Haven’t put a hair post up in awhile! I think it’s time. But don’t fret, my straight-haired friends, this one might appeal to you as well (well... maybe).
I wore my hair chemically relaxed for over a decade, from the age of 11 to about 23. And it really put a strain my hair, causing it to be very brittle and dry. Consequently, I couldn’t really play with color. But now that I’m finished with burning relaxers and all the complications they bring (like jagged split ends and an abnormal fear of chlorine), I’m free to color my hair however I want without having to worry about entire locks breaking off (ok, that really happens).
Having said that, I had always gone to Black hair salons to get my hair relaxed and straightened. And they did a bang-up job. But I had a slightly different experience once I began coloring my hair. Not that they did a bad job per se, but time after time and salon after salon the stylists just didn’t get the color quite right. Now I’m just speculating, but I think it might be because not many Black women permanently color and/or highlight their hair. Many use over-the-counter boxed hair dye, rinses, or semi-permanent dyes on relaxed hair (they are less harsh).
But White women… they seem to highlight their hair a ton. Like, for keeps. And then it occurred to me - why not try a Black stylist at a White salon?
And so I did. And I found the best stylist in the world: Jesse Lockward. She’s the queen of color (no pun intended) at the hippest salon in Boston, G20 Salon located at the bottom of Newbury Street by Mass Ave. Before my first appointment, I sat down with Jesse for a “color consultation” and we picked out the best highlights and lowlights for my hair. She then went into another room and mixed small amounts of the bleach and dye that we’d need. I had never seen a stylist mix his or her own colors before – apparently G20 is famous for their hand-mixed dyes.
Not only is Jesse amazing with color, but she’s also a sensational blow-dryer and all-around stylist—for any type of hair. Most of her clients have straight or wavy hair, in fact. But as the word gets out among Black women, she’s also getting more and more Black clients—which is wonderful.
I’ve been seeing Jesse for about a year now, and I’m never disappointed. Whenever I leave G20 and strut onto Newbury Street, I'm feeling beautiful and confident. Sometimes she leaves my hair curly, and sometimes I ask her to press it straight (just to mix it up a little). I never thought I’d see my hair as straight as it was when I was relaxing it, but Jesse proved me wrong. Anyone who can accomplish this kind of transformation in 2 hours deserves a medal (I know, silliest photos ever).
Jesse Lockward, Stylist
G20 Salon and Spa
338 Newbury Street