So after an amazing facial and massage - two things which I never had before - I had my mani-pedi by a woman who was nice enough to let me know that she was natural under her wig and that they would do a good job with my hair. I expressed that I was a little uneasy about my hair being done and she said that Aveda trains stylist in "ethnic" hair (which I semi-knew already because SP was trained at Aveda schools). I felt even better when my stylist Jessica asked me questions that let me know she was very familiar with my hair type: did I wear my hair natural all the time? How often did I heat straighten? And then assured me that she had a weave in her hair but had hair very similar to mine! So we chatted about how she specializes in curly hair and she shared her salon experiences as a child where her father took her to salons to get her hair straightened and she would always come out with a poofy afro. I even chatted with a stylist who had a TWA and she chimed in about natural haircare, so it became fun. Jessica washed my hair, deep conditioned, blew it out, (mentioning that she would normally do it with a comb attatchment,) de-tangled with a denman-type brush, and said that because I don't use heat often she would get my hair pin-straight with a flatiron. She totally did!
I was super tired after so I didn't take immediate length shots like I wanted, but I managed to on Monday. My hair was a little poofy and uneven, but I'm past BSL and I've since had my hair trimmed and shaped by SP, who co-signed on the fact that Jessica did a great job (kicking myself for not taking a picture with her!) It rained this week so I actually put on a hat and wrapped my hair in a scarf to get around. I'm also getting so much better with wrapping so my hair has been straight!
And there we have it! A second salon experience as a die-hard natural. My next excursion will be to find a place to do a wash-and-set, so I'm mustering up the courage to call up a place near my house. I'll be keeping my hair straight until my trip to Puerto Rico next weekend and then it's back to big, poofy and curly!