Yes, we are living in the year 2018 and Yakima still does not have one Black hair salon. You might not think that's even a big deal, but oh baby, it IS!

If you are not an African-American (AA) living in the Yakima area, then you take it for granted that you can walk into practically any beauty salon and know that one of the hair stylists can do your hair with no problems. You are so lucky and you don't even realize it!

People with AA's thicker, curlier hair texture and live in Yakima do not have this luxury. If I had a dollar for every time someone has asked me for a referral of someone who can do Black hair in Yakima, I could quit right now and open up my OWN salon!

I always have a great recommendation for people that ask me who around here can braid hair (my friend, Brandy Bone, can hook your head UP)! I have found TWO whole licensed salon stylists in Yakima that can either straighten my hair or give it twist-out (Buffy from Belu Salon and Yesenia from Klassy Stylz) but I still yearn for a place I can go where the stylists look like me and know first-hand how to do my hair and give me the amazing hairstyles like the ones I've had from Black stylists out of state and in Seattle!

Finally there is someone in town with connections who is doing something BIG to help create Yakima's first Black hair salon! Hooray!

Meet Ashley White.

Ashley is a licensed hair stylist and also a painter/artist known as AshThePainter. She has over two thousand followers on Instagram and a thousand more than that on Facebook. She's using that fame to help her launch a stand-alone hair salon catering to the African-American hair clientele. We certainly hope that Ashley succeeds with these plans because it will benefit our community so much!

What: Afro American Salon Fundraiser
When: Saturday, November 17, 2018 at 4p.m.
Where: Location TBD
Activities:
• A DIY Afro American Hair Style Session
• African Jewelry Making Class
• African Art Paint & Sip
• African, Afro American, & Black hair and skin care product samples and for sale items like: Combs, brushes, braiding weave, 100% real cocoa butter, 100% real shea butter, oils, black soap, hair beads, clips, bows and more!
• Silent Auction - Local Art
• Vendors
• Kids Play Area

I am happy that you have read this far in my blog post, but to be honest, I still have a lot of ranting to do. I have to get some more stuff off my chest! Haha!

Here's how most AA women get their hair done in Yakima:
Do it by yourself at home
Drive all the way out to Seattle/Tri-Cities/Spokane to a Black hair salon
Let your (non-African American) hair stylist friend practice on your hair

I remember the first week I moved to Yakima, I wanted to get my hair done, so I went to a place we'll call it "Dorothy's Salon". Not one person in that place had the right kind of hair conditioner that I needed for my hair texture, and they couldn't comb and detangle my hair properly. I had never felt so humiliated in my whole life, after all, I had just moved from a city with a large Black population, so I never had to worry about finding a hair salon. It was a rude awakening.

Let's just say that Yakima hair salon experience was harrowing and humiliating. They didn't have the right kind of hair conditioner, couldn't comb and detangle my hair...I left the place in tears and an overdone roller set that would have made Carol Burnett and Vicki Lawrence's "Mama's Family" proud. I vowed to never let somebody who isn't African-American style my hair ever again!

The typical United States beauty school curriculum do not offer hands-on training or theory classes on Black hair textures, styling and braiding. We need different cleansing, conditioning and styling products, as well as different styling tools. If you don't know what you're doing, your hair will end up looking like a HOT A** MESS! This will DEFINITELY mess with your self-esteem and confidence; trust me on this, I know exactly what I'm talking about!