Natural Hair Salons – My Experience at Sabine’s Hallway


My Experience with Natural Hair Salons

I have been natural for a while but I have never used any of the natural hair salons in my area.  I’m in NYC and some of the most popular natural hair salons can be found in this area.  I have been a DIY person for basically my entire transition from relaxed to natural hair.

I was on Twitter and happened to see a tweet asking for natural hair models.  I decided to respond to the tweet to get more information, and to ask if the intent was to straighten my hair.  I am on a personal no heat challenge until January.  I learned that not only was the salon not going to straighten my hair but it was a salon near me that I had considered using when I was first researching natural hair salons.

I arrived at Sabine’s Hallway in Brooklyn around 1 p.m.  In case you do not know, this is the salon where a police officer was getting her hair done and the most unlucky criminal in the world tried to rob the salon.  Needless to say, he was not successful.  You do not mess with women who are getting their hair done.  I guess he knows that now.

Hubby dropped me off and came to take a look inside since the news report had him a little concerned.  There was no need at all.  The salon is not in a sketchy area at all.  It’s quaint and as the name suggest it’s sort of a hallway for hair.  There are two chairs for styling with Sabine at the chair closest to the door.  There is 1 hood dryer, on a movable arm, and 1 sink.

I was a last minute addition for the hair show and did wait for some time.  I happily picked up a book and flipped through magazines while I waited.  Sabine also plays movies on her laptop so there are a few options if you are waiting.

My style started at about 2:30 p.m.  The show was in NYC at 7:30 p.m. and there was at least one other hair model after me so my style, due to time constraints, did not include washing.  I arrived with an old braid out done with my leave-in mix and aloe vera gel.  There was not a lot of product on my hair at all so I was fine with no wash.

The hair model prior to me, transitioning since March, who was been flipping through a magazine and one of the styles was a woman with bantu knots (knots still installed).  I have never been successful with trying to bantu knot out my hair so I picked a style that incorporated bantu knots.  To make it edgy for the hair show, the style also included side cornrows which gave me a frohawk look.

Sabine started to braid my hair and I was immediately worried.  Although I had witnessed her rod setting the hair model prior to me (transitioning with a couple of inches of relaxed ends), I did not see the cornrow part of that style.  I automatically thought they must be tight and painful and that I did not want that done to my hair.  I was texting photos to a friend who thought the same thing, that the braids looked tight, and she said I need to make sure they were not going to be damaging to my hair.  Boy was I wrong! Sabine does not braid tight at all.  In fact, I have braids at the temples of my head (most fragile section of my hair) and they are not tight or painful in the least.  When 1 or 2 braids did feel tight, I told Sabine and she immediately loosened it.

Sabine did initially use a rattail comb on my hair, which scared me since I was hearing a crackle and pop.  Before I could even get it out of my mouth, Sabine reached for a wide toothed comb. She sprayed my hair with water in sections, added Jane Carter Curl Defining Cream and went to work.  As she worked, Sabine showed me how to twist my hair and make the bantu knots so they would fall like I wanted.  I had explained to her that I was never successful with my own bantu knot outs.  She demonstrated several times to make sure I understood how to get the style.  The braiding and bantu knots, many of which were two strand twisted, took about 2 hours to complete.  I sat under the dryer for about 15 minutes and the bantu knots were then taken down.  They are to fall bit by bit over the next few days.

Something that I appreciated about Sabine that I should mention here is that anytime she touched something other than my hair (money to pay for food order) she cleaned her hands with hand sanitizer before touching my hair again.

All in all it was a pleasant experience for my first use of a natural hair salon.  If you are looking for a new natural hair salon, check out Sabine’s Hallway for a consultation.  Be warned, Sabine does not do relaxers.  This is strictly a salon for natural hair.