RUUTOS: A Tale of Two Experiences
The owner of Ruutos Salon, Lucy Okpoko, has breathtakingly long natural hair. Watching her do a length check fills me with the desire to constantly be nourishing and pampering my crown but then reality resumes its narrative in my mind. She reminds me that with my work-home-life schedule doing all that my hair requires to achieve optimum health and length is but a hope for now and that’s why it’s a blessing that places like Ruutos exist.
When I phoned to make an appointment the receptionist happily agreed to receive me in the late afternoon because we both thought the process would take a mere two hours. As any natural will guess we both grossly underestimated the time it would take but what I appreciated is that this did not change the level of commitment to ensuring my happiness as a client.
I walked into a very professional receiving area with products displayed on my left and right – something that caught my eye was the hair stretching plates. Before I could wander on unnoticed, the receptionist engaged me in a discussion about what I required from my appointment. I told her I needed a wash and she immediately offered me Ruutos Nourishing Shampoo, Conditioner and Deep Moisture Mask and explained that I could purchase the products, which they would use on me at this visit and subsequent visits. I should just remember to bring them along next time.
The problem with the salon visit however was entirely my own fault. I had faux locks on my head and had forgotten to explain that when I made my appointment. So, the hair stylists spent the next three hours painstakingly undoing my braids and doing their best not to break my hair. The part I had been looking forward to came next. My friend had visited the salon a few weeks before me and could not stop raving about the shampooing and detangling experience she had. She had been lulled into tranquillity by a massage which she could only describe as sensual. They had used gel tipped brushes to detangle her hair and she had not felt a thing. However, because it was after closing when my hair was being washed, my experience was very … different. I bore with the gentleman hastily washing my hair because it was late and I could understand his rush. The products smelled amazing – I recognised eucalyptus and a bit of tea tree – and he detangled, washed and conditioned in sections, which showed that he was versed in natural hair etiquette.
The turning point came when the owner, Lucie, stepped in at the stretching and sealing stage. Years of nurturing her mane and helping hundreds of ladies on their journey to healthy hair shone through. Her knowledge about loosening the curl before handling the knots and the careful way she identified and separated each knot techniques and her soft touch