Minneapolis Stylist Calls Black Woman's Natural Hair an 'Animal That Cannot Be Tamed'
A hair-raising salon incident in Minneapolis, Minnesota, quickly spiraled out of control on Friday.
Bianca Monique Dawkins was trying a new hair salon, Denny Kemp Salon & Spa, after growing out her natural curls for over a year. City Pages reports that Dawkins called ahead to book an appointment with a stylist who could style her textured hair.
But when she sat in Justin Dennis Waltenberg's chair, she said he grabbed her hair and called her tresses "an animal that can't be tamed." After the appointment, Dawkins took to Facebook to share her story.
After asking if black girls can't be styled there, the horrific incident continued when Waltenberg tells Dawkins, "Well, it isn't the 1950s or '60s, where we can just put up a sign in the window."
The salon issued an apology on Facebook.
"Today, one of our stylists made some comments to one of our clients that were inappropriate," the apology reads. "Though we believe that our stylist meant no harm and simply spoke inarticulately, his words were perceived as hurtful and completely contrary to what our salon stands for."
Commenters quickly took the salon to task for its half-assed apology. This commenter put it best:
Dawkins is using this experience as a chance to educate her community on the complexities of textured hair. She is hosting a panel discussion in Minneapolis called "Black Hair Matters" on June 20.
This experience shows that in spite of #BlackSalonProblems, many black-owned salons are a sanctuary to behold. That's not to say white hair dressers aren't out there slaying black hair and vice versa. But there's definitely a science to managing kinky-curly coils. It's up to stylists to learn it.
Likening a black woman's hair to an untamed animal gives credence to a racist trope that black hair is less normal, less civilized — and hell — less human than white hair.
To be sure, not knowing how to do curly-textured hair isn't a crime. But likening a black woman's hair to an untamed animal gives credence to a racist trope that black hair is less normal, less civilized — and hell — less human than white hair.
But we know that's not true.
Textured hairstyles are clearly the hottest thing out.