CAUCASIAN HAIR DAMAGE CAN ALSO BE SELF-INFLICTED
Wow, what a big business move we made by relocating our business about 40 minutes away from the hassle and bustle of metropolitan life in the City of London. It was one of those moves you make with a clear hope that you are going to have a healthier, better quality life after the stresses associated with major city life.
So we moved into the heart of Essex in England but luckily for us, Southend-on-Sea is a very bubbly City. It offers us the best of both worlds in the sense that we are close to London which is only a train ride away within 40 minutes; a tourist town where it is usually busy without any stress and to crown our fun; an exciting seaside town with all the trimmings – series of shopping malls all within walking distances, a train station within 2 minutes’ walk, a children’s adventure Island and a beautifully designed seaside beach within 2 minutes’ walk.
On carrying out our business research, we knew it was a City with less Black clientele – 5% to be close, and yet we were not worried as all the other factors above where okay and our business catered to all races.
So far our business move has brought me closer to a very interesting discovery. Self-inflicted hair damage is a problem for all-races. This is because prior to our move, my understanding of hair damage has been focused on Black hair where this is what you tend to read about a lot on the internet and in newspapers. With a clientele of mostly Blacks at the time, I believed this to be true as well. This is where our move to Southend-on-sea has brought me a different understanding of hair damage on all hair types. It has created a different experience regarding working with Caucasian hairtypes.
On this particular Saturday morning at about 8am, my telephone rings and I answer it. Prior to this call, I was getting prepared for a Festival event in the neighbourhood where we had been invited to braid the hair of 200 young girls in professional FA Football so preparing and putting all the materials required in my bag was an absolute necessity. I was very busy and did not want to forget any item as in events of this nature; the least forgotten item may become what ruins the whole event.
So when this telephone call came, it was simply an inconvenience that was going to distract my morning. All the same, I answered the phone and a man on the line asked the question “what time do you open your salon?” I told him the time which is 10am. Then there came a heavy pause on the line which I could tell were signs of desperation. So I probed and enquired if he was okay. Then it all came out as he answered.
“We are in front of your salon, my wife desperately needs help with her hair extensions, and could you come and help us.” I can tell a cry for help when I hear one and this was one of those times. So I told him to wait for me as I was going to be with him within 5 minutes.
Yes he waited and when I got to him, what I saw was an absolute shock – a young Caucasian lady with the whitest coloured hair I have ever seen. This hair was damaged, stringy and platinum white. I was in shock for several minutes. My immediate reaction was a mutter underneath my breath – “here we go again” and this is because I have seen incidents like this several times over.
On checking the state of this hair, it was extremely short – less than 2 inches natural hair attached to a very long length hair extension. I asked her to sit down and tell me what had happened and how I could help. She had bleached and coloured her hair several times over which had damaged her hair and now she needed the length back so she had gone to get a hair extensions service from a salon where they had added all this volume and length of 30” extensions to her about 2” natural hair but it looked so ridiculously fake. The worst part was that they had used black glue to add this platinum white beach blond extension onto her hair which was very visible considering her hair was very short.
How could I help, I asked? She wanted me to take out the extensions because the black glue was very obvious and did not let the extensions look real which made her feel self-conscious and look extremely ridiculous.
On further discussions, I found out that she had bleached and coloured this hair several times which had completely damaged her hair making it become very short. In a bid to recapture her locks, she had gone on to add the glue gun type of extensions to an already damaged hair. This method is very damaging and not encouraged especially for damaged hair. So this method had finally ruined her hair beyond repair and now she wanted me to help her take out the glue as the person who put it in, did not know how to take them out. This is what I call self-inflicted hair loss.
This is not a one-off experience. Prior to this lady, I have seen so many hair loss problems among Caucasians caused by series of bleaching, colouring and additions of unrealistic hair extensions. Most times, the hair comes in looking like spaghetti straws – absolutely lifeless and in colours that could be seen in the rainbow colours. Some of the clients say to me, that they have coloured their hair so many times, that they have no idea what their natural hair colour looked like. Put the television on and the number of adverts on hair colouring will get the message across, then walk into the beauty isle in any super market and you will be confronted with these colours. We have discovered too that nearly every Caucasian girl in Essex wants to be blond just like the girls in TOWIE (a television series called – the only way is Essex) hence the continuous drama just like the lady above. I have seen instances where the extensions have been applied with bonding glue up to the hairline. Another instance was where the glue was applied directly on the scalp to hold the hair together etc, etc.
There was also another major incident where this teenager walked in with her Mum. Her hair was so damaged, I had no idea what was on her head. It looked so frail, thin and extremely short that she used bobby pins to hold the hair together. She had bleached and coloured it so much that the hair was extremely lifeless and needed these pins to be held in place. What they wanted from me was a wig and as is normal in Essex, she wanted a blond wig. At this time, we had not stocked blond wigs so she wanted to have any colour wig fitted on so she could decide on the design to choose from. She sat down and we fitted a red coloured wig on her head. This wig was absolutely perfect on her head and the colour suited her face very well. The design also suited her so much; you would think it was her own hair. From the fit, her mother was so impressed, she told her daughter “This is really great! You do not have to colour your hair any more as we can buy whatever colour you want in wigs without damaging your own hair.” Then it finally dawned on me that the hair colouring and bleaching was one of the major reason responsible for Caucasian hair damage and this has always been self-inflicted hair damage as the decision to colour comes from the wearer. And there are so many more of instances like this that I meet most days as I operate from Essex. This brought home the memory of Black women and hair relaxers which just like colouring, is causing most of the Black hair damage and yet is another case of self-inflicted hair damage.
If any of the issues mentioned in this article has affected you, or you have an experience you will like to share with us, please feel free to do so. Also email us if you need our advice on any issues in this article.
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Joy a mother with her four children
About your Trainer
Joy Phido is an internationally established Natural Hair and Extensions Educator, Specialist, & Designer. Joy is a mother with 4 children and has first-hand experience on how difficult it is to work and run a family especially in the Western world. After working in corporate Nigeria as a banker and corporate England in telecoms, Joy tried her hands on buy and sell businesses which failed. She eventually realized that to succeed in business; you need to have a skill in your hands first. In addition to her natural passion and skill in hair designing, Joy took series of professional training from across different continents and now has the mission to give students real skill of running a hair Business. This is why World of Braiding has become a success and it is this passion of owning your own skill that motivates Joy in helping people who come to World of Braiding & Extensions for training.
Joy has a BSc in Business Admin, a qualified NVQ Level 3 Hairdresser, a State Registered Hairdresser (SRH) with UK Hairdressing Council, has over 20 years Natural Hair & Extensions experience. She is also a qualified teacher, an NLP practitioner with varied career experiences.
Before setting up World of Braiding & Extensions, Joy started teaching Braiding, Weaving & Extensions with the Newham Council Adult Education Department (Newceys) for 5 years at 4 Centres with some classes as big as 30 students. As the Chief Executive, Trainer and Artistic Director at World of Braiding & Extensions, her passion is to make Natural Hair and Extensions a professional skill as well as help stylist understand how to make money while designing glamorous clients.
Joy’s passion for natural hair is also associated with the fact that she experienced hair damage with chemical relaxers which made her start wearing natural hairstyles thereafter. She can be seen as the Doctor for healthy natural Afro hair where all her children wear natural hairstyles and she is no stranger on the internet writing from her blogs, teaching on Youtube with step-by-step videos to constantly enrich students’ knowledge with over 3million views and over 18,000 subscribers. She is also a Natural Hair & Extensions Business Mentor and adviser helping students & practitioners not only on how to get into the industry but how to become successful and prosper in the industry. She brings a wealth of knowledge and personal experience to this training to enhance your learning. World of Braiding & Extensions is constantly exhibiting at Hair events, giving talks in conference, taking part in major projects and designing hair for fashion shows and events.
Filed under: HAIR DAMAGE UNDERSTANDING | Tagged: black hair damage, caucasian hair damage, Essex extensions, hair damage, hair extensions, hair weave, Joy Phido, southend extensions, track extensions, world of braiding |