These days, popular braid styles are becoming more and more mainstream. From box braids to cornrows, braids are more than just an attractive way to wear your hair. They’re a low-maintenance look that protects your locks and saves you the time you’d otherwise spend on day-to-day styling. 

With so many long and short hair varieties, it’s easy to fall in love with braids themselves. Suppose you are wondering which braid style to choose from. Better research Black braid hairstyles to figure out which one suits you. A slightly more challenging love affair, however, is the one between you and your braiding shop.

Where should you invest your time and money? Who can you trust to meet your expectations and bring your braiding vision to life?

Finding a hair salon with knowledgeable braiders doesn’t have to be a daunting task, especially with the help of an online booking app. Follow along with the tips and tricks outlined in the blog below, and you’ll be on your way to a look you’ll love and a client-stylist relationship built to last. 

What You Should Look For in a Stylist

It’s important to put your hair in the hands of someone you can trust. You should hire someone who’s not only great at what they do but also easy to talk to — you should feel comfortable enough to speak up if something’s not quite right.

Taking the time to find a stylist who’s a good match will save you from any potential braiding blunders and help you feel confident that you’ll be well taken care of each time you set up an appointment. 

Before booking your next braiding appointment, be sure you’ve found a stylist who is:

  • A qualified beauty professional – This may seem like an obvious detail, but you’ll want to keep in mind that not all beauty professionals are right for this particular job. You’ll need to find a stylist who not only has experience with several different styles of braids but also with a variety of hair types and textures. You may find it best to book an appointment with someone who has specific training in hair braiding rather than entrusting a standard hairstylist with this specialized task. 
  • A good listener – There’s nothing worse than going into a salon excited for a new look only to leave disappointed or even upset because the stylist didn’t quite deliver what you had hoped. When shopping around for a braider, make sure you find someone who listens to your requests and communicates clearly about expectations and how to achieve the look you are going for. 
  • Personable and attentive – Your hair braider doesn’t necessarily need to be your best friend, but they should be someone you like being around. Let’s face it — getting braids installed can often take a while. If you’re going to be stuck in a salon chair for hours, help make the time more enjoyable by choosing a stylist you like chatting with and who is attentive to your needs. 

Pro tip: Check to see if the stylist you’re interested in offers free consultations. This way, you’ll be able to outline the details of your vision before the day of your appointment — and before paying for something you don’t love. 

If it’s not a good fit for any reason, continue your search for the perfect stylist! Whether you are in search of the best hair braiding San Diego, Los Angeles, or New York offers, look no further than StyleSeat.

What You Should Look For in a Salon

How to find a good hair braider shouldn’t be the only thing on your mind when it comes to booking an appointment. You’ll also want to make a few considerations in regards to the salon itself. How convenient will it be to get to? And what services do they offer in addition to braiding?

When choosing a salon, don’t forget to factor in the following:

  • Location – If you’ve found a braider you love, you might not mind traveling a bit out of your way to get to the salon. Otherwise, pick a spot that’s manageable for you to get to, whether it’s a short walk from the office or a few subway stops away from your home. You’ll need to set aside a day to get your braids fully installed, but if your braiding shop is in the neighborhood, you can stop in for a quick touch-up or a brief trial appointment without too much hassle. 
  • Available Services – Some braiding shops specialize in precisely that — braiding! Others, however, might be full-service salons offering everything from manicures and waxing to haircuts and color. Decide what services you’re interested in receiving and if one-stop shopping is a more practical choice for you than a braids-only salon. 
  • Pricing – Whether you’re searching for premium services or budget-friendly braids, talk with the beauty professionals at your prospective braid shop to find out more about what they charge and what’s included in the cost for various types of braids for Black hair. Higher prices may not always mean higher quality, so consider the additional costs of keeping up with braids that require more maintenance. 

Read up on the licensing requirements in your state to find out more about what standards the salons in your area are expected to meet. In addition to price, location, and services, make sure the salon you’re interested in hires experts who have the credentials to back up their Instagram feeds. 

How to Find the Right Braiding Shop For You

The hunt for quality hair braiding probably won’t start and end with a quick search for “braiding shops near me” on your phone. To get matched with a professional salon and stylist whose work is consistently turning heads, you might have to do a bit more digging. Plus, you owe it to yourself to find a location that checks off all the boxes. 

If you’re struggling to find a braiding shop that meets your standards and budget, don’t get discouraged. Try out the following tips to help you filter through your options. When you come out of the salon with a set of jaw-dropping braids, you’ll be glad you did. 

Ask a Friend

Whether you’re searching for a new restaurant or a trusted car mechanic, word-of-mouth recommendations are often the best way to find hidden gems. The same can certainly be true for braiding shops.

To find out what braiders have already built a network of satisfied customers, ask a friend — one who always seems to leave the salon looking like a million bucks. 

Don’t be shy about asking questions, either. This is your opportunity to get all the details from someone who truly cares about helping you look and feel your best.

Ask all your burning questions:

  • What can you expect to pay?
  • Are there any particular hair braiders they recommend from that salon?
  • Why did they choose this braiding shop over another?
  • Do they specialize in certain types of braids, such as box braids, crochet braids, or any form of knotless braid styles?

They’ll be able to tell you—in full transparency—where they recommend and why (or why not). 

Read the Reviews

Whether you’ve discovered a braiding spot from a friend or a social media deep dive, it’s a good idea to take a look through the reviews. See what people (not just those in your social circle) have to say about the service offerings, the beauty professionals, and the customer service.

How well did the braiders work with their clients to realize their vision? What’s something they wish they had known before making an appointment at that braiding shop? By using resources such as StyleSeat, you have access to genuine and authentic customer reviews that can help you navigate the array of salons and services. Before committing to an appointment, make sure to check out what real customers have to say about their experience.

Keep in mind that negative reviews may not always tell the full story — and neither does just one person’s experience. However, if you’ve noticed several repeat complaints or a slew of dissatisfied comments, there may be some truth to what they’ve got to say. See how the braiding shop addressed those complaints — if at all — and use your best judgment to determine how best to proceed.

Peruse the Portfolio

Nothing else speaks to the quality of someone’s work like the final product. In addition to recommendations and reviews, you should spend some time looking into a braider’s portfolio to get a feel for their style and expertise. What kinds of braids do they seem to share photos of the most? How diverse do their braiding skills appear to be? Do they know another hairstyle aside from a braided hairstyle? Do they also know how to work in hair accessories or color?

A talented stylist will find a place to showcase their work to prospective clients, whether it’s on their website, social media pages, or in a printed catalog. Be sure to note the specific photos and styles you like so that you can show your braider on the day of your appointment.

If you’re not seeing a particular style you like, inquire ahead of time about the variety of braid you’re interested in to see if they have pictures that may not have been shared to a public portfolio. You also want to inquire about how knowledgeable the stylist is about different hairstyles. You want someone that knows what knotless braids are, what tribal braids are (e.g., fulani braids, ghana braids, Senegalese twists), what faux locs are, what Bantu knots are, etc. That way, your stylist knows which braid type to recommend if you haven’t made up your mind yet.

StyleSeat: Helping You Find the Best Braiding Shops Near You

When it comes to finding a braiding shop, making the wrong move could be the difference between blowing people away with a bold new look and leaving the salon feeling frustrated and full of regret. Let StyleSeat — the trusted hub for all things wellness and beauty-related help point you in the right direction.

Whether you’re looking for braids, barbers, or brows, you’ll be able to search for qualified stylists in your area, browse their portfolios, read their reviews, and even book your next appointment all in one place. Which talented braiders are bringing more beauty to your neighborhood? Find out more about what they have to offer and how they can bring life back to your hair today.

Sources: 

WiseGeek. How Do I Choose the Best Hair Braiding Salons?https://www.wise-geek.com/how-do-i-choose-the-best-hair-braiding-salons.htm

Un-ruly. How To Effectively Communicate With Your Natural Hair Stylist or Braider. https://un-ruly.com/how-to-effectively-communicate-with-your-natural-hair-stylist-or-braider/