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Beauty Geek: Damaged Hair & Annoying Attendants! My Experiences with Terrible Customer Service in Lagos Salons

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Beauty Salon - BellaNaija - December 2015_001The poor state of customer service in Lagos, or rather Nigeria as a whole, is something everyone laments about. It’s nothing new, but sometimes it can be so unbearable and ridiculous.

A while ago, I decided I was going to take care of my hair myself instead of going to the hair salon. I was simply tired of the way they treated my hair “anyhow”. But then last week, I was so tired and my hair was so dirty, I knew I could not wash it by myself – so off I went to the hair salon close to my house.

*Insert deep sigh here*…this trip to the salon reminded of all the reasons why I dreaded salons. I could have gone to a more ‘assuring salon’ because I am sure not all salons are the same, especially those expensive high end ones, but why would I go to a ‘big salon’ just to get my  hair done?

My decision to go back to this salon however, reminded me of many, many problems I had encountered in the past at various salons.

First of all, my hair is quite long and full, so whenever they would see my hair, they usually wanted to charge me extra money or complain about how much stress my hair was going to give them. That’s not all, they always gave me a headache when combing my hair. Whenever I would go to the salon and survive it, I always wondered how many strands I had left on my head. Sometimes I had to caution them or just grab the comb to do it myself.

Don’t even get me started on how many times I’ve been forgotten under the drier, or how many times I’ve had to monitor my hair on my own while the attendants are “gisting” in a corner. I mean, am I the customer or what?

I remember the very first time I got my hair straightened with a hot iron – it was horrible. The hair stylist did not apply enough oil or heat resistant on my hair and my ends started to break off badly. Even till date I get very skeptical about using hot irons on my hair.

The worst cases have been those times I wanted to braid my hair – they’ve dealt with me. I would explain the hairstyle to the stylist and she would claim she knew exactly what I wanted. Then when she would start braiding, she would do something entirely different. I never understood what the issue was. And, the crazy thing was, when I would complain, she would still argue with me like she’s the one who is right. In the end, someone always had to come take over and finish up.

I could go on and on, but if I did, we’d be here all day.

I believe everyone deserves proper treatment and services in exchange for their money. Maybe most of these people just don’t realize that the success of their business depends on the standard of their customer service. If you don’t treat your customers right, do you think they’re going to come back to you?

I still have hope that change will come…question is when?

Have you had horrible experiences at any hair salon? If yes, then share then with me!

Photo Credit: Dreamstime/PhotographerLondon

Ojuolape Asekun is a beauty enthusiast with a degree in Chemical Engineering. She is also  the founder of Beauty Geek, an online platform through which she expresses her passion for helping others become beautifully confident Website: www.beautygeekng.com

30 Comments

  1. Bey

    December 8, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    My dear a lot of these hair stylist are semi-illiterates, im not using d word to bash them, but a lot of them didn’t even finish secondary school. That word ‘customer service/satisfaction’ u mentioned. Half don’t know the meaning, talkless carrying it out. Majority don’t know any better, this is the way a lot of them are trained and dey just keep carrying on. A lot of dere salaries are not more than 30/40k.
    A lot of high-end salons you get better service bcos the stylist are actually trained professionals who probably went to cosmetology schools, dey know d meaning of time/money. Some own dere own service seats, so they need to finish up fast and move on to d next client.
    On days I decide to go to my regular down town salon, I just make sure its a sat/sun, bcos wit a simple treatment be ready to spend ur whole day there. You d customer will be d one to look for who will wash ur hair, who will blow dry, who to weave etc. If you require excellent service you need to dig real deep into ur pocket………….. and im not always readily able to do dat.

  2. bruno

    December 8, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    as in eh, when u are trying to direct them toward the style u want they start to shout.
    “IT IS MY WORK”
    “ARE U TELLING ME MY WORK”
    “I HAVE BEEN DOING IT FOR 20 YEARS”

    even tailors. nigerian tailors are the worst. they can never sew what I want even after I describe it to them. everytime I am always arguing with a tailor. because of nigerian tailors I dont sew clothes again.

    chai. I am tired of this country I swear. I have decided to learn how to sew to avoid the constant fights I have when I come in contact with nigerian tailors.

    • Mz Titilitious

      December 8, 2015 at 3:19 pm

      Bruno u b woman?

  3. Nne

    December 8, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    I have a very long hair retouching has always been a big challenge for me, this so called stylist they pull at the hair as if they are combing attachment. the last experience I had was horrible the strand of hair that was pulled off my hair will be enough for Ghana weaving. I just resolve NEVER AGAIN to retouch my hair at the salon I will rather do it myself and DH has volunteered to assist.

  4. sarah

    December 8, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    You don’t know the half of it, now that I am natural ehn,it is even worse. I end up fighting anytime I go to the salon,my friends have refused to go to the salon with me. The other day,one morafuker wanted to use candle to burn my natural hair,all in the name of she wanted the braids to be neat

    • Bella

      December 8, 2015 at 1:57 pm

      My sister i know dis one o. Kai we have suffered sha! If I begin to tell you my own! the problem is we dont have much choice because those high end salons cost a lot o, so we are tied to dis people that don’t even understand that hair follicles can be severely damaged due to pulling and over heating and all sorts! God help us o. I wish I could keep my hair like Zainub, short and sweet but not all of us have such fine sculptured heads. I have to taken to also combing my own hair and keeping my hair roots intact and also always requesting that they reduce the heat on the blow dry machines – too much heat o! and finally, i draw the line at the curling hot iron, mba! na lie.

  5. Bee

    December 8, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    It’s even worse with natural hair

  6. JADE

    December 8, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    one of my worst experiences was the day i decided to try out a new salon, i asked the attendant to wash my hair. As we settled in to begin, i sat and put my head/hair in the wash basin, and the attendant poured water and shampoo on my hair, immediately she stretched her hands to start scrubbing my hair, the unholy smell that assaulted my nose was unbearable, i open my eyes to ascertain what the problem was and right in my face was her armpit with unshaven hair that had turned white, i dashed out and threw up in the gutter and that was the end of hair washing

    • Tkum

      December 15, 2015 at 12:12 pm

      loooool

  7. Ndidi

    December 8, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    OMG!! Saloons in Lagos!! I was just looking for the right opportunity to lament. I HAD one of the best hair ever, i was always thankful to God. i didn’t need a weave, it was very thick, rich, long, black and very full, it looked like the “team natural” afro even when retouched. Lagos saloons dealt with me, they can never be wrong, before you say one word they’ll finish you with yoruba and continue frying ur hair with straighteners set on the highest level.. my hair has cut badly, It breaks and sheds badly. saloons have burnt it with hair straighteners sooo many times that my hair has different lengths, the front has chopped badly and now it looks like i’m going bald in some places. To top it all dandruff wan kill me *waiillliinngggg uncontrollably* TO GO TO ANY SALOON FRIGHTENS ME. I heard natures gentle touch can help, has anyone tried them? any testimonies? HELP PLEASE!!

    • DatEnuguChic

      December 8, 2015 at 3:43 pm

      Yes Natures gentle touch products are very good and have been using their relaxers, hair cream and dandruff treatment for some years now. try it

    • Don't get me started!!!

      December 8, 2015 at 8:30 pm

      Taaahhhh Natures gentle wetin? Expensive charlatans!! Yes, I know it’s expensive to run a shop in V. I but those guys just take the Mickey. Can you imagine washing your hair at a salon for N5,500? I nearly fell off my chair the first time I got there. If you ‘buy’ their products and use them, you pay N3,500 and I’m wondering, I’m here to style my hair and you’re charging me for washing it?

      To do a 20 minute up do there costs N3,500. Daylight robbery. On hair that will not last up to a week? Abeg. Make I hear word. O gal. Look elsewhere.

      We need to learn to be more self-sufficient in this country. As for me, I try to do as much as I can for myself now. Who dash monkey banana to collect my money just to wash my hair? Odiegwu!

    • Heck No!

      December 8, 2015 at 10:10 pm

      Really? I’m defo saving my money. Been hearing about em and I thought I’d give it a go this Christmas but I think I will have to stick to my Surulere roots. Thanks!

    • DatEnuguChic

      December 9, 2015 at 11:14 am

      @Don’t get me started!!!……………….You are a typical Nigerian. I talked about the products and you started ranting about their salon services and prices. I live in Enugu and i have never been to their salon and probably never will cos i dont like to patronise these so called high end salons cos they are ridiculously expensive. I invest in good products and my hair is a testament to that. Natures Gentle touch products are good though a little pricey. My advice will always be invest in good products and the result will be worth it

  8. Yrimu

    December 8, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    BN you just read my mind. I was discussing this with DH this past weekend. A little background- I am not into all the beauty stuff, the most I do is thread my eyebrows. I don’t skin tone, don’t bleach, dont do my nails.
    Every time I go to the salon, they tell me I have to be on point, that’s what is in vogue.
    Eventually I resort to speaking Swahili and let them know I am not interested in all that.

  9. abby

    December 8, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    True True True… everything said here and more…My advice learn to handle your hair yourself or stop going to cheap salons if you can afford it. There are really good salons with capable hands around.

  10. Iphee

    December 8, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    1. I decided to invest in a few gadgets of my own to ease some of the salon drama : hand drier, combs, shampoos, towels and sometimes go the DIY route.

    Try out different salons and get to know their strengths and weaknesses.
    1. From experience most salons run by older people ( Ghanians and Aunty type women ) are better in handling natural hair – go to them for your natural hair styling I.e retouching ur roots, deep conditioning etc

    2. Younger gals ( usually the more fashion foward i.e 16″ & above weave lenght, always red carpet ready make up on with cheap trendy clothes on ) are usually better at fixing weaves, nails and trendy braids.

    3. Get friendly with one of the stylist ( call her a few days ahead to book you appointment & call ahead on d day ) so you don’t spend the whole day waiting at the salon and get ready to tip generously from time to time.

    That goes a long way to help cause most of these salons are a living nightmare

  11. Josephine

    December 8, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    My worst experience was at an expensive salon on Bishop Aboyade Cole in VI. The stylist was so rude when I tried to explain that I don’t want to put gel on my hair. She made it so obvious that she was talking about me to another stylist in their language. To make matters worse the owner was there and didn’t correct them.

    • Busco

      December 8, 2015 at 8:34 pm

      Abeg tell peeps the name so nobody falls for their nonsense. Thanks in advance

    • Nwaoma

      December 15, 2015 at 11:11 am

      LOOOOL. it’s called Nail Studio. Not only are they outrageously expensive, the stylists do not know courtesy.
      i only go there these days to thread my brows or buy estee lauder products.

  12. Dairy of a naija mom.

    December 8, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    Don’t even bother when you are team natural.

    • Mahka

      December 9, 2015 at 7:50 am

      I just tire eh! I have turned to a hair DIY person.
      So,I decided to try the natural hair means,from my relaxed hair since April but the journey has been difficult…From salons discouraging me to relax the hair to charging me higher cos of the stress my hair puts them through. Some even suggested I do d big chop…I gave up a lot of hairstyles to try this now I feel I might not continue,the only person that has patience for my hair is my braids lady on top extra charges oh!

      Ps: I was introduced to this product; ‘Botanical hair texturizer’, anyone who has used it please throw some light.

  13. Sisi

    December 9, 2015 at 8:18 am

    Exactly don’t even bother if you’re team natural, you’ll end up going home with a headache. I heard about O’Naturals and I’m looking forward to trying them out. Any reviews on them would help mbok?

  14. Crystal

    December 9, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    I have good salons now and I stick to them. I’m a Surulere babe and grew up using Downtown but that place na jungle now.

    My hair is natural now and I use O’ naturals on Ogudu road and Tamie’s place on the road to Luth.

    My sister retouches her hair only at Tamie’s Place now cos she maintains healthy hair for you and uses correct products instead of plain chemicals.

    You guys can try any of them.

  15. afrovixen

    December 9, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    Una still dey for this matter? When salons like TasalaHQ dey for ground? Please save yourself the wahala, especially as a naturalista and book an appointment there. Clean, bright, airy space with plenty of magazines

  16. Brightstar

    December 10, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    THIS IS EXACTLY MY STORY.IT STILL HAPPENS,SO I DECIDED NOT TO BRAID MY HAIR AGAIN.

  17. Mrs. Somebody

    December 10, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    Please suggest where I can get a good weave installed for reasonable price. I cannot imagine paying 10k to just install a weave. Like?!

    • Nwaoma

      December 15, 2015 at 11:15 am

      Reasonable is relative. Tasalahq installs for 7k. and my closure and weave was still so snug until i took it off 5 weeks later so if that’s reasonable for you….

      and like someone said above, her place is very bright and airy. No loud music or unnecessary iranu.

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  19. Orellama

    November 20, 2016 at 5:32 pm

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