Miss Jessie's Curl Bar
Recently, I’ve been increasingly frustrated with my hair and felt like I needed a new beginning of sorts. Plus, it’s been getting hot and humid in NYC so I bit the bullet and decided to do a little chop! As you might remember, I actually got a trim about two months ago but it didn’t do much to take out any of the length. Plus, that wasn’t really the goal at the time.
I’ve been curious about Miss Jessie’s Curl Bar (in SoHo) for a while and their style of cutting afro/curly textured hair called the “Buttercut”. A while ago, I tweeted Miss Jessie’s and learned that the “Buttercut” entails blowing the hair out first before the cut to ensure clean and even lines. To be honest, I put off the appointment for a while due to my fear of heat and the possible damage to my hair (and scalp) but when I was given the “Buttercut” service as a birthday gift I decided to give it a shot!
The "Before" Pic on the subway
I ended up at the salon after passing it initially as there is some scaffolding right above the entrance which obscured the building a bit. Once I entered the salon, I was initially impressed with the clean, white and metallic feel and the worker (who I think was the manager) immediately greeted me and saw me to my chair. So far so good!
I got in the chair, all nervous and all, as I was the only guy and truly felt a little bit out of my league. While the environment is welcoming, it’s not exactly comfortable. It is a pretty nice salon set up. Those of you familiar with beautiful salon spaces as opposed to more comfy ones will certainly appreciate it.
I met with my stylist Diana who I told to cut off 1/2 of my total length. I even gave her license to cut it a little shorter than that as I was trying to lose a lot of length for the upcoming Summer heat. She nodded in affirmation and said, “No problem!” First though, I had to have my hair blown hair out. The assistant went to town and needless to say, the heat was on.
Look at all that hair! Did I mention it was hot?!
After the blow out, Diana got to chopping away and seemed a bit modest with the scissors so I kindly reminded her to chop away. “Go at it!” I said. After a while, she stopped and moved me to the shampoo bowl where I got my complimentary wash and conditioning (using Miss Jessie’s products of course!). I thought my hair looked a little long, but it was still blown out after all so I figured after washing it would shrink up quite a bit so onto the bowl I went. After my refusal of any styling services, Diana and the assistant insisted on putting in some curly pudding so I figured what the hey, go for it. But, now that meant I had to sit under the dryer. Did I mention it was a pretty warm June day already?
Very hot and unhappy sitting under a dryer.
After several checks from both the assistant and the stylist, I was finally released from the torture chamber (I kid, I kid) and went back into the chair for my final touches, or at least that’s what I thought. I took one very quick look in the mirror and told Diana something like, “This isn’t nearly short enough, I’m sorry but I need you to cut more.” She seemed a bit puzzled but ran with it, and then re-blew out my hair and started chopping away again. It’s hot and I’m hungry. Can I go yet?! Meanwhile, her next client arrived who was now being worked on by the assistant and the woman in the chair next to me requested a new stylist apparently because hers was seemingly slow and she had places to be. Unfortunately, I wasn’t the only one having problems.
The cut was noticeably shorter this time around so I was much more satisfied. After cutting away some more, I went back to the bowl for a condition and this time I adamantly refused any dryer time or styling. Again, the manager insisted the assistant scrunch in some Baby Buttercream. PS I HATE the way that stuff makes my hair feel! With the end in sight, I didn’t protest too much and went up to pay. My distaste with some of the days happenings must have been written all over my face as another stylist approached me at the register and asked if I needed it to be re-cut. “No thank you,” I stated flatly….”it’s much shorter now. Thank you though.” I left the salon, re-emerged into the urban grid and went home to relax. I checked myself out in the mirror at home and noticed it was good cut, not as short as I wanted, but definitely a good cut. A few days later I washed and conditioned with Curly Kinks products (review coming soon!) and felt good about the cut.
Arriving home after my visit to Curl Bar.
Overall, I think the salon is a bit too fancy for a guy like me but would be more suited for someone who is more used to the bells and whistles. It’s beautiful and in a trendy area which some people might really gravitate to, but for me, it wasn’t what I expected. Ultimately, the communication between myself and my stylist left me with a less than stellar experience but I think I understand the madness that is the “Buttercut”. My curls certainly pop a lot more than they did pre-cut, and the staff at Miss Jessie’s Curl Bar was nothing but polite and courteous. I was there for entirely too long and it seems the staff is a bit stubborn when it comes to client requests and directions. I had really high expectations which my experience did not meet. Would I go back? Probably not. Would I recommend it to someone else? Not really. It’s sad, I really wanted to LOVE it, but I just didn’t.