Trying out a new hair salon or stylist always gives me hives. If you think bad hair days are horrible imagine a bad haircut, or, to be more specific, a bad hair massacre. That’s usually what happens when I try out a new salon (I won’t even go into the time I foolishly let my father’s ex-girlfriend cut my hair. Big. Mistake.). And if taking my relaxed hair to a salon gave me hives stepping up to the salon chair at a natural hair salon that “specializes” in all hair types gave me serious heart palpitations.
It was with this sense of impending doom looming over me that I stepped into The Curl Ambassadors for a wash, cut and style.
The Curl Ambassadors is a hair salon that specializes in curly hair of all textures (yeah, even you 4Cers) but can handle straight tresses as well. After over 14 months of transitioning (going from relaxed, or chemically straightened hair, to natural hair) I thought it was finally time to truly commit to this natural hair journey and confront an obsession with long hair by letting go of my relaxed ends with a haircut and ‘fro shape.
When I first walked into Curl Ambassadors I was drawn to the comforting décor and architecture (it’s a little glam and a little rustic with a whiff of rock and roll) as well as the selection of hair products including Kinky Curly, Carol’s Daughter and Mixed Chicks. Just what I needed to ease me into the hairstylist’s chair.
My hairstylist, let’s call her M., began with a quick assessment of my hair and then we moved to the sinks for my wash. Before washing my hair she asked me about my hair regimen. I should have hopped out of that chair when she revealed she didn’t know what co-washing was.
Over the next three hours or so M. proceeded to “cleanse not shampoo my hair” (even though I explained how drying it was) condition, cut and “style” my hair. At first I was impressed with her techniques though put off by her aloofness to me and warmth to other coworkers and customers. As M. began to chop, chop and chop some more of my hair the butterflies in my stomach grew to dragons and still I did not get out of that chair. Sigh.
After my third stint under the dryer M. realized that the conditioner and styling gel she was using in my hair wasn’t being absorbed and was just sitting there like a bump on a log so she rinsed my hair and put some curling custard in. Another stint under the dryer, some blow drying action and a little scrunching and she was done or at least done with me. M. sent me out on the hottest day of the year with the humidity at 44% with wet hair!
I paid the lady ($115) and even tipped and left. I looked like an 80s poodle chia pet with the world’s dryest hair and my heart was and still is in my shoes. Would I recommend Curl Ambassadors? Maybe. My experience with M. may not be the norm and if you do decide to go I have a $20 gift card that I have absolutely no intention of using. And while you’re doing that I’ll be stocking up on hair wraps, headbands, hats and other hair hiders. Blerg.