Beauty | The Natural Hair Journey continues… My first haircut at The Curl Ambassadors

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.


About Septembre

Septembre Anderson is a passionate journalist, cultural critic and public intellectual. Her work has appeared in Flare, FASHION Magazine,, Complex Canada, Vice Canada and Huffington Post Canada.
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15 Responses to Beauty | The Natural Hair Journey continues… My first haircut at The Curl Ambassadors

  1. Elle Dubs says:

    Oh my… You have me frightened now because I’m planning on going there for a cut myself after reading a good review. Now I’m having second thoughts. Can you please e-mail me the name of your stylist so I know who to avoid? Also, did you have any trouble booking your appointment. I sent a request through their website and it’s been more than 24 hrs and haven’t gotten a reply.

  2. hlbb says:

    First of all, you don’t look like a chia pet. You’re much to pretty for that…
    I’m going to start my natural journey on my birthday and have started doing research. I will NOT be going to this spot. I even co-wash my relaxed hair! WET HAIR? Is she serious?!?

    • Septembre says:

      Thank you and congratulations on starting your natural hair journey. I can’t say whether or not my experience was representative as a whole but the woman who did my hair was not knowledgeable about curly hair. At all. A very disappointing experience to say the least.

      • hlbb says:

        Nope. Won’t be going there. I’m going to start with the big chop in September – just in time for my birthday!

    • Septembre says:

      Blerg. “…representative of the salon as a whole…”

  3. I probably would have kicked over everything in the salon and walked out without paying…..I’m sooo upset for you, but you are too cute to make it look bad so I’m sure you will work it out! I wouldn’t go back there either!

  4. Yahgoh Dennie says:

    The quest to finding a stylist or barber that actually listens to ones request, as opposed to acting upon their own artistic impression can be a dragggg. A strong sense of self security, and open communication can go a long way in helping the stylist along. They dont read minds, but they still follow instructions. Dad should have been there.

  5. Yahgoh Dennie says:

    Wow. love the natural look. Now that you have found the right stylist dont let them go. A bottle of wine gifted on your next visit will go aloooong way to your personalized hair care

  6. hlbb says:

    UPDATE. I did the big chop this past weekend at

    I found out from a friend that the owner USED to be at Curl Ambassadors…

    While I explained that I’ve been doing the research about going natural, she still walked me through the process, explained the cut, explained co-washing WHILE she was doing it. Listed recommended products and how to use them (day and night).

    PLUS, she took me at the last minute, offered complimentary water/iced tea. Offered a complimentary polish change and gave me a sample of PURE shea butter (right out of the nut) to use on my hair and a microfibre towel – explaining how cotton towels can dry the hair out (never even thought of that to be honest)

    While doing my hair I told her about your experience and then said, “YOU must’ve been the person that got them their business…”

    p.s. Love my hair, already see the curls

    • Septembre says:

      Congratulations! Welcome to the Natural Hair Club (your membership card is one the way). While I’m not ready to jump into a hairstylists chair again just yet I am going to check out Curl Bar. Thanks for the heads up.

      • hlbb says:

        There are membership cards! Yaaay!

        I totally understand your reluctance, but that’s why I needed to tell you about Carleen. Even for a wash. Plus, being a short ride on the King streetcar is a bonus!

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