Curly Hair Girl

As a little girl, I watched my mother do her ritual beauty routine while I sat on the tile floor. Take a shower, blow out her hair for 45 minutes, and then put her hair into giant, hot rollers that stayed in till she left the house. With a giant helping of hair spray. Once the 90’s hit in full swing, the rollers gave way to a flat iron. My mother did this every day of my life. She still does. So when I hit 4th grade and got my first ‘big girl’ hair cut (a bob) I was immediately ready to blow out my own hair. I had watched my mom wield her large circle brush for years. I was already an expert. I didn’t think anything of it.

When I started living with Natalie, she moaned about what a pain in the butt I was about my hair. I never left the house without blowing my hair out. Ever. Now that I tell people this in the context of them seeing my new curly hair, they can’t believe that. Sure, at the beach I let me hair get wet but it felt so very very wrong to not pick up that hair dryer every day. What would I do without my expensive flat iron? I thought I had “kinks” in my hair. It’s what my mother used to call them. I just needed a few passes with the flat iron and voila. Almost gone. But my hair was always frizzy despite tons of products. My hair texture was also a sad state of affairs. It was fried and felt super dry.

After a trip to the hospital 2 years ago, I had massive amount of drugs in my system. My hair started falling out and when I went to my normal salon, he cringed. I was losing a lot of hair, and it was brittle. He gave me super duper thick leave-in conditioner…but then proceeded to flat iron my whole head like every other visit. I was actually scared about having patchy hair and Natalie finally told me I had to stop freaking out about this. She promptly took me to her salon, which is known for it’s emphasis on working with your natural hair. I crossed my fingers they could help me find a cut that made my hair less frizzy so I could flat iron my hair less often. Maybe they had some great conditioner too? Or some miracle product? I sat down in the chair and promptly told my new stylist this whole story. I started showing her cuts I like on my iphone. This whole time she was running her hands through my hair, looking at it, combing it a bit.


“Well, you have curly hair so we should really work with it instead of against it.” I swear my stomach dropped a thousand floors in that minute. So I spit out just as fast, “No I don’t.” I said it before I even thought it. Bless my stylist, she must have had this happen a lot. She pulled up what I now call the “Curly girl therapy chair” and proceeded to ask me why I think I don’t have curly hair. “Because it’s ugly,” oh shit! Did I just say that?? In a room full of curly girls? My genius stylist then pointed to various women in the salon and asked me if I thought their hair was ugly. No…I loved *their* curls. I would just look ugly with curly hair.

I know, you’re thinking “How the hell did this girl not know she had curly hair? Is she stupid?” But I had grown up with this process. I never questioned it. I just flat ironed it. So at the salon, at this point, I’m actually breathing quickly. I’m nervous. My eyes are wide. I can’t have curly hair. I hate curly hair. My stylist at this point realizes I’m freaking out. If there is one thing I’m a princess about, it’s my hair. So she says, “Let’s do a cut that will look good straight or curly. Let me just teach you how to style it curly.” I agree knowing I will go home and blow dry the hell out of my hair. So she teaches me about Devacurl products. She shows me how to squish my hair with gel and how to break the cast. She asks me to look in the mirror and honest to God, I was so anxious at this point I told her I couldn’t. I walked out not knowing how my hair looked. I ran for the gluten free cupcake place across the street. I sat and ate my cupcake, totally shaken. Pathetic I know. But I hear the women across the shop from me pointing at my hair and saying how pretty my curls were and they thought I went to the curly girl salon across the street. I told you I was a princess about my hair, right? Well I now had to know what it looked like. I took an iphone photo and it didn’t sit right. I didn’t look like me. After a few days though, it felt more normal.

curly-girl-wedding-hair curly-girl-wedding

So it’s been a bit more than 6 months since I got that cut. I haven’t used a flat iron since. My hair is a 1000x softer and it stopped falling out. I still have some frizz but it just looks better with slightly wild hair. I don’t spend more than 10 minutes on my hair everyday. I’m working with my hair. I’m trying to get down how to have curly hair and what products to use, but I called in the big guns and asked Kate (who has the most bouncy, perfect curls ever) to help me out. And she did- she even brought products to try! And her advice has made it a lot easier. My old friends can’t believe it’s my natural hair. A few new ones asked if I got a perm or started using a curling iron.

So yeah. I’m a curly girl.


You’ve inspired me, and I got my first Devacurl cut a few weeks ago thanks to this post! I’ve always been a curly girl and was never able to fight it like you did, but my haircut was revelatory all the same.

But, real talk time, Devacurl products are super expensive, and I would really really love to hear more about what Kate taught you, because I think it would make a huge difference for me. There’s got to be some middle ground between three hours of pinning and air-drying my hair post-Deva stuff and using shampoos/conditioners/styling products that will cause me to totally revert back to pre-Deva status, right?

Thanks in advance, Curly Girl Kelly 😉

I’m going to confess that I am hooked at Devacurl products because they work and I’m so new to this whole curly girl thing, I’m too nervous to change so much at once…like trying new products. They ARE super expensive but I spent $60 a cut every 6-8 weeks with my bob. I haven’t gotten a haircut since September 2012. So yeah. I be saving all kinds of money. Not to mention I only wash my hair 1-2 times a week compared to 4 times a week when it was straight so I use a lot less product. Money isn’t the issue when I look at the details, it’s about what works with my hair.

I’m also the girl who blew out her own hair for 40 minutes every other day. So high maintenance is in my blood. I will walk over hot coals for nice looking hair. But in the end, I do the following:
– Wash my hair with no poo and one conditioner, rinse about 80% of the conditioner out with ice cold cold water
– A dollop of their b’leave-in
– I’m standing in my shower, hair soaked, and put 3 different gels in my hair. My hair is fine but frizzy as sh*t. The higher hold stuff weighs my hair down but I need it in small amounts. Also, the higher hold stuff is the only gel my wife uses (their arc angel) so I only really buy 2 gels for myself.
– Wait 40 minutes, use a bowel diffuser for 10 minutes to add volume because I hate the clips. They don’t work for my hair.
– Wait 3 days to wash. Every night wear a silk scarf around my hair to reduce frizz.
– If my curls feel like crap or are super frizzy that day I mist some water product on my hair then use the light gel with a heavy hand of water to water it down and smooth the frizz

Annnnd that makes very little sense. I need to do a video.

Yay for embracing your natural awesomeness. Curly haired girls are the hottest (I may be biased since I’m married to one) and have the most fun. Also, can we get to the important part of this post, which is: are you standing in front of a giant fake sloth in that picture?

Hahaha! I was totally waiting for this comment. It’s a giant sloth at the San Diego Zoo- one of my many many spirit animals. And yes, that’s me in a canoe, shooting a wedding too.

Welcome to the club!! I have curly hair, too, and it’s amazing how much a good cut and know what products to use makes a difference! My dad is the one with curly hair, and my straight-haired mum didn’t really know much about how to style it, so I wore it straight a lot until I got into my mid-20s and learned to wear it curly without the frizz. I’ve now offered myself up to any straight-haired friends with curly-haired children to teach them how to take care of those curls. :

But for reals, you look amazing with the curls. *curly girl fist bump*

My niece totally is a curly girl and I can’t wait to take her to her first curly girl salon. I basically haven’t wavered from the products Kate gave me but want to see if there is anything out there to help for a fine haired curly girl on her 2nd day hair. And the frizz seems to only vanish when I’m covered in gel. But holy hell my hair is soooo much softer and better. And thank you 😀

Hahaha I totally didn’t see that Maddie also sent a curly girl fist bump before writing mine. This is why we’re friends.

Ummm – your curly hair looks FABULOUS!! Wow!!! Gorgeous!!!

Awww yay! It’s like curly girl therapy today.

Your curls are AMAZING. (P.S. Curly girl fist bump. What up!) Also, I have been fighting my curly hair forever too, just my retaliation was chopping it off. Everything changed when I discovered curl cream. Bumble and Bumble Curl Creme is the shit. And it makes your hair smell like you just left the salon, which is my favesies.

Yay for the curly girl fist pump (I’m collecting them today, woah). I love how anything Bumble and Bumble makes smells.

YES, power to the curly girls! As a curly chick I understand what a journey it is to embrace your natural hair. I love your mane…so beautiful!

Your hair is sooooo lovely. I 100% think your hair should be every curly girls dream.

The curls look awesome!! I think they really match your extremely cheerful personality really well, actually.

Hahaha! Thanks. It does lend a bit of wild to any outfit 😉

OK, I HAVE to know where you got your hair cut! I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE the new cut!!! It is SO gorgeous on you, and it looks like it’s easy to maintain!

I got my hair cut in New Haven at Jo Bruno salon. Before you run there, my stylist left. I should have asked where she went but I didn’t know she was leaving. I then went and got a cut from the owner of the salon. I hate to post this but fair warning, she was horrible. I went in asking her to help tell me products to use, what type hair I have and just a trim as I wanted to grow it out…..she refused to talk and promptly cut off my hair so much that 2 months after the cut people still came up to me asking when I chopped all my hair off. I haven’t cut my hair since because I’m nervous about finding another stylist. And with curly hair, I can go months without a cut and not look bad.