I must say, I was so disappointed with everything I saw at the Natures Gentle Touch thing I went for.
There were trichologists and hair stylists there (all working with Natures Gentle Touch). I saw blow driers without diffusers, I saw sulphate shampoos, products full of petrolatum, mineral oil, harsh chemicals, etc. I was pretty much appalled. I mean, they say they're into making natural hair products, but well, the few natural things I saw in some of their products, they were on the last line or second to the last line of the ingredients list out of a whole lot of ingredients (I couldn't even pronounce all the ingredients and...well...people I know think I'm weird because I can pronounce words easily even when seeing them for the first time and not knowing their meanings unlike them).
I spoke to a trichologist showed me some vid on my scalp. It was like she was using a webcam shaped like a computer mouse and moving it across my hair (I must say that I believe she had used that thing on a bunch of other people's hair without cleaning/at least wiping it). She called my edges, "the hair that recedes" and "where your hairline would recede," then she was like, "...but there's quite a lot of hair there..." Then she took out a strand of my hair and said she was going to test its porosity and elasticity. I should say that: 1. The hair she took was...well....processed (the hair at my ends), and 2. all she did was hold the strand of hair between her finger and pull at it then she was like, "hmm...you have good porosity." I kept a calm look, but in my head, I was like, "what?!?!"
I asked the trichologist some questions about:
1. Heat damage
3. Harsh chemicals in their products
and I must say, she never really answered my questions.
Me: "I noticed a bunch of hair stylists working with blow driers without diffusers attached to them."
Tri-Tri: "they've all been given blow drier heads and diffusers, but they don't use them because they say they're trying to hurry."
(did I mention that they owned a hair salon which was in the same building?)
Me: "Using direct heat on the hair for a prolonged amount of time causes heat damage. Therefore, shouldn't a rule be enforced that all stylists use their diffusers or figure out alternatives to using so much heat? "
Tri-Tri: "We use our Oil Moisturiser on our clients' hair before we use heat on it."
Me: (I should say that I saw the ingredients in the Oil "Moisturiser") "Isn't that just going to fry your client's hair?" (I was thinking about when oil's in a pan and heated up, plus I've put a whole lot of oil on my hair before and stepped out into a boiling hot day in Africa and I remember my scalp felt like it was being fried)
Tri-Tri: "No, it won't. Like I said, 'we use our Oil Moisturiser on our client's hair before we use heat on it.'" (I took this as her saying that the oils in the product would prevent heat damage and well, at this point in time, I was thinking about someone heating up some oil and placing something, say, chips or something, into it and I was like, "not to worry, nothing'll happen to the chips, they'll be protected from the heat by the oil!" Note that I didn't say this out loud)
Tri-Tri: "What do you normally do with your hair?"
Me: I braid or twist it and have my hair like that for a week then I take the braids out, deep condition then cleanse my scalp."
Tri-Tri: "Would you consider getting your hair done here?"
Me: "Yeah, I guess."
Mum: "My daughter doesn't use commercial products or heat on her hair, by the way."
Tri-Tri: "Then we can't get her hair done for her because she must wash her hair with our shampoo first, condition it with our conditioner too, also done here, use our oil moisturiser here before we can get her hair done. We just can't get her hair done like that."
(My mum looked at me after that, I looked back at her and said...)
Me: "Are you alright with braiding my hair for me at home?"
Tri-Tri: "Why don't you want to get your hair done here?"
Mum: "I wasn't kidding when I said she doesn't use commercial products, she makes her own products and air dries ."
Me: "Plus I've gone through the ingredients on your products and they're full of harsh chemicals."
To cut this short, about relaxers, she said they are not damaging to the hair and about the harsh chemicals in their products, well, apparently, she doesn't really care about them and also, she tried defending some of the harsh sulphates at some point.
1. If you'd like to get your hair done at their salon, set out on a day when you have a whole lot of time on your hands (I know how long people waited just to get their hair done and it wasn't like there was a crowd or not enough people to get their hair done).
2. They have a very stupid policy that forces people to use Natures Gentle Touch's products only and they must spend a lot of money on washing, conditioning and soaking their hair in oils before they can get their hair done even if the client had already washed and conditioner his/her.
3. Their workers need proper training on hair care.
4. They should take this line off all their cards, "natural hair care" and telling people that they specialise and promote that. I mean, every single person there including Tri-Tri (who I should mention is the 'Tri'chologist) had relaxed hair and didn't seem to be planning on transitioning, plus, they were relaxing people's hair and well, promoting doing just that to your curls and kinks. Note: Don't be fooled by what ads. say or is written infront on a bottle of a hair product. I mean, turn that bottle around and take a look at it's ingredients list, you might just end up surprised).
5. They need to go back to the drawing board and rethink all their products. I mean, anti-dandruff shampoo that contains sodium lauryl sulphate, alcohol and other ingredients that dry out the hair and scalp.
p.s when my mum called my dad and told him that we won't be planning on going to Natures Gentle Touch again, I couldn't help, but agree. Little did my mum know that when the people at Natures Gentle Touch asked me for my phone number, I gave them hers ;)