Sun Hair Spotlight on: LeRoi and Cinzia Simmons Beauty Salon
Owners: LeRoi and Cinzia Simmons
404 W. Chelten Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19144
Appts: Call for Appointments: Between Tuesday and Friday, 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM; Saturday, 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Specialties: “Full menu of salon services for body mind and spirit”. Natural Hair Care—Cuts, Locks, coils, Twists, Two Strand Twist, Sister Locks; Relaxers; Permanent Color; Press-N-Curls; Cosmetic Make-Over’s; Facials and Spa Services that include Manicures and Pedicures
Telephone: 215-844-0431 – Fax: 215-844-0722
[email protected] Simmons
By Leah Fletcher
After decades, an age-old debate still rages on among African American women regarding choices surrounding natural or relaxed hairstyles. There are those who prefer natural hair ranging from curly to kinky or somewhere in between. And, there are those who go to great expense to straighten their hair.
For those electing the natural hair journey, patience and the right resources will make the trip a personal triumph and an emotionally empowering lifestyle change, according to LeRoi Simmons, of LeRoi and Cinzia Beauty Salon.
Despite the fact that legions of African American women straighten their hair, Cinzia Simmons noted hair salons specializing in natural hair services are multiplying and more women are working with their natural hair. “Many are wearing their twists, locs or TWAs (known as teenie-weenie Afros) with pride and attitude,” opined Cinzia, who co-owns the beauty salon with her husband LeRoi.
The husband and wife team have been co-owners of their Germantown establishment for nearly 30 years, catering to an ever-increasing clientele seeking natural hair care services. They observed the record decline in the sales of chemical hair relaxers and straightening products. On the other hand, they explained there has been an explosion in products, websites, blogs and YouTube channels aimed at instructing women about natural hair.
But how African American women wear their hair reflects a deeper historical ideology rooted in personal, social and commercial considerations, according to LeRoi and Cinzia. “They are no longer submitting to the pressure to straighten their hair, “explained Cinzia. The team acknowledged a prevailing thought among some that straight hair within the African American community is more desirable. “There has always been pressure if you have “good hair” (straight hair) you are prettier or better than the woman who wears an afro or dreads or a natural hair style,” explained LeRoi.
Natural hair, according to LeRoi may make both a political and/or a beauty statement. “As African American women, in large numbers, opt for natural hair, they find the experience emotionally empowering in an environment that has historically undervalued them,” opined LeRoi.