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The Black hair industry is a vibrant and dynamic sector of the beauty world, rich with creativity, innovation, and cultural significance. However, alongside its many strengths, the industry also grapples with the pervasive issue of unprofessionalism. Kitchen stylists or home-based hairstylists have grown in popularity due to accessibility for haircare professionals who may not have access to proper licensing to open up their salons or the funds to rent a space where they can take clients. But accessibility isn’t always the answer, and the issue is opening up the door for many unprofessional stylists, creating bad customer experiences.

During an interview with NBC News, Joanna Georges recalled the frustrating ordeal she experienced with an alleged “kitchen” stylist named Alexis Antoine, whom she contacted via Instagram. According to Georges, she paid $100 to secure her appointment for Sept. 2 with Antoine at 6 a.m. However, the day before she was scheduled to come in for her appointment, Antoine asked if she could push the time back, not once, but three times. Eventually, the pair agreed on 10 a.m., and Georges walked 20 minutes to Antoine’s apartment for her session, but the stylist allegedly never answered.

“I had a feeling after waking up and seeing my appointment was pushed back that it just wasn’t going to work out,” Georges said. “I’m just waiting outside her house for an hour.  I finally made my way home and she texted me, like, ‘I’m so sorry. I fell asleep.’”

Georges has been fighting to get her $100 deposit back ever since. She took to social media to urge Antoine to return her security deposit. Despite repeated promises, Antoine failed to fulfill the refund and offered various excuses, further delaying the process. Georges resorted to legal action, filing a lawsuit against Antoine in Hudson County’s Superior Court of New Jersey.

“I really just want people to stand up for themselves,” Georges said. “I felt I had no other choice.”


Georges isn’t the first to complain about bad service in the haircare industry. 

Several Black women have taken to social media to call out other troublesome aspects of the Black hair industry. In September 2022, a YouTuber named @IamAsia claimed that she was stabbed in the scalp several times by a kitchen hairstylist while she was having knotless braids done in the Houston area. The terrible session allegedly left her scalp red, bloody and bruised, according to pictures shared on her YouTube vlog Sept. 29, 2022. When she asked for a refund, the stylist allegedly refused.

“This girl gave me the deepest part of her booty crack to kiss. She didn’t care about me. She was very insensitive. Very unprofessional,” Asia said.

Before booking with the unprofessional braider, Asia sifted through multiple braiders in the Houston area. Still, she claimed that she constantly encountered haircare professionals who wanted too much money or had unreasonable rules outlined in their contracts.

“Some of the stylists were saying, if your hair is really thick, we will have to charge you an extra $20. If your hair is longer than neck length, we’re going to charge you an extra $50. Please come with your hair blow dried and straight… like the rules and stuff was just crazy.”

These issues are not just native to kitchen hairstylists. Some women claimed that they experienced similar challenges with licensed haircare professionals.

On YouTube, users have griped about unprofessional salons not having a proper booking system, employees with nasty attitudes, and the outrageous prices currently being charged by hair salon owners.

Despite these challenges, some steps can be taken to address unprofessionalism and promote a more positive and inclusive environment within the Black hair industry.

Implementing standardized training and affordable certification programs can help ensure that hair stylists and professionals have the necessary skills, credentials, and knowledge to provide high-quality service to their clients. Salon owners and professionals should prioritize cultivating a culture of respect and professionalism within their businesses. This includes treating clients with kindness and courtesy, listening to their concerns, and maintaining open lines of communication. A free consultation to assess the customer’s needs and concerns beforehand could help with this.

Additionally, salons should strive to be transparent and strictly follow their pricing practices, providing clients with clear and upfront information about service costs and potential additional fees so that there is no confusion. This mitigates risk in the event of an unruly customer and can help to protect salon owners.


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