Being part of the curly hair club, getting my hair cut has always been a slightly traumatic experience. Who knew how I’d come out looking at the end of my trim?! It was a gamble I always had to take as the hairdressers I used to visit just didn’t ‘get’ my hair.
Growing up, curl-specific hairdressers were just not a thing that were on my radar. I went where my pin-straight haired mum went, resulting in having a slew of hairdressers who most likely didn’t have experience cutting anything higher than a 2B curl pattern hack away at my hair.
Sitting in a hair salon shouldn’t be a daunting experience for anyone. Obviously, there’s always a slight ripple of nerves before a stranger takes a pair of scissors to your crowning glory, but those nerves shouldn’t be a result of you feeling like you don’t belong.
Unfortunately, this is often the experience for a lot of girls and women with curly hair – and particularly for those of colour whose hair patterns tend to range from 3A and higher.
During my pre-cut consultations, I’ve heard it all, from being told to straighten my hair prior to the cut to make it easier for them, to asking for advice on how my previous hairstylists cut it.
Due to this, I sometimes went a full year between cuts to avoid the awkwardness of being put in front of a hairstylist who clearly wished they had an ‘easier’ straight-haired client sat in their chair instead.
Trepadora salon: my experience
However, this all changed when I discovered the curly hair haven that goes by the name of Trepadora.
In fact, it was experiences similar to those mentioned prior that inspired Trepadora’s founder, Keisha Jo Lawler, to open her curl-only salon.
When I went for my appointment and spoke to Keisha, she told me about a memory that had stuck with her. She had once visited a salon, got robed-up and seated, all to then be told that they couldn’t work on her hair due to her curls.
The most vivid part of the memory, she told me, was the burning embarrassment she felt as she had to get up in-front of everyone to leave.
Walking into Trepadora, it was the first time I’d ever felt excited to get my hair done, rather than pure dread.
When it comes to its products and salon experience, the brand uses the phrase ‘curl therapy,’ and it truly is exactly that. Whilst it may sound ridiculous to those who have never felt a sense of exclusion and anxiety around getting your hair cut, walking into its beautifully designed salon and being surrounded by other curly haired women (all stylists had curly hair too), a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I felt instantly at ease and in safe hands, which is something I have never been able to say before.
Being a new client, it meant I was there for around six hours for my cut, full head of highlights and styling, as it’s not your usual impersonal, in-and-out salon experience.
The fabulous stylists talk you through every step, giving you all the tips and tools you’ll need to feel confident styling your curls at home. It truly is a priceless experience and I’ve been tempted to stop every curly haired person I’ve seen since to share how it will most definitely change their lives.
Previously being a part of the daily hair wash club (I know, someone call the hair police), as it was the only way I knew how to control my curls, I now have a weekly hair routine that works. And as silly as it sounds, I secretly get a thrill out of being part of a gang that I never thought I could be.
Trepadora’s Bamboo Ginseng Curling Glaze, £33, Miracle Maca Moisture Balm, £24, and Quinoa Repair Deep Conditioner, £25 have also since become my holy grails of haircare. They give me the softest, bounciest, most ultra-defined curls and put every product I’ve used before to shame.
I left the salon with a bespoke curl routine and a new hairstyle that for the first time since I could remember I felt fully comfortable wearing down. I truly have ‘cracked the code to my routine’ as Trepadora promises to its clients, and I’m going to keep shouting about it from the rooftops until every curly haired girl gets to experience the confidence that brings.
Appointments with Trepadora start at £75 and can be booked through the brand’s website.