I used to be SUPER cheap.
I would cut my own hair and look BOGUS for months, just so I wouldn't have to go to the salon to get it cut.
My hair would be uneven and I'd settle because at least I still had my hair.
I was also in college in rural Champaign, IL. I didn't have access to knowledgeable stylists.
(Me - 2012)
That's completely and utterly ridiculous now that I realize the value of a good SHAPE!
Think about it, a cheap cut that's bad will take 1 year to grow back.
That's expensive, time-wise.
A seemingly pricey cut, that is good, has little risk involved and you'll look bomb for about 6 months.
A cheap cut costs you $50 + 1 Year.
Like most curly/kinky naturals, we RUN from salons.
We spent years allowing stylists to put dangerous chemicals on our scalp, and since we reverted back to our real hair, we no longer trust them to even come near it.
That's understandable, given that many stylists today aren't educated on curly/kinky hair.
Some may even have proper licensing, but they are not taught on kinky hair, which means that their skills aren't transferrable.
So like most naturals, I did a big chop when managing two different textures became unmanageable and refused to step foot into a salon for the next 2 years.
(Me - 2010)
This means that I was only trimming my hair once a year....gasp....I know, it was bad.
And as a result, my blowouts looked like I had done nothing to my hair, and my flat ironing looked like a blowout lol.
My hair grew long, but I had knots and split ends everywhere.
I started my first company, a social network for natural hair and I came across a Chicago stylist, Aeleise Jana of AeleiseJana.com.
Here's a collab we did 4 years ago.
At the time, she was the only Devacut Certified Stylist in Chicago.
This meant she would cut your hair in its curly state, without straightening it.
I was EXTREMELY SKEPTICAL.
I was skeptical because that sounded too good to be true AND, I had been burned by stylists who "knew how to do natural hair".
Once, I went to a stylist while in college who claimed she could do natural hair.
I came with my hair detangled, sectioned, and clean.
She took it out of the sections, washed it, and then re-tangled my hair, and then RAKED through it.
I could hear my hair snapping as she ran the rattail comb through it.
YESSS! A rattail comb through my hair!
Then tried blowdrying it free hand.
I got up from her chair and left before she could finish my hair.
After arguing with her, I knew she didn't know what the hell she was doing.
I was livid but proud of myself for not letting her ruin my hair.
I went home and did my own hair.
(Me - 2012)
Back to Aeleise!
So naturally, you can understand why I was skeptical.
Before I went to Aeleise, I did ALLLLL the research.
I read her bio, looked up yelp reviews, and I even stalked her social media lol.
I was scared.
Then I saw her prices and I was like, I've never spent $100+ on a haircut before, but everyone who went to her had amazing things to say.
At this point, I was convinced enough to make an appointment.
I figured, I could keep going to the people I'd end up in an argument with and half done head, or I could go to a pretty salon, with a knowledgeable stylist, who actually cares about my head of hair.
When I got to Aeleise's salon, I had a head full of Shea Moisture conditioner, so it would be easy to detangle...smh, that was mistake number one lol.
She quickly educated me on the benefits of NOT using heavy products like Shea Butter on your hair.
She shares more in her 30DayHairDetox Group.
She shampooed me with a clarifying shampoo and explained to me what she was doing every step of the way and WHY!
That meant so much to me.
Much of my knowledge about haircare came from Aeleise.
She conditioned my hair, used a Wash N' Go gel to define my curls, which I didn't know I had at that point.
This experience sparked my love for DIY Flaxseed Gel, it gives you the best Wash N' Go ever.
I never even knew I could do a Wash N' Go until that moment, 4 years after going natural.
I could do a Wash N' Go on 4B hair.
Then she sat me under the dryer to set my defined curl.
Once I was dry, that took forever because I have A LOT OF HAIR, she took me out and cut my hair into this BOMB tapered look.
I was floored.
This was THEE BEST HAIRCUT OF MY LIFE.
Worth every penny.
Now, I only go to Aeleise to get my hair cut.
She's talented, smart, and I have the best experience when I go to her salon.
She was based in Chicago, but now she is based in Atlanta and travels to Oakland and Chicago frequently.
Her schedule is tight, but she'll give you the best cut and Wash N' Go you didn't know your hair could attain.
My hair has been through it all since this cut.
I've cut it shorter than this twice and grown it out.
(Tim & I - 2015)
I've colored it and so much more.
Now I'm trying to grow it out again and Aeleise is the only person I trust to cut it the way I like.
Here are some pics from a cut she did last month.
(Me - 2018)
Of course I LOVED it.
What's the best and worst haircut that you've gotten?
Comment below and let me know.