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Miss Jessie's Salon and Silkener

Updated on October 31, 2013

Miss Jessie's Salon Review

Miss Jessie's Salon is a natural hair and curly hair salon in Soho, New York (formerly in Brooklyn). Miss Jessie's Salon and Miss Jessie's hair products are the brainchild of two biracial (Black and Japanese) sisters, Miko and Titi Branch, who found that there were no products on the market to deal with textured hair like theirs. Miko and Titi have been a godsend to many women who want to wear natural hairstyles without a relaxer, and for women who have textured hair. Miss Jessie's Salon has hundreds (perhaps thousands) of loyal customers who travel to New York City from across the country for hair care that they can only get at Miss Jessie's.

Will Miss Jessie's Work on my Hair?

This is a common question women have about Miss Jessie's. My response to people is, 1) "It depends on what it is you want your hair to do, and 2) "It depends on how your hair behaves naturally." Does your natural hair curl up or become wavy when wet? If so, you're probably a good candidate. If you don't have natural curls, then Miss Jessie's is not going to magically put curls in.

Hair varies from person to person, so no one can predict your results 100%. But Miko and Titi have worked on enough heads to give you a good idea of what your results will be once they see your hair texture during your consultation. They help you figure out what your hair does naturally, and then design a hair routine around how you to best work with that. Hair education is part of the service that you pay for when you visit Miss Jessie's salon.

The first time you go to Miss Jessie's, your hair needs to be natural (unrelaxed) state. If you have a relaxer, you need to grow it out first and then go to the salon once you're natural. Miko and Titi can't evaluate your hair if your natural texture is modified by a relaxer.

I've been a regular customer at Miss Jessie's Salon for about 5 years now. I love it because the services I get make it easy for me to care for my curly hair on my own. Miss Jessie's is one of a handful of nationally known salons that specialize in curly hair care. I have a Hispanic friend who's tried Ouidad salon in New York, and so far, she seems happy with them.

Miss Jessie's Before and After Photos of Curly Hair

This is what my hair looked like before the silkener, in its completely natural state.
This is what my hair looked like before the silkener, in its completely natural state.
This is my hair after my first silkener at Miss Jessie's salon.
This is my hair after my first silkener at Miss Jessie's salon.
This is my hair after 3 years of getting silkeners at Miss Jessie's. Notice how it "hangs" more than in the 2nd photo.
This is my hair after 3 years of getting silkeners at Miss Jessie's. Notice how it "hangs" more than in the 2nd photo.

Miss Jessie Silkener Reviews

Silkener for Natural Hair

The premier service offered at the Miss Jessie Salon is called a "Silkener." This is what you get if you like your curly hair, but you want it to hang down longer, or if you want to turn your kinks, spirals, squiggles, or whatever, into waves. It works great on Type 4a hair like mine. (If you stretch out a piece of your natural hair and it forms an "s" shaped ringlet, that's type 4a.)

Miss Jessie Silkener is a CHEMICAL PROCESS. It's basically a mild relaxer, no matter what fancy name they put on it. Some even say it's the same relaxer you could get in any salon, but that they just work it through the hair less aggressively, and leave it on for a shorter time. I don't know if this is true or not, but even if it is, a lessened chemical process at less frequent intervals sounds good to me.

The Silkener gradually loosens your hair's curl pattern, while making it less frizzy and more manageable. It's a one-way process (once the hair has been straightened, you can't get it curly again), so Miko will be conservative about it the first time around. If the curl turns out still too tight for you, you can tell her on your next visit to go more aggressive with the Silkener. It may take several Silkeners over time before you're happy with the result. Miss Jessie's will keep a file on you, with notes about your hair. Whenever you return to the salon, Miko and Titi will ask you if you what you liked or didn't like about how your hair turned out last time so they know how to adjust.

A Silkener treatment lasts about 3 months before you have to back for a Silkener touch-up, although this depends on your personal preference and how fast your hair grows. I only go 2-3 times a year, but I am also not one to freak out about "new growth."

As with a fresh perm (on me anyway), you may not like your Silkener the day-of. I always feel that I look like a wet dog the day I walk out of Miss Jessie's Salon. But by two days later, once it's puffed up a bit, I love my hair. Also, if you decide to get a Silkener, you have to commit to it. Not only will you have to go back a couple times a year for a touch up, but it may take a couple of sessions for you to get your curls the way you want them.

Miss Jessie's Shingling and Angle Balance Cut for Curly Hair

Another signature service Miss Jessie's offers is shingling, which is a non-chemical curl elongation technique done with Miss Jessie Curly Pudding product. The end result is nice, but temporary. It only lasts 2-3 days, which isn't worth $175 to me. Once you wash your hair or otherwise muss it, the style is gone.

Miko also specializes in cutting naturally curly hair into a shape -- something many hair stylists don't know how to do. If you have triangle hair (flat on the top, bushy at the bottom, a la Roseanne Roseannadanna), try an angle balance cut. It will add some layers to your hair to help weigh it down and help it fall better. Be sure to let Miko know how much volume you want (a little or a lot). Miko and Titi like big, bodacious hair, as you can see in all the photos of them and all the "After" photos on the Miss Jessie's web site. If you want a cut that hangs down more (like I do), let them know.

Miss Jessie's Salon Visit

Yes, Miss Jessie's Salon offers coiling, twist-outs, wet sets, hair coloring, and even regular relaxers – all of which I’m sure are top-notch -- but I would leave those services to the local New Yorkers, who are used to paying top dollar for everyday hair styling. The rest of us can get those services done at home. Also, the Shingling style is nice, but it only lasts a couple days. I wouldn’t pay $175 for it unless it was a very special occasion or something.

The real reason to pay top dollar and travel to Miss Jessie Salon from out of town is to get an angle-balance cut or a Silkener. Miss Jessie’s specialty is providing solutions for curly styling and maintenance. If you can only get to the salon a couple times a year, then by God, get the services they specialize in. Getting anything else is like going to Morton’s Steakhouse and ordering the chicken.

Getting the desired results is a trial and error process, and you may not get your ideal hair the day you walk out of the salon. But I have found the staff at Miss Jessie's to be very helpful in recommending a hair routine and the right products to use at home, in answering questions about how to use their products, and in advising me on hair techniques when I had trouble getting salon results at home. Plus, they're more than willing to work with you if you end up not liking something about your hair. In the end, they want you to be happy with your hair so you'll come back and so you'll spread the word about Miss Jessie's Salon.

What People Are Saying About Miss Jessie's Salon

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