Best African Hair Braiding: How Stella got her weave back
Oh My Nappy Hair
Oh My Nappy Hair 331 19th St., Oakland, 510-839-3877
The first thing that gets you about this place is the name. Only in Oakland, you think. Then astute minds remember the reference to the salon in How Stella Got Her Groove Back. The second thing that gets you when you step inside is how damn cute the place is -- rose wallpaper; African art; and old, wood-framed antique mirrors. It's an old-fashioned, full-service hair salon, in that friends drop in and out and fifteen years' worth of regulars make up the clientele. The women who run this shop wanted to create a space where African-American women can love their hair in its natural state, free from chemicals or relaxers. One way to embrace this philosophy without going quite so far as to grow dreadlocks is through braiding, twisting, and hair weaving. In less than two hours in a chair you can walk out with Bantu knots, flat twists, cornrows, or the ever-popular Senegalese twists. Aida from Senegal is the resident weaver and twister, and though her English may be somewhat limited, she speaks fluently with the hands of a stylist. The shop has moved from its old location near the Parkway to a cozy block of 19th Street, off Harrison.