Pele. Please use temporary dye or hair chalk if you’re considering color, I’m already bored with my color, it’s not everything I thought it would be *side eye*

    Nappyhaired.com

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