Salon Review: Kadi's African Braiding Salon

When I was deciding where to get my hair done, I relied mostly on word of mouth. I looked online, but didn't find anything very reliable. After the experience I had, I decided a thorough review would be good. I hope people can learn from my experience and be better prepared when it comes to how to approach getting a protective braided/twisted style done by a professional. It should go without saying, but all African braiding shops are not the same. You shouldn't assume every shop will be like the experience I had at this one. I went to Kadi's twice: once for my initial box braid installation and then six days later after I had taken the majority of the top of my hair out. This is a pretty detailed review so I broke it up into categories to make it easy to skim through. 

1st Impressions: I was greeted when I came in and directed to the owner, Kadi. The shop just looked regular to me - nothing fancy or impressive. It was clean and being cleaned regularly. It doubles as a beauty supply so there's weave aplenty and other hair supplies along all the walls and shelves. It also has two big screen TVs that keep the romantic comedies rolling. I guess that's kinda fancy, huh?

The Stylists: There were at least 10 different women working both times I went to this shop. There could be 2-4 ladies working on a client's hair at once. They have a system: 1 or 2 will start the braids and then 1 or 2 other ladies will come to start finishing them. If it's one thing to be said of these ladies, its the fact that they all work very well together; whether ensuring the uniformity of a style on a client or making sure everyone is paid to their satifaction, they're a great team. There is definitely a language barrier though. Yes, they do spend the majority of the time you are there speaking in their native tongue. However, I don't think you should take that to mean they are talking about you. I have a background in French so I could pick up on a lot of what they were saying and they were mostly talking about their home lives and plans after work. Pretty normal stuff, but I can understand why some people find it frustrating. 

What I will say is IF some of these particular ladies are talking about you, they will make it known. When I went back for the second time with my hair half undone, honey, I received alllll the shade thrown my way. They were too mad I wanted my money back. I mean eye rolls, dirty looks, fingers pointed! Like really?! That's unprofessional yo. While it wasn't all of the ladies working, it was enough to be completely unacceptable. 

Pricing: When calling around to different shops, I found prices for box braids to be from $160-200+. Kadi's was on the low end of that. Plus there's a coupon on their website. When I sat down, I confirmed the price that she gave me as we discussed my style. However, after half of my hair was done, they tried to up the price and say the coupon was "built in" to that price. What?! My solution: I only brought enough cash for the price I was told anyway plus a tip. No tricking me into paying more.  

Quality of Work: To me, this depends on whether you're concerned with simply the appearance of your style or that AND the health of your hair. If it's simply the appearance, you're good. They're great at giving people beautiful, braided/twisted styles. Their styles are also known to last at least two months without looking old. If you are concerned with the latter though, you might have some issues getting them to give you a style that is both pretty and protects your hair. Yet, it is possible; they redid my hair exactly the way I wanted it when I went back the second time. 

much too long for me
Customer Service: After the problems I had from my initial visit, I felt they had mediocre customer service. They were all really nice to me the whole time I was there. But I wasn't sure if they didn't actually understand that I wanted bigger spacing along with the bigger braids or if they just didn't want to do it the way I wanted. Also, I asked them to cut the braids several times once I realized how long they were. I wanted them to the middle of my back. They pretty much refused; they kept saying they would, but never did. I ended up cutting them myself.

On the other hand, when I went back the second time, dealing with Kadi and one of the ladies who did my hair was great. Although they were convinced their way was right, they understood the issues I had and my concern for my hair. Apparently, their technique of small parts with lots of hair ensures a styles longevity. (AKA they understood what I wanted the first time and didn't do it because they were more concerned with how long it would last. Rude!) Once they realized that I wanted my hair the way I asked for it and was more concerned with its health than how long the style would last, they redid my hair the way I wanted it. For free, of course. It shouldn't have taken all that tho. 

My Recommendation: Surprisingly, I wouldn't say no one should ever go here. The fact that they redid my hair gave me some hope. If you want this kind of style done by a professional, please be willing to stand up for yourself - no matter where you go. Discuss exactly what you want, including an agreed upon price. Bring pictures. Check and triple check throughout the process that it's being done the way you want. Let them know if it's being done too tightly. I recognize that all ladies are not as vocal as I am, however, you should ask yourself: would I rather speak up now or end up unhappy and perhaps crying about my hair loss later? Being quiet is not worth the risk in my eyes. And besides, its YOUR money! 

Now, would I go back to them again? Nope. Pretty positive I'll never go back here. The whole experience was just too much trouble for me to ever put myself through again. If they had the ability to redo my hair the way I wanted, not too tight yet still secure, they could've done it right the first time. So, if you live in Columbus, OH, you be the judge of whether you'll pay Kadi a visit or not. And if you're considering going anywhere for a similar service, please take my advice: SPEAK UP!!

That was a lot! Thanks for reading! :)


  1. I like what you said "if they had the ability to redo my hair the way I wanted,not too tight yet still secure they could've done it right the first time" very true! It's great that you offered readers tips like showing them a photo of the style and partings you require etc this is very important especially in cases of language barriers. One more thing I may add is that ALWAYS double check and agree on the price before they start your hair don't always rely on web prices so if she says its $100 ask again $100 for waist length medium size box braids? BEFORE they touch your hair and if she agrees then go ahead. It is very common for braiders in African braiding shops; same applies for those in Africa as well to have more than one braider doing the installation I think they mostly do this to save on time the less time the more clients that's my opinion. I am sure if one asked for just one braider to do the installation in advance that request would be honoured but may cost more because it will take her more time. Not making any excuses for Kadi and co but theirs is a perfect example of take a man out of the village but you can never take the village out of them. They probably came from countries/cultures where customer service is non existent and carried the practice to the US this is why I keep insisting that people speak up in these shops because the more people speak up the more they will be inclined to change their practices and adapt to the practices of their new abode. Judging from your review if I was ever in the area or knew anyone in the area who needed braiding services I would advice them to avoid this particular shop. Shops like these need to realise that word of mouth is the greatest advertising tool ever and they just lost themselves several customers who may be reading this. You should have given their address/exact location as well for people who want to avoid going there otherwise this was a very detailed and honest review. Good on you for speaking up and more importantly going back to them with your concerns, now if only more people did the same the braiding experience at African braiding shops with problems like this one would be much better. You can also use your networks to find out if there are any "Kitchen" braiders in your area and use their services next time I find that ladies who are a one woman show working out of their homes or yours offer a much better braiding experience most times.

    1. Good addition! I actually did confirm the price with her when I sat down, but then halfway thru it was changed. Which is why it was so crazy to me. I think I will update the post to say that. The multiple braiders definitely does save time. I didn't mind that aspect. It got me done in 3.5 hour that first time and about 1 hr the second.

      I agree that if enough people speak up in these situations, they may be inclined to change the way they do things. I think communication is always key, especially when you are facing language and cultural differences. But I also think that a lot of their clientele is more concerned with their hairs appearance and the longevity of the style than they are with the health of their hair. I say this because of the reaction I got when I went back. They just kept saying no, smaller parts will last for months, bigger parts won't. It was as if they have had issues with people's hair not lasting "long enough" in the past. Both the stylists and even a couple clients said that it being too tight and too heavy would go away after a few days or up to two weeks. You just have to deal with it and not touching your hair or sleeping comfortably for awhile. Then you'll be fine. At the same time, the people saying this didn't have edges... that can't be me.

      I've also come in contact with a kitchen braider since I've been sharing this experience. So I think I would try her out or DIY if I were to do something like this again.

      Thanks for your input, Lydz! I know this is subject near to your heart :)

  2. IDK what the hell is wrong with these people! Do they train these people in beauty school to NOT listen to clients? Smh.......... I'm happy it all worked out for you in the end but you are right about not going back.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Candice! I don't understand why there's such an epidemic of stylists who don't want to listen to the clients either... It doesn't make any sense to me.

  3. Thanks for sharing. I'm so glad you spoke up. It's very hard to speak up sometimes when sitting in that chair. Your hair looks great though.
    Divachyk @Relaxed Thairapy

    1. It is hard, Divachyk. I completely agree. It's sad, too, because I would think stylists would want to promote dialogue from us to make sure they're pleasing their clients.

      Thank you!

  4. Im glad I took the time to read your post because I also went to this same shop and experienced many of the things you had. U was looking for a shop whom I could go to, to get kinky twist. I was referred by a friend who told me to contact kandi the owner. When I spoke to her she told me that it would cost me 100.00. So I was OK with that so I went in, the vibe I got from so many ladies being in there came off so rude to me. So I asked for kandi I was told she was on her way and was told to have a seat. I said I'm getting kinky twist for the 100.00 and they start laughing and looking like I said something wrong. The lady kept saying no not for that price. So I'm like well kandi told me a price before I got here. I said I have a hundred that's it. So this other lady said come on I'll do it and then 3 other women helped her. When I tell you they braided my hair super tight it brought tears to my eyes. I told them you all are braiding to tight. I Never had the problem with losing my edges but I did lose a lot of hair just trying to take them out all together. My Braid's was so tight my face swolled up. I never returned and will never go back there again.


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