Alissa Ashley

Source: Steve Granitz / Getty

As black women, we love a good protective hairstyle, especially one that doesn’t require a lot of upkeep, but still looks effortless. Recently, beauty vlogger Alissa Ashley debuted a new look: box braids which she had done by celebrity hairstylist Dr. Kari Williams. She’s known for being the creator of the goddess locs famously sported by Meagan Good, and has also styled Brandy, Ava Duvernay and many more.

Alissa documented the process on her YouTube channel, but when she told the world how much she paid for her new ‘do, the Internet became outraged! Apparently, the 24-year-old spent $550 on the install, and left a $150 tip, making her total $700.

And after her announcement, Black women all over social media started to question her decision, especially because the influencer had to come with her hair already washed and blow dried, and she had to pay for her own hair. On average, as you probably already know, braids, and hairstyles of the sort cost around $200, so something didn’t quite add up.

And the beauty guru basically told her haters to stay out of her pockets:

On the flip side, Ashley has 1.8 million subscribers, a successful campaign with NYX Cosmetics, and has money to invest in and support another black woman who’s about her business. How can we say we endorse black-owned efforts and our brothers and sisters who are entrepreneurs, but complain about the price? Not everyone might be in the same place to shell out this type of money, but if you got it, give back to the community, so that we all can eat. Dr. Kari isn’t just anybody’s stylist, she’s a medical cosmetologist, so her hair methods focus on the hair and scalp from a scientific perspective to ensure healthy mane practices. And the woman has been in the game for 18 years, has trained hundreds of women in styling natural hair, and deserves to be paid what she’s worth.

Black hairdressers, on a whole, rarely get paid what they’re worth for what they do — the hours they put in, the technique, the attitudes of their customers are things that oftentimes get overlooked for the general aesthetic of the style. They deserve so much better. Just like some women pay a tailor what they’re worth for customizing their clothes for their body, why not do the same thing when it comes to your hair? If we don’t back us, no one else will.

TELL US: Do you think Alissa Ashley rightfully supported another black woman? Why or why not?

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