My friend Nontsikelelo sent me this video after a conversation we had about the unchecked levels of attitude black salon hair stylists have when it comes to their customers. If you go to a salon in say Sandton or Rosebank, the standard attitude towards customers mirrors that of general standards of service in South Africa. They are friendly, they give you tea, coffee or water and they generally don’t suck their teeth or look at you funny when you are being pedantic. This is in the bhujwa areas.
I went to a salon in that ghetto mall in Milpark the other day. When I arrived there were two guys shaving two men and a woman with a big wig like weave who was standing up, bare footed, wearing a turquoise velour suit and eating chicken right there next to the rollers and the combs. It was the epitome of I don’t even need to speak to you to know that you are going to give me attitude. Her fingers were oily and she was talking louder than the Nigerian movie that was BLASTING off the television perched in that typical salon TV corner spot. She didn’t pay me any attention. I walked in and it was the men who told me to sit and wait, she just looked at me and after about 5 minutes of the torture chamber that was watching and listening to demons being exorcised from a Nigerian movie character (literally), she walked past me. I thought she was going to turn the volume down but no, no sirrry! Did she not bend down, open bar fridge and take out a 2.5l not even a 2l, a frikkin 2.5l Coca Cola? That was the moment I took my bag and started to reevaluate my life. Why am I here? I’m Miss Milli B (hahahah I joke). When I heard that pssssh sound of the Coke opening ontop of dramatic screams coming from the television, that was my breaking point. I stood up and said, it’s okay, I’m going. She didn’t even bat a fake lash!
The point of this story is that a lot of African hair salons around the world, as discussed with Nontsi, are not there for the customer. In fact, a lot of the times customers are treated like they are a nuisance to the salon (the original meaning of the French word was to describe official spaces where French women could meet and talk and eat and chatter) ambitions of African hair salons. This hilarious video is a perfect example of that. Make sure you can laugh out loud where you are watching this.