Beauty: Ambushed Salon

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

The newest business in the Short North's Yukon Building thinks you're beautiful. Just check out the john.

On Ambushed Salon's blackboard bathroom walls, there are chalked words of encouragement, camaraderie and one 10-year-old customer's musings: "I hate people that discriminate against hair."

"It's rewarding to help a 10-year-old describe herself as pretty," said owner Amy Bush, who has been cutting hair in Columbus for 20 years.

The bathroom's supportive messages stem from Ambushed's specialty of styling curly coifs.

The niche has been successful, Bush said, thanks to recent movements in the beauty world that embrace all things natural, particularly a love of what-nature-gave-ya locks.

Calling hair her fabric - "each is different and requires a different treatment" - Bush has a four-step process of conditioning and cutting. She keeps customers informed on what style and products would work best for their curls.

As for why she started the salon?

"A lot of people are frustrated with the options that are out there," Bush said. "I want to show people how to accept and embrace their curly hair. It's you. It's who you are."

Razor cuts (an invitation for frizz), one-length looks and shine-sucking bleach are all examples of what's avoided in a curl-specific salon.

Bush only uses Eufora, an organic line of hair-care products with aloe vera, great for sensitive hair. She colors customers with Jean Alexander's herbal-based products, which have less ammonia than most dyes. Adult cuts start at $60, styling $35 and color $60.

Bush said she thought about every detail so the space helps create a tangle-free experience.

Natural light seeps from a skylight window, and specialty lamps and chandeliers were selected to provide a lot of attractive but honest lighting.

Canvases from Terra Gallery artist and owner Jeff Hersey adorn the walls, and in the back there's a private waiting space that feels like a living room.

Ambushed doesn't discriminate, either: Straight-haired people are welcome to come feel beautiful, too.

Ambushed Salon

16 W. Poplar Ave., Short North