Calling all naturalistas: Do you have urgent tress questions? If so, you’re in luck. Every Thursday, natural hair blogger extraordinaire CurlyNikki will be solving your curly hair conundrums!

Check out the newest installment in CurlyNikki’s reader Q&A series:


What qualities should I look for in a natural hair stylist/salon? — April Cobbs


Although I don’t have a stylist, I recommend the following:

Be the expert: Don’t trust that any stylist will know your hair better than you. You’re with your hair 24/7 — your stylist only sees you once or twice a month. Learn what styling and care techniques work best for you and relay that to your stylist. Let them do their job, but it never hurts to have some knowledge to bring to the table.

Reputation: If I wanted a new cut tomorrow, I’d talk to my natural girlfriends, family members, even strangers (with healthy-looking hair, of course) about who does their hair. It always helps to see a stylist’s work before you make the appointment!

Rapport, rapport, rapport: First and foremost, you have to work with someone you trust. You’re entrusting your hair to this person! You should feel free to speak up, protest, and also give credit where credit is due. Building a great working relationship is half the battle.

Clientele: Ask the stylist about her usual clientele — does she prefer to work with relaxed or natural hair? Some stylists prefer the ease of working with relaxed heads, and might even encourage you to relax or texturize your chemical-free strands. Find out before you sit in her chair!

Products: What do they have sitting out? Jane Carter or Motions? I’m not saying products are everything, but the quality of product (and the ingredients) truly tells you how well-versed the stylist is in the natural world.

Nikki “CurlyNikki” Walton is a psychotherapist and creator of the largest online natural hair resource. Along with tips and product recommendation, Walton also implements her psychotherapy skills in the sub-section “On the Couch with Curly Nikki.