How Useful Is Your Frustration?

It's 9 AM, they're late for my appointment.


'Why isn't the shop open at 9:10 AM?' 


'Why didn't she notify me she would be running late?'


'Why has she just started sweeping the hair from yesterday's clients?'


'She could at least smile...'


I hope she's not going to leave my hair to do someone else's.


Why does she keep pushing my head like that?


Ouch! I'm not a dolly!


Oh wow, that was quick


My hair looks NICE!


It's a shame I won't be coming back here again



If that was where the story ended, The Black Hair Book wouldn't exist today. It's so easy to miss the big picture when we only focus on the negatives. As humans, we all want to be valued and treated well. Nobody likes a negative experience but when we go through these experiences it's how we respond to them that matters most.


When I left the salon that day I sought any platform to vent about the poor treatment I had received. I was quick to list all the things wrong with the place and while my hair was beautifully done, that didn't matter - I wanted an outlet for my frustration! Somehow, amid all my anger I suddenly heard a voice in my head asking, ‘what could I have done better if I owned the place?’ Or ‘if I came in as a business consultant, how could I help fix things?’ Answering these questions slowly began to channel my frustrations and criticisms into something constructive. I went home that afternoon, whipped out a notepad and started brainstorming ideas for The Black Hair Book. I reached out to salon owners and asked what their highs and lows were about running a salon. In a similar manner, I designed surveys for customers about their salon experiences. The feedback from both parties formed the foundation of TBHB.


You see, it's all too easy to criticise something and offer no solution. Like most people, I am certainly guilty of it. TBHB is my attempt to channel my frustration into something useful. It's my attempt to be a problem solver and as cliché as it sounds’ it's my attempt to make a difference. 


Therefore, my challenge to you is: the next time you want to complain about something, ask yourself; what could I do to improve this? Don't just theorise, DO! If you think you could do a better job, prove it! The world is constantly evolving and in pursuit of the new and improved version of yesterday. 


So, what about the salon that inspired TBHB? I returned to the salon a few months later for the same hairstyle. This time I was prepared for the subpar service- I left the salon with a grin on my face. One day I'm going to have a chat with the owner and tell her about how she inspired TBHB.


Written by,

Josephine Otuagomah