Meet Ken Selis, master hairdresser

Photo: Shirley Nadeau

Ken Selis, a multi-faceted hairdresser from Portland, Oregon, has opened a new salon in Quebec City. 

What is the first thing an Anglophone looks for after moving to Quebec City? A doctor or a dentist? Probably, but for many people, especially women, they want a good hairdresser, preferably one with whom they can communicate in English.  

Well, after living in this fair city for some 20 years, I finally met one this month. Originally from Portland, Oregon, Ken Selis is a master hairdresser with over 25 years of experience who recently opened Salon Selis in Sainte-Foy, having relocated from Saint-Nicholas where he operated for three and a half years.  

Ken also owns Eclipse the Salon in Portland, which he has been operating since 1993 and now manages from afar. Ken explains, “I have a manager and I go [to Portland] one week every three months to visit my family and manage the salon.” Ken has two adult children, Meagan and Zachary.

A multi-faceted man, Selis is also a dance instructor and co-owner of the École de danse Arthur Murray on Boulevard de l’Atrium in the Lebourgneuf area of Quebec City and a part-time English teacher with Ateliers de Conversation anglaise (ACA) in Place de la Cité. His French is excellent but, as he explained, “I continue to enhance my abilities in French by working on a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Université Laval.” 

Ken would like to get to know you and your hair, and says, “As a professionally trained hairdresser, I continue to update my skills and training to stay current with hair style trends and healthy techniques to ensure that you will be equally happy with the health of your hair and your personalized haircut or hair colour. I also believe that the relationship between the hairdresser and the client is very important. I will listen to your wishes and with your guidance create a look that makes you feel better and look your best.” 

What brought Selis from the West Coast of the U.S. to the heart of French-speaking Canada? Well, like many Anglophones now living permanently in Quebec, I guess you could say it was his heart. In his case it was his love for a Quebecer he met on Bondi Beach during the 2002 Gay Games in Sydney, Australia. While there competing in the triathlon Ken met Martin Dontigny, who was competing in ballroom dance and who is now his husband. Dontigny, a native of Trois-Rivières, is a former Canadian ballroom dance champion. He and Ken operate the Arthur Murray dance studio in Quebec City. 

Salon Selis is located au Salon de coiffure Anne Roy, 2880 Chemin Quatre Bourgeois Suite 115, Québec (Québec) G1V 3T6  

 If you’d care to try out Ken’s “scissor hands,” contact him at 581 995-5055, [email protected] or visit his website at And if you’re ever in Portland, Oregon, drop by Eclipse the Salon (, you might just find him there too! 

Ken adds one more thing, “I guarantee my work. I want to ensure that my clients will be happy so I offer them the chance to come into the salon the week following their service if there is anything they would like adjusted, free of charge. I am only happy when the client is 100% happy.”