Hey dolls, doing good today? Yesterday was my Nappyversary so I decided to give my hair some TLC with heat, lol, the irony right? I set up an appointment with Lumo Naturals Salon here in Abuja for a blowout, straightening and trimming session, this is going to be a long post. Lumo Naturals Salon is a natural hair salon in Abuja (the only one I know of based on referrals as at the time this post was written) situated at Suite G8, Mbouty Plaza, Marcus Garvey street, off fifth avenue, Gwarimpa. Their website is under construction for now so it won’t be linked in this post, however you can give them a call on 09-2911727 to know their pricelist. Price – to wash, blow dry, straighten and trim was N4000. First Impressions/My Experience Locating the salon was a bit difficult, I was not mobile so when I dropped at fifth avenue in Gwarimpa, I boarded a keke to the place, and for my lack of understanding the Hausa language very well I could not explain the place to the keke guy so we were merry-go-rounding until I gave them a call and a landmark (Emirates hotel) was given. The plaza is right behind Emirates hotel and it is a popular hotel so if you’re not mobile like me, board a keke straight to Emirates hotel. Once you’re in the plaza, the salon is straight down from the entrance with Lumo Naturals written on the sliding doors. It’s a square shaped salon, quite small so you cannot throw a party in there. There are three hair stylists there, a sofa, products for sale on display, regular mirror and chairs facing it, some nice natural hair quotes on the wall, it was okay but I wasn’t blown away maybe because I expected so much. The ambiance was normal, I didn’t feel I had just walked into a natural hair salon; it seemed like a regular salon with natural hair quotes on the wall. Detangling First step was to detangle my hair, my hair was parted in four sections and held with butterfly clips, the stylist got a spray bottle with pretty much just water in it and spritzed on my hair to start the detangling process. I was taken aback. Fine, water is a really good moisturizer and detangler but I expected a detangling conditioner or a detangler should follow suit and not just water. My hair wasn’t detangled by raking fingers through; it was “detangled” by tugging at my hair. From that my countenance dropped. I couldn’t believe it. So till I left the salon I did not smile. Washing After detangling, it was time for a wash, my hair was washed with Hair Fruits conditioner and Vo5 shampoo, then I went back to the stylist’s sit before the other one pointed out to her that I wasn’t going to get a treatment, I was also taken aback, I had called them by say 11am to remind them of the details of my session which will be to wash, blowout, straighten and trim so which one is treatment? I went back to the washing seat and my hair was conditioned with Afro Chic Deep Penetrating Conditioner which smells like banana by the way (quite nice). Moisturizing My hair was wrapped in a towel which looked like it was divided into two and had faded, Cantu Shea Butter Leave-in Conditioning Repair Cream was first added as a leave-in, followed by coconut oil and then this Olive Oil Hair Serum but I didn’t check if it was the heat protectant serum or just regular gloss polisher serum and that was all. I didn’t get a moisturizer on my hair neither did I get a better heat protectant. Blow-drying Next was to blow dry my hair, sectioned into four parts, she started to finger detangle (rake) my hair and blow dry at the same time, first with high heat followed by the cool shot but she forgot sometimes to change it back to the cool setting. Straightening After blow-drying, the second stylist wanted to trim my hair but I hesitated and asked for my hair to be straightened first before trimming. The straightener used was the Revlon straightener at really high heat. At the back of my mind I was praying I don’t have heat damage after all this heat without proper protection. At first she would straighten my hair by only finger detangling (finger tugging more like) and use about six passes of the straightener on my hair. I hated that frying/sizzling sound and I was so scared of heat damage I told her it shouldn’t be more than three passes and she should use a comb instead of finger detangling. Amidst straightening, the owner of Lumo Naturals came around and asked the stylist to turn off the straightener because the “smoke” coming out of it was overshadowing the air in the salon. She then turned to me and asked what I wanted to be done to my hair. I told her then she asked why I wanted to trim my ends, it was so clear that my ends were raggedy but I still told her it’s because they sound crusty and the knots are too much. She then talked about the sizzling/frying sound my hair gave out while being straightened (to me that was my hair crying out for help) and I pointed out that my hair wasn’t moisturized because my porosity level is high and the oils just sit on my hair instead of penetrating so I use less oil but the stylist wanted to drench my hair in coconut oil until I told her to stop. She said I should try to reduce my hair’s porosity. It is almost impossible to change the porosity of your hair. You can do a moisture balance which I’m working towards but my porosity cannot change from high to low or normal. I was born this way. Trimming Working in four sections still, the left back section was trimmed as a whole; same went for the right back section. The front sections were trimmed in smaller parts. The bad/alarming I practically went from one end of Abuja to the other, Gwarimpa is not in town so I went all the way to get my hair did and I wasn’t impressed. Let me outline why.
- I booked an appointment on Monday and also called to remind them Wednesday morning and I expected them to know what I wanted to do already and not ask if I want a treatment or not. That’s being unorganized.
- It seems these stylists were not properly trained on the diversity of natural hair. It doesn’t stop at having a type 4 hair, you should know the characteristics of each customer’s hair so there should be a mini consultation before the whole process starts, I wasn’t asked if my hair liked oil or not, some people don’t like that much oil on their hair, some would rather you use a comb and so on.
- They have a streamlined way of doing natural hair. Because my hair is natural doesn’t mean you can’t use combs, you can if you ask and if you know when to use a comb. During my blowout, my hair wasn’t even stretched in twists first then combed while blow-drying for a smooth and stretched look, instead she was finger detangling, that’s wrong and I take that as an insult just because my hair is what, thick and natural?
- If I go to a salon, it is because I want to get all that pampering and treatment I wouldn’t ordinarily give myself. I can’t still believe my hair was just washed with Hair Fruits conditioner, Afro Chic conditioner and VO5 shampoo for N1200? Nothing extra. No ACV rinse, no deep conditioning, nothing, yet I paid N1200 for washing?
- Trimming of hair is very sensitive because some hairdressers get too scissors happy but if you go to a natural hair salon, you’d expect most if not all the stylists to be fully trained. I practically showed them how to trim my hair by placing my hair in-between their index finger and middle finger, for me that is ridiculous.
- My hair wasn’t moisturized for the process it underwent and I didn’t get that smooth straightened look. I ended up with a fro, a blown out fro.
- It’s good to know there is a salon that caters for your natural hair needs here in Abuja.
- The trim was fair enough, most of those knots are out and my hair looks even.
Would I visit Lumo Naturals again? For now, no. I would handle blowing out and straightening my hair myself till I find a regular salon that trims natural hair well. I left the salon and went to Tutti Frutti at Shop 5, Plot 616, 3rd Avenue, Gwarimpa, Opposite Drumstix (08055120298) to get myself some frozen yoghurt for the pain and yes it was worth it. Love love love! I got three flavors: green apple, blueberry and I think either kiwi or lemon in a 12 oz cup with pure strawberry and sweet-sour gummy rings for N1189.65, lol they weigh the cup for accuracy. Embedded are two YouTube videos on straightening natural hair and blow-drying natural hair, both on type 4 hair. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCSnLtnCrks http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJhNBdNztLQ After watching those videos, you can imagine my disappointment after I left the salon with this: I got home and my hands couldn’t even go through my hair without encountering some clumps as I would like to call it. I didn’t get that smooth laid hair. I got home, brushed my hair properly and it looked like this:
My hair looks like I only did a blow out, no sign of a silk press, my hair looks like this at the moment: I might do twists pending the time I make up my mind on what to do with my hair. The only thing that made my day was that frozen yoghurt. Please we need more natural hair salons in Abuja, competition makes the game improve. Bey.