In The News
Our efforts to convert many Austinites to natural haircare have attracted media attention. Read what has been said about Your Best Image owner and hairstylist Gregory Day.
►Multiple award-winning author Debra Monroe cites Your Best Image owner and hairstylist Greg Day in her memoir On the Outskirts of Normal: Forging a Family against the Grain, Southern Methodist University Press, First Edition 2010, pages 139-141.
Mr. Brand New Day, I sometimes call him. The same place serving up cant and half-truth might one day servie the truth, I thought. I'd met this woman at the same store I'd met June Guobadia, who'd sent me to Therri, who sent me to Nomie. As Mr. Day recently did a bi-monthly, one-hour tune-up on my daughter's hair, I asked, "How did she find you that woman who told me to come here."
He said, "who? Oh. Belinda. she heard me on talk Radio, a call-in show. she heard me say there is no hairdo besides an afro if you want it short, or locks if you want it long. You can straighten, extend, weave, braid, but your hairline will creep higher, and your hair will get thin." He started to get mad. "White people look fine. Black people look fine. But black people trying to look white are handicapped from the start. It took Belinda months to decide. You had five years of bad ideas. Other people have heard bad hair ideas since they were born, which their mothers had heard from their mothers, and so on."
When I went to him for the initial consultation, he'd unbraided a few braids and said, "You are to be complimented for not using relaxers." I didn't tell him I'd only just stopped. " But this artificial hair," he said, "stays in because it is sharp. It digs into the hair. This idea hair grow because you have it braided instead of using relaxers is wrong. Some hair grows. the rest rips. And no one wonder your littte girl pulled out her hair. Would you like something so scratchy rubbing against your scalp?" The first session, he said, when he'd lock the whole head, make coils from quarter-inch sized squared, would take a full Saturday and a half-Sunday. He bring a DVD player. He'd lock the hair as long as my daughter could stand it. We could leave and come back. "so what will it cost?" I asked.
First session, one-time outlay. He named the price. I winced. What I'd earn for teaching a week-long class at a conference. But the maintenance would cost the same as I spent on braids. I went home. I was still dating that new boyfriend, and he called to ask about my day.
I told him about the appointment. It was big deal I felt confused. He said, "I'm sure I won't be any help with beauty decisions." I said, "It's a lifestyle and economic decision." He listened as I described the cost and upkeep.Once the locks were in. every other month I'd take her to Mr.day and he'd spend maybe an hour twisting new growth-as opposed to the three days of unbraiding and rebraiding. This boyfriend had a son. I mean he was used to perpetual decisions, your child' future contingent on this or that instant new option. He said, "I think you should. You can't really keep chasing after Nomie."
When the long Saturday and half-Sunday were over, Mr. Day lay down his tool. "Done." My daughter charged out the front door of the salon and danced on the sidewalk. Her eyes sparkled. Her hair was short, spiky. The hair on the nape of her head had started to grow back, and Mr. Day had locked sections that were long enough and trimmed the rest. I looked at her angular cheekbones, the beautiful shape of her head. Her hair looked good, wouldn't dishevel. It would get better, better, We'd met Mr. Day's twenty-year-old daughter who'd worn locks since she was my daughter's age, and her locks were past her shoulders, thick and lush. I asked my daughter, "How does it feel?"
Dancing under a tree in sunlight, she said, "like I don't even have hair." I shuddered. "All those years of making her head hurt." Mr. Day said, "you did what you were told. Forgive yourself. Maybe you should have a ceremony-go home and make a bonfire out of pink stuff and braid-spray and acrylic hair." My daughter was listening. she told him, "Once, in the middle of the night, my mom woke me up and yelled at me and cried and cutup fake hair. she scared me."
Mr. Day looked at me. "I temporarily lost my mind," I said, "that night she pulled out her hair," He nodded, "Lot of that going around."
Now he's done my daughter's hair for longer that Therri or Nomie. I knew them well, the special prayer Therri had put in for a husband, her high hopes for her nephew and niece, and I'd listened as Nomie planned to take her kids and escape her husband/ex-husband. Therri and Nomie knew me too. Though I had more money, a stable future, the years of my life that overlapped their lives were hard-sorrow, sickness, constant worry. I'd never know Mr. Day that way. I'd never spend as much time with him. and I wasn't as sad.
►Excerpt from For the Love of Locks Tossing Hot Combs and Braids on the Way to Natural; Austin American Statesman(TX): Thursday, January 28, 1999 by Norma Martin.
It's a little late for my childhood days, but I could have avoided much anguish if I had done what Cynthia Laws did made an appointment with a ``locktician,'' a professional hairstylist who specializes in African American natural hair care, especially hairlocking. Laws, who lives in San Marcos, went to Greg Day at Shear Magic on Brodie Lane for a micro-locking technique called Sisterlocks about a year ago. Day says that the trademarked technique he uses works for those people who still have chemically straightened hair because they don't have to cut off the permed hair to start locks the traditional requirement. This particular feature was attractive to Laws who had a head full of shoulder-length permanently relaxed hair. Sisterlocks was developed by JoAnne Cornwell who teaches at San Diego State University. Now she markets her Sisterlocks, which requires a specially designed tool, to professional hair stylists such as Day, who become certified consultants. However, it cost $450 to get the Sisterlocks put in and for the first lock tightening session.``There is an upfront cost, but the advantage of Sisterlocks is you don't have to use anything on your hair to get the lock,'' said Day.
►Interview from How To Get A Good Haircut, Carleton College VOICE: Summer 2012, Volume 77, Number 4, page 23.
According to hairstylist Greg Day '79, owner of Your Best Image salon in Austin, Texas, the key to a good haircut is your face. " It's not about your hair," says Day. "You don't have to like your haircut. You have to like your face.'
Day asks his customers: "What feature do you like? What don't you like? Once I have that information, I can give you a cut that makes your best feature shine, while camouflaging what you like least."
Honesty is essential. Don't fool yourself into thinking you'll spend an hour on a hairstyle if you're a wash-and-go-person at heart. " Clients must be sure they can maintain the cut and that they can afford it," says Day. " For some short haircuts, you may have to come in every four weeks."
He also encourages clients to disregard the desires of friends and family members and social constructs. "Many women resist short haircuts because their mates don't like short hair on women, "he says. "Or an older client may say that mature women shouldn't have long hair. Forget all that and get the cut that best fits your face and personality."
Your best cut may not be the latest red-carpet trend. "stay away from celebrity haircuts," says Day. "The media has convinced us that we should look like a mere eight people on the planet. You should look like you."
►Interview from Ladies, Your Hair is Making You Fat!, NOKOA The Observer, October 25, 2007, page 2 by Kinaya T. Ulbrich.
Ok, now that I have your attention, it was probably the smothered pork bones, rice and gravy, too-sweet Kool-Aid with lemons, and banana pudding that put the extra pounds on you, however, it's your hair that is contributing to keeping you fat. Such are the claims by Mr.Gregory Day, owner of Your Best Image. located at 6506 Manchaca, South Austin.
When I was asked to interview Mr. Day, who has strong opinions against women using hair relaxers, I immediatley has an attitude. I thought, "Here's yet another man with nothing better to do but sit around and tell women what to do!" How could a man possibly understand the pressure on us to have a head full of long, lustrous, shiny hair? Isn't it written some where sacred that our long hair is our glory?
I was bound and determined to educate this man on the fact that we do not need him passing judgment on us for Relaxing, Pressing, Weaving, Dyeing, and Frying our hair-to death. And we do not need him questiioning our "blackness." Yes, I am a woman of African descent who works tirelessly to have hair like women of European descent. So what?! You can hate it or love it; this is me!(Thank you, Mary J. Blige!). However, I was not ready for Your Best Image or Greg Day. First of all, his salon quickly disarmed me. The walls were covered with Afro-centric art and there was such a nice, bright vibe, I did not feel like giving him my "attitude." Darn. Then, there was Day himself making direct eye contact. The source of his pale blue eyes is still a mystery to me but I was not there to learn his genealogy.
Day's mission is simple; he wants dark beauty to reach its full beauty potential. How could I argue with that? After a very few minutes of speaking wih him, it was crystal clear that he adores dark-skinned women, and truly desires that we reach our full beauty potential. If it turned out that I disagreed with him on the future of black haircare, I would do so politiely. In order for dark beauty to reach its full beauty potential, Day says that we must place serious focus on our WEIGHT, TEETH, and HAIR. We, as dark beauties, cannot reach our full beauty potential if we are obese, have damaged teeth, and look a hot mess about the head. Lose weight, fix your teeth, stop frying your hair-find a soul-mate? Possibly.
With fifteen years of multi-cultural salon experience, Day is arguably an authority on black haircare and the negative effects of hair relaxing. I read for myself that the active ingredient in Drano™, sodium hydroxide, is still an active ingredient in at least one popular hair relaxer. Currently, most relaxers contain calcium hydroxide, a gentler counterpart to sodium hydroxide; yet, they will still burn your scalp, skin, hands and hair if you are not particularly careful-and sometimes even when you are careful!
We have finally learned the dangers of long-term exposure to lead-based paints and asbestos. What do you think will be written about relaxers years from now? What are the long-term consequences of exposure to powerful chemicals such as sodium and calcium hydroxide? Certainly, the chemicals appear in smaller doses in the relaxers, but over 20, 30, and 40 years of use, what kind of damage might we be doing to ourselves? What are we doing to our children when we start relaxing their hair before they are potty trained? Who is asking these questions? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not regulate relaxer because they are considered a cosmetic and not a drug. Once again, one had better take responsibility for one's own health and do the research. Day had me thinking about my health; I did not expect this from a haircare specialist.
Day also believes there are three hair styles that maximize the beauty of dark-skinned women, in order of power, they are bald, the Afro and Sisterlocks™. I asked, in regard to the "bald," did he mean faded. But, no, he did not, he meant bald. Day's posistion is that dark-skinned women, possessing rich chocolate skin, full and luscious lips, and a curvaceous body, do not need a head full of hair detracting from their beauty. I must admit, no one had ever said that me in all my 39 years.
Honestly, I had been toying with the idea of cutting my hair off. I have always said that I would do it for good when I turned 40 years old, however, now that 40 is upon me, I am remembering the two "Yes, sirs," that I received while sporting a tiny, natural Afro back in 1995, and am having second thoughts.
Despite Day's persuasiveness, as someone who has been said to have "gorgeous hair," once described as "spun siik" and "a head full of weave," a great deal of my power like many women, and Sampson, resides within my relaxed tresses.
I will keep my date, excuse me, my appointment with Day, and return to Your Best Image in two months for a consultation but I will admit that I am slowly backing off the idea of cutting off this ponytail. I will, however, save myself $60($110 if you include the hair and nails vitamins) and return the fancy French relaxer that I bought online. Day has convinced me, for now, that relaxing my hair is not good idea, that I should pay more attention to my health, and that I do not need long, straight, silky hair in order to be beautiful.
"You make relaxed hair look good; relaxed hair does not make you look good." That's what he said, and I am inclined to agree. I am not ready to go bald but an Afro might be perfect.
How is your hair keeping you fat? I will ask you the same straight-forward question that Day asked me: "How often has your hair kept you from exercizing?" Enough said. Stop by Your Best Image, it's definitiely worth a closer look.
►Editorial: Live Free of Health Destroying Chemicals, THE VILLAGER, February 11, 2000, page 2 by Gregory L. Day.
Still searching for that perfect reason to stop relaxing and curly perming your natural, coil hair? Let me give you Four Perfect Ones. One, relaxed and curly-permed hairstyles foster OBESITY. How you say? When you relax or curly perm your natural, coily hair, you avoid most sweat-producing activities, Why? Sweating ruins the "just-processed" or "just-done"look of the hairstyle. Since you want the hair's "just done" appearance to last the entire week, you avoid many sweat-producing activities. Consequently, you gain weight and continue the weight gain as long as you wear the relaxed or curly-permed hairstyle and avoid sweating. In most cases, the weight gain reaches upper levels of obesity.
Does this obesity claim indict relaxed and curly-permed hairstyles as the main cause of obesity? No! Just the wearing of relaxed or curly-permed hairstyles alone cannot directly cause obesity. But wearing relaxed or curly-permed hair increases the desire for physical inactivity. Physical inactivity, in the long run, greatly contributes to obesity.
Two, relaxers and curly perms foster DERMATITIS(skin inflammation). The different hydroxides in relaxers ans the ammonium thioglycolate in perm rearrangers inflame your scalp and the skin around your ears, neck, and facial ares, With repeated application of thes products on those areas, the inflammation becomes severe, damages hair follicles and in many cases, results in permanent scarring and irreversible hair loss.
Three, some grooming products designed to maintain relaxed and curly-perm hairstyles foster EARLIER PUBERTY FOR GIRLS. Some relaxer and curly-perm grooming products cantain estrogen, placenta, and other hormone-containing extracts(especially those labelled "hair food", "scalp food", or "rich in hormones"). Studies show these extracts have prompted a greater number of girls to start puberty at a much younger age. According to these studies, the typical American girl usually get her first period at about age 15. Today, the typical American girl develops breasts between 9 and 10, pubic hair before 11, underarm hair before 12, and gets her period between 12½ and 13. For those girls treating their natural, coily hair with relaxer and curly-perm products, they enter puberty about 12 to 21 months sooner and tend to get their first period earlier typically at age 12.
Four, relaxing and curly perming foster DISEASES, CANCERS, SENSITIVITIES, AND MALFUNCTIONS: respiratory problems, blood and lung cancer, chromosomal damage, malignancies, immune dysfunctions, toxicities, reproductive disorders, and chemical sensitivities(headaches, loss of breath, fatigue, memory loss, and dizziness) leg, neck, scalp, forehead, and eyelid swelling, eye irritation, ear rash, and low blood sugar. The poisonous relaxer and curly-perm ingredients infiltrate various body systems and fill them with inabilities either to function or to develop according to their design.
Do these reasons shock you? They should! Do not, however, stay in shock mode. Let the shock prompt you to stop relaxing and curly perming your natural, coily hair. Consider natural hairstyling. Visit with a few licensed, practicing haircare professionals and let them help you safely develop and stylishly wear a natural hairstyle best complementing your facial beauty. In most cases, Afros and hairlocks(especially Sisterlocks™) will best compliment your facial beauty. Do This As Soon As Your Time And Money Permit! This decision will ensure you will live a life freer of health-destroying chemicals.
►Review what our clients say about us on Yelp, Yellow Pages, and Google:
CANNOT DECIDE BETWEEN WEARING AN AFRO OR HAIRLOCKS?
Consider wearing the only other hairstyle, like Afros and hairlocks, not compromising your health, finances, and emotions:
A Bald Head!
Men and cancer survivors should not have exclusive rights to bald their heads. Women...
“I WEAR RELAXED HAIR TO LOOK MAINSTREAM, TO APPEASE MY EMPLOYER, TO MAKE HIM FEEL LESS THREATENED, MORE COMFORTABLE, TO TAKE MY HAIR OUT OF HIS PROMOTION EQUATION”.
What about “This is who I am.” “This is my authentic self.” “Why can’t I, instead of my boss, decide what kind of hairstyle is acceptable for work”? Sound familiar? You probably have spoken some version of these statements to express disapproval with workplace policies opposing certain natural hairstyles. Like many Black women, you cite certain school dismissals and corporate firings as proof...
WHITE PARENTS, CONGRATULATIONS!! WELCOME TO PARENTING A CHILD WITH GORGEOUS, NATURAL, COILY HAIR!
Scared, lack confidence, and feel unprepared to skillfully groom your child’s hair? Most parents, regardless of ethnicity, share those feelings when initially faced with grooming natural, coily hair. Most parents, like you, want nothing more than to ensure their child receives their best parenting. In your case, the best parenting involves the unique experience of skillfully grooming natural, coily hair. Do not let this challenge paralyze you! Grooming your...
OH, SHUT UP! MAKING THE RECOMMENDED CHARACTER CHANGES WILL NOT VIOLATE OR COMPROMISE CHRISTIANITY!
Oh yes, let us go there! For over twenty years, many of my Christian family members have cited six Scriptures as proof of God's disapproval of women wearing Afros and Hairlocks. They have linked Afros with short hair, Hairlocks with braided hair, and have cited I Corinthians 11:15-16, I Timothy 2:9-10, and I Peter 3:3-4 as Godly proof against women wearing Afros and Hairlocks. Have my Christian family members misunderstood God's Word about women wearing Afros...
A CURSORY READING AND UNDERSTANDING OF SOME OLD TESTAMENT VERSES HAVE FRIGHTENED AWAY MANY WOMEN FROM WEARING CERTAIN HAIRSTYLES.
They feel these verses prove God(i.e., the Christian God: Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit) forbids women, especially Christian Black women, from wearing short Afro and bald hairstyles. But do they?
In Jeremiah 47:5 and 48:37-38, we find Israelites balding heads, cutting beards, and clipping hair to express their mourning, humiliation, and grief from suffering personal losses.
Baldness(as a token of mourning) will come...