24 Jun 2013

Sandra Webb Hair Salon Review

 At some point in almost every black girl's life they have had a bad hairdressing experience- it is almost as if it is some type of rite passage for us. I've visited numerous hairdressers in my time,  some have been good, others were bad, some told me they were qualified -yet the state of my hair after a visit left me questioning the truth in such a statement.
 Going to the hairdressers can be a costly experience, and my old approach was to go to a mediocre hairdresser which was affordable (cheap) and when I got older go to a better salon that was more expensive.
 After doing my research, and upon the recommendation from Patricia (aka Britpopprincess)  I decided to pay Sandra Webb Hair & Beauty a visit. Sandra has won numerous hairdressing awards individually and as part of her team, some of which include the Afro Hair and Beauty Awards: Styling Team of the Year and Southern Stylist of the Year. With a successful track record I felt very happy to be in such good hands, and decided to pay Sandra a visit.
 I booked an appointment with the receptionist (upon arrival at the salon I realise I may have spoken to an apprentice) who was polite to begin with until I started asking about prices for alternative services. I got the feeling she was quite in a hurry to get me off the phone, so when I decided to change the services I wanted, I decided to email Sandra (the manager/salon owner) instead, to avoid speaking to her again. Me and Sandra exchanged several emails, and she was always polite and super quick with her responses, so kudos to Sandra for that.


 D-Day arrived and as I was the first customer, and early for my appointment, the salon was closed when I arrived. I spent my time talking to two friendly girls, (one of whom was called Florence), and another whose name I can't remember, who informed me that they worked at the salon. When Sandra arrived she greeted and spoke to the apprentices but ignored me. Upon entering the salon, I still hadn't been greeted, so decided to sit on a sofa rather than standing around awkwardly.  Whilst sitting on the sofa I began to wonder, if/when Sandra was going to acknowledge me. Sandra seemed to be more interested in putting music on and uploading the computer, so in the end I decided to introduce myself: "Hi, my name's Louise, the girl that was emailing you". Her response was something along the lines of: "Hello. Oh I guessed. I was just going to load the computer so we can get the ball rolling". I'm not quite sure why Sandra felt she had to switch on the computer and wait for it to load before I was greeted, but I'm sure in her world it made perfect sense.
 FYI, I booked a relaxer, treatment, and trim. Before Sandra began relaxing my hair, my hair was prepped, i.e. based by my salon apprentice Florence. Florence used some sort of liquid base which in a clear container so I can't give you the name. She parted my hair into small sections and based each section thoroughly. Florence was of a very friendly disposition and as we were quite similar in age we chatted loads. Florence noticed that I had scabs on my head, (from a previous perm) and said I should mention them to Sandra.
Sandra was surprised to see that I had brought my own relaxer with me and I have since found out that most good (upmarket) hairdressers include the cost of the relaxer in their fees.  I warned Sandra that I had a sensitive scalp and she told me that she was very quick with her application so I needn't worry as I was in safe hands. I informed Sandra when I felt my first 'tingles'. At which point, she informed me that as she hadn't put any relaxer directly on my scalp, this could not possibly be the case. Considering I had informed her that I had burns from a previous relaxer on my scalp, I would have thought this was to be expected. Sandra however, decided to show the apprentice that my scalp did not have any product on it, yet I was complaining of burns, and said I was imagining them. The poor girl torn between loyalties of pleasing her boss and angering the customer gave an awkward smile/laugh. I declined to comment.
 Overall, my experience was an interesting one but not entirely pleasant. My hair looked and felt really good, and I could tell from the way Sandra handled my hair, that she has had a lot of experience in dealing with Afro-Carribean hair, especially with regards to hair care and styling. However, I think her professionalism (at one point she showed me how good her La Senza underwear was by "flashing" me and her staff) and customer service skills leave a lot to be desired.

**UPDATE** By the time I got home from the salon my scalp was itching and hasn't stopped since. I'm trying to work out what could have caused this, as I'm sure that one (or more) of the products used in the salon does not agree with my scalp. I know Mizani Shampoo (and/or) Conditioner was/were used on my hair as was Syntonics Herbal Conditioning Hairdress (which I've never used before), but I'm not sure what else was used on my hair.

Less than 2 weeks after my initial visit, I decided to wash my hair and the itching has since stopped. Might I add, at one point when Sandra was washing my hair I thought it was quite a quick wash, so think some product was left in my hair from one of the washes, hence the constant itching. I'm so relieved it's finally gone now though, because that was crazy!

Location: 5/5 -Situated 2 minutes away from Clapham Common Tube station.
Accessibility: 5/5 -Buses/Tube available
Customer Service: 3.5 It was not the best I've received, and it was not the worst.
Price: 4/5 I paid £69.01 (I'm not sure what the 1p was for) for a Relaxer, Mositure & Protein Treatment, Straighten, and Trim. I received a 25% student discount as it was my first time, however if you're a student you can receive a recurring 25% off, if you show a valid NUS card. Here's a more detailed price list.
Awareness/ Product Knowledge: 5/5
Decor: 5/5
Salon Size: Medium
Overall rating: 2/5

 Would I go back again? Probably not, (and if I did, Sandra would not be doing my hair)

As always until next time, stay blessed and beautiful dolls xoxo