Oct 2, 2020 | By Ky-Leigh Boyland | Illustration by Xixi Qin

You walk into the barber shop. A plastic drape is laid over you. Scissors snip away at your locks, and you leave satisfied with the end result, but what if I told you there was something more? Something beyond the basic $16 haircut from Walmart?

Personally, I like to keep my hair short. I have had my hair short and buzzed since the beginning of high school, and this preference forces me to get a haircut every two months.

Before arriving at Colorado College this year, I cut my hair to make sure I wouldn’t need it cut anytime soon. However, my hair soon began to grow and resemble a mop. A haircut loomed on the horizon.

Searching far and wide on Google Maps for a hair salon, I stumbled upon a place called Salon Ivan. They specialized in curly hair, had good reviews, and weren’t located too far away. With my hopes rising, I gave them a call.

Once I made an appointment, the woman on the phone asked if I wanted to know the price.

I thought this was an odd question, because I assumed it would be a normal haircut with the standard $16 price, but thank God she told me. At the end of the call, I sat on my bed coming to the realization that I signed up for a $70 haircut. 

Two weeks later, I arrived at the salon for my appointment, and my first impression kicked off in the right direction. The place was adorable, and Ivan (the stylist) greeted me kindly.

The biggest downside I can point out is the chair I sat in. It made my shoulders stiff; however, everything else was fantastic. Ivan did a great job of keeping hair off of my clothes, he was intellectual and made for great conversation, and I could tell his skill was beyond that of the average hairdresser.

Strangely, Ivan cut my hair dry. When I asked him why, he said that normally, people wet the hair, pull it up, and cut it straight, which defies the nature of curly hair. When the hair is dry, he can see the way my curls lay, which allows him to preserve the shape and keep it full.

Often, the top back of my hair pokes out the shorter it gets, and when I asked how he made my hair fall smoothly without it poking out, he said it’s because he cuts every strand differently. Not every curl can be cut the same way. My mind was blown!

Ivan also cut my sides with shears instead of a buzzer, which I found weird as well. He explained that a buzzer makes it hard to follow the shape of your head, so he uses something more flexible to best compliment my head shape.

At this point, Ivan had won me over. His skill and personality were beyond what I have experienced with others, and it peaked when this man changed the way I wash my hair.

Typically, I wash my hair with cold water, so I wash it in the sink (I don’t want to shower with cold water). I did this every time because I was told that hot water opens up the ends of your hair, which can cause split ends.

Ivan washes and dries every client’s hair to make sure it falls the way we want it, and when I asked why he was washing my hair with hot water, he told me this: hair requires a ton of heat to be damaged. Hot water simply isn’t hot enough to do such damage, but you do have to be careful with straighteners and curling irons.

My years of believing hot water would ruin my hair were caput. Ivan’s knowledge and the hair cut he gave me told me, without a doubt, that whatever he said was true.

I left his salon satisfied and not an ounce of me regretted the $70 fee. I haven’t decided whether I will see him every haircut, but I will definitely be going back to Salon Ivan, and I recommend this place to everyone. 

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