The hair struggle is real! One Black woman proved that when she visited a salon to get her curly hair straightened in Shanghai, China.
A 22-year-old student named Maryjane Byarm, originally from New Jersey but now residing overseas, was recently welcomed by the staff at a new salon with a warm smile. She started her visit to with a relaxing shampoo that seemed to go well. However, things went far left. The young woman sat through four hours of irritating hairstyling, an experience that many Black women who consider visits to new salons as risky experiments can relate to in full. First, the stylist neglected to brush her hair while blow-drying, a no-no move that brings about major tangles. The stylist didn’t quite know how to lay the young woman’s hair.
“They were really struggling…so I was kind [of] suggesting they give up,” she said to Allure. It was a disaster so I knew they wanted to, [but] they kept telling me they felt bad ’cause they wanted to do a good job.”
But Byarm kept a nice attitude about the whole experience, which only cost her $6. “He spent a lot of time on me when he could have been doing other’s hair and getting paid, so I felt bad. They were all extremely nice. This salon is right outside my apartment so I see them often and we have grown to be friends and we all laugh at this video.”‘
She didn’t let the visit stop her from finding a salon that could rock with her. After a trip to the fancier side of Shanghai, she found a better stylist at a second salon for a $20 deal. “It [took] them about three hours to complete my hair, which is [the] amount of time that it takes me to do my own hair,” she said. I paid the regular amount. They didn’t charge me extra.” She detailed that experience in a second YouTube clip.
Maryjane was very happy with the outcome at the second place. “This is for all the people who said Chinese people couldn’t do hair,” she said to the camera while she ran her fingers through her hair.
Though her story had a good ending, the struggle for finding the right person to maintain her mane in the U.S. has opened her eyes about hair discrimination. “In the U.S., I always ran into problems trying to get my hair done at a salon,” she explained. “White-owned salons would always turn me away and black salons would always tell me they wanted to put a relaxer in my hair which I refused so they also didn’t do my hair.”