HairFilter - Afro Girl at the edge of the universe
March 4, 2010 7:23 PM   Subscribe

HairFilter - I need a hair cut. I have kinky hair. In NYC, under $250

After perming (chemically straightening to those that don't get the terminology) my hair since I was 9 I chopped off all my hair on my second week of college. Fast forward 5 years and I still don't know how to take care of my naturally curly, kinky hair.

I am extremely distrustful of hairstylists that do nothing but convince me to try the latest get-straight-hair concoctions. For about two years I kept my hair pretty short, but now its long. My hair is enormous, it is thick, kinky, curly, insane and all around a mess. For an example of what my hair sort of looks like see this but imagine it 3 times the size and far far thicker.

It makes me absolutely miserable. Its so much hair, I don't know what to do with it. I'm not saying this to exaggerate, I've tired out hairdressers who've been in the business all their lives. I never worried much about looks, but the state of my hair is getting to be too much.

Now my question is I need to get a haircut from professionals who understand kinky, afro hair, in NYC. I cannot spend more than $250. And they need to teach me how to care for my natural hair.

Any suggestions?
posted by lifeonholidae to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (15 answers total)
Regardless of your race or ethnic background, if you have kinky curly hair, you want a stylist who specializes in cutting and styling black women's hair. I don't have a specific recommendation, but if you know black women who wear their hair in natural styles, ask them where they go. Also, I can't recommend strongly enough Carol's Daughter products.
posted by decathecting at 7:57 PM on March 4, 2010

thank you for the response. i don't personally know any black woman with natural hair (that isn't locked).
posted by lifeonholidae at 8:05 PM on March 4, 2010

I've also had pretty good luck asking attractively-styled strangers on the street for recommendations. People tend to be really flattered if you say, "I absolutely love the way you style your hair. Would you mind if I ask who cuts it?"
posted by decathecting at 8:10 PM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

good idea. i'm kinda shy but i'll get over it to get a good hair cut.
posted by lifeonholidae at 8:20 PM on March 4, 2010

Have you heard of Devachan? I know they specialize in curly hair and have their own line of products. Also check out Naturally Curly. You can get salon and product recs. I have big curly hair too and learned tons from this site. It can be overwhelming at first. Oh, and my cut at devachan cost around $175. That was several years ago though.

I can dig up a few more links if you are interested. Don't forget - big hair is hot! Rock it.
posted by mokeydraws at 8:26 PM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

my former neighbor sabina was amazing with hair. it's been a long time, but i think she works at manhattan color studio, googling gives this number: (212) 517- 3400, 70th at lex.

good luck!
posted by kimyo at 8:34 PM on March 4, 2010

Seconding Devachan and Naturally Curly. Their forums (which mokeydraws linked to) have been incredibly helpful in my battle with my own curly hair, and I can't recommend them enough. If you figure out your curl type and go to the proper section of the forum, there will be lots of great product ideas, and there's another section dedicated to salon/stylist talk.

(Devachan and NC are based around the idea of not having certain bad chemicals in your hair - things like silicone that are found in most conditioners are actually quite bad for curls. Devachan has their own salon in SoHo, but also train other stylists. I ended up going to a stylist elsewhere who had been trained by them, but search on the forums and see who's recommended for kinky hair. Warning: this may actually revolutionize the way you deal with your hair, and a Devachan stylist will definitely not ever tell you to straighten it)
posted by alphasunhat at 9:45 PM on March 4, 2010

Thirding Devachan.
posted by unknowncommand at 9:59 PM on March 4, 2010

You're lucky you live in NYC! I have heard of two really well-known salons in the area: Miss Jessie's in Brooklyn and Dickey's Hair Rules Salon. I don't know about prices, but a cut and consultation should be relatively reasonable.

Also, I suggest that you register at the Nappturality Forums. They have info about natural hair salons in various regions, but they also have a wealth of info about natural hair care and products. Natural hair can be difficult to handle if you don't know what you're doing and/or you don't have the right tools. Once you get the hang of it, though, it's so easy and you'll never go back.

As far as products go, I like Karen's Body Beautiful. She's got a boutique in Brooklyn and her products are fantastic.
posted by chara at 10:55 PM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

I've heard some very mixed reviews about the Hair Rules and Miss Jessie's salon experiences and products. They tend to use less natural ingredients. Seconding Chara's recs for Karen's Body Beautiful. I've gone to the store in Brooklyn and ordered online as well. Good stuff.
posted by mokeydraws at 7:21 AM on March 5, 2010

First of all, if your hair is like that model's in texture- tight spiral curls about 1cm in diameter, then it's not quite accurate to call it kinky- a more accurate term would be tightly curly. But before you go cutting it, I suggest you try a different styling technique- Teri LaFlesh's Tightly Curly (formerly called Biracial Hair) method.

There's an amazing website for this type of hair texture, with a whole methodology explained in detail- The site is down right now but I know hair-blogger Teri LaFlesh (look at that hair!) just published a book so I assume it's being re-vamped? Keep checking. Meanwhile, also check out Google and YouTube for ideas- here are links pertaining to Teri's method. Teri has that model's exact hair texture and her styling tips will totally make you love your hair and never want to cut it again. On the blog there's a page taking you through all her hairstyling experiments since childhood. Now her tight curls are down to her hips and they are swoon-worthy.

(I'm speaking as someone who also has an enormous cloud of curly hair and uses her methods religiously. Basically: avoid shampoo, use tons of conditioner in the shower, only comb or brush hair when it's wet and saturated with a ton of conditioner, blot gently, then style with a ridiculous amount of shower conditioner and individually clump your hair into curls while it's still wet, then don't touch it til it dries... it'll look great for days if you do this!)
posted by pseudostrabismus at 9:21 AM on March 5, 2010

Have you taken a look at Tendrils in Fort Greene? They were pretty amazed at the density of my hair but managed to get it into respectable shape with a twist-out style.
posted by TG_Plackenfatz at 7:53 AM on March 6, 2010

thank you for the response
posted by lifeonholidae at 11:11 PM on March 6, 2010

i went to the tightly curly blog and my lord, that woman is a god send! this is the kind of thing i wish i learned years ago!

thank you so much
posted by lifeonholidae at 11:40 PM on March 6, 2010

nthing devachan

i'm not the type of lady who would usually spend more than $35 on a haircut, but I got my first cut from them recently and I was very happy with it. I have frizzy loosely-curled hair, but the girl getting her hair cut after me had the biggest, most beautiful 'fro i've ever seen! Their products are great, the stylists helpful, they explained to me exactly how to care for my hair, showed me how much product to use (without trying to convince me I needed to buy their entire line of products), how to dry my hair, everything.

i made an appointment with a junior stylist and it set me back $85 + tip.
posted by inertia at 5:40 PM on March 10, 2010

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