First let me give you the details:
3075 John Hawkins Parkway
Hoover, AL 35244
Check her site: www.latoyajoneshair.com
Check her blog (I know! She has a blog!): www.latoyajonesblog.com
Let me tell you guys how I found this gem of a hairstylist. I was about 2 weeks away from my relaxer touch up and I really, really did not feel like doing it myself. Like if you had left it up to me, that relaxer would not have happened until...August. And as we all know from my last bout of stretching super duper long, my hair doesn't like that at all. So at this point the situation was dire. I was needed to relax but I wasn't going to do it myself and do it half way.
So off to Google I went.
Let me say, the salon situation in Birmingham is dire. When I went to Google, salons came up. However, a lot of these salons had no website. I don't know about you but I feel like if you can't step into 2013 and have a website for your business, I don't need to go there. That ruled out about 95% of the salons. The rest I had been to (and like them as a salon but would not go there for a relaxer) or have heard terrible reviews. I was feeling pretty discouraged. Until I saw LaToya's site. Her site looked well put together and....AND she had a blog! When I clicked on that blog, I knew I had found the right stylist for me. From her blog, I could see that see was very into healthy hair care practices and she promotes stretching! Honestly yall, I was just excited that I could go into the salon and not get the side eye for stretching. I booked the appointment that night (booking can be done online.You get confirmation of the booked appointment pretty quickly).
I originally set my appointment for May 4th at 10:30am. Around the middle of the week, LaToya called me to set the appointment back an hour because there was a client before me and her appointment would have ran into mine. I definitely appreciate the fact that LaToya didn't try to double or triple book any of us. I really like knowing that the time I set for my appointment will be *my* appointment time. It's a very rare thing to see and I'm glad she took the time to consider any potential waiting time on my end. When I arrived to my appointment, however, the client before me took a little longer than expected and I had to wait for about 30 minutes. However, this didn't really bother me because I knew it wasn't intentional (read: it wasn't a double booking issue) and she had attempted to account for that. Besides, I had nowhere else to go so I was good.
When I got into the chair, LaToya apologized for the wait and began getting to work on my touch up. LaToya took time to base my scalp and she didn't rip through my hair with the comb. She was pretty gentle with my hair. She used Mizani Butter Blends and took care to apply the relaxer only to my new growth. As she was apply the relaxer to my hair, she would ask every couple minutes or so if I was ok ( just making sure my scalp wasn't on fire or anything). After what felt like 20min, I headed to the shampoo bowl and got that relaxer washed out and neutralized. Again, LaToya was very gentle with my hair. At this point, I was very pleased with the experience.
Next, it was time for the styling. Since I wanted to do a length check, I opted for a wet wrap (still trying to stick to the 1 form of indirect heat, 1 form of direct heat thing). I got to hand it to LaToya, she got all my hair into that wrap. She definitely gets all the kudos for that. What I did not anticipate was that it was going to take so long to dry my hair! LaToya wasn't going to set the dryer on this highest heat (which I totally get. Who wants to feel like they are sitting my Hell's furnace?) and I have a LOT of hair---it's just going to take longer by default. Either way, I happily got underneath the dryer. About an hour and a half in, I began to regret my decision because I was STARVING!! Around the 2 hr mark, I just had LaToya blow dry my hair and flat iron it. This go round, I also got a trim because I was pretty sure my ends needed it. When it was all said and done, the relaxer touch up was $70, the trim was $10, and I left a $10 tip...so it set me back about $90.
Overall, I was so so so pleased with this experience! It is very rare that you find a good stylist, let alone someone who is into healthy hair care practices! Relaxers aside, I also saw that LaToya does really nice silk presses on natural hair and very nice natural looking weaves. She is definitely a stylist that I would refer to anyone in the Birmingham area. I am so glad that I didn't have to trek to ATL to find a good stylist and that I have an excellent one here in the 'Ham--now you don't either!