This Review article is part of a Narcity Media series. The views expressed are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.
After fighting with my curls for pretty much my whole life, I had basically given up on my natural hair. Straighteners and other hot tools became my best friends, and I would do everything in my power not to deal with the frizz and unruliness of my curls.
When I looked at fashion and beauty trends, I felt like naturally curly hair was out, and sleek, shiny, straight hair was in. Even when I'd go to salons, the stylists would either straighten or blow out my locks.
Then I stumbled across The Curl Lounge — a Toronto salon totally dedicated to curly hair. I couldn't believe something like this existed, and I knew I had to try it out. What if I could actually learn to embrace my natural curls?
The whole experience was so different from any cut I'd ever had before, and I can honestly say I've never been happier with my hair. I'll definitely be going back, and here's why I'm totally obsessed with this place.
All curly types are welcome
One thing I appreciate about the salon is that they don't discriminate when it comes to curly hair. While I've always considered my hair pretty curly, it definitely isn't the curliest around, and this became apparent as soon as I sat down in the styling chair. Looking around, I realized that my hair was probably the least curly out of everyone there, but my stylist Jasmyne reassured me that the salon welcomes all types of curls, no matter how springy or wavy.
The stylists are curl experts
When it comes time to make a hair appointment, I find myself calling around to different salons, asking if there's anyone familiar with cutting curly hair. I'm often told that all stylists are trained in cutting natural curls, but my hair has always been treated the same way as straight hair. It was a breath of fresh air to visit a salon that is dedicated to curls. I felt like I could sit back and relax while the pros handled my hair. Trust is huge!
Hair getting cut while dry.Courtesy of The Curl Lounge
The cut is totally catered to curls
Now let's talk about the actual cut because it was so different than anything I'd had before. Jasmyne cut my hair when it was dry, which is apparently the best way to trim curls. She did cut quite a bit off and added lots of layers, but she said it was definitely needed.
During the wash, she scrubbed my hair with a special brush that's supposed to really clean your scalp and help stimulate hair growth. Then, she sectioned off my hair while it was still soaking wet and added lots of product.
My favourite part, and the most unique part, was the "hair scrunching." Once she had added hair gel and mousse, I flipped my head forward, and she squeezed sections of my hair to encourage curls. Since it was still so wet, tons of water fell onto the floor, but luckily she was prepared with a towel.
Instead of the usual blowout I get at other salons, Jasmyne used a diffuser to dry my hair and give my curls some extra bounce and volume.
Curly hair being diffused. Courtesy of The Curl Lounge
They walk you through the process
Throughout the entire process, Jasmyne was very communicative about what she was doing. She walked me through everything and explained why her techniques were best for curls. She also gave me tons of tips and tricks so I could get similar results at home. I've never been offered this kind of curly expertise from a salon before, so not only was I getting a haircut, but I was also gaining so much knowledge about my hair.
They don't push products
We've all been in that uncomfortable situation where you feel pressured to buy a ton of pricey products after a visit to a salon. I'll be honest — I was a little worried that this might happen after my haircut. Would they tell me I was using all the wrong products for my curls and push a whole new line of haircare at me? I couldn't have been more wrong.
I never once felt pressured to purchase anything, in fact, I was the one who brought up product suggestions. The salon was also super open about treatments and doing what was best for me. I had asked about getting a moisturizing treatment, but Jasmyne felt that I didn't need it. I really appreciated the honesty, and it made me feel like they truly had my best interests in mind and weren't just focused on selling.
The only thing Jasmyne recommended I buy was the brush she used to wash my hair, and it certainly wasn't pricey.
End result of cut at a curly hair salon.Courtesy of The Curl Lounge
It was FUN
Not only was the haircut informative, but it was also fun! The vibe was laid-back and friendly, and the staff took videos of my cut at different stages to make a video at the end.
We also did a photo-op in front of the neon sign to show off the results. Feeling good is totally part of any beauty experience, and I loved that they made this a priority.