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Q: I bought "Curly Girl," and I've been buying conditioner from the health-food store and it works really well. My hair is curly and a little past my shoulders. The back of my hair curls well underneath, but the hair on top is less curly. I was wondering if I grow it any longer is it going to curl even less, and should I put more layers in it? I have Botticelli curls.

Lorraine: Layers sound like a fantastic idea. You answered your own question and your instincts tell you that a few gentle layers, cut dry so you can tell where they are going to fall realistiCurly, is a good choice. Enjoy your new look!

Q: Thank you for writing "Curly Girl." I learned so much and am loving my curls and learning to take care of them. I've told every curly girl I know about your book, some are even thinking about finding their inner curl! Unfortunately, before finding your line, I ordered a curl cleansing conditioner that contains witch hazel. Wouldn't that be drying to my hair? I haven't opened it yet, and I'm afraid to use it until I hear from you.

Lorraine: Your Curl'instincts tell you that witch hazel is an astringent and our precious curls do not need any more drying agents. If I may recommend One Condition. There should be no worries in understanding that what goes into your hair should be just as important as what goes into your body. Enjoy giving your hair what it deserves!

Q: I have naturally curly, but colored, hair. I used to have a huge head of hair. I’m 40 now, it's just past my shoulders when wet. It's definitely tame and normal-looking now. I have three problems: my hair falls out about a handful every day (my thyroid is fine) 2. The ends are always damaged. 3. I don’t have the energy to fuss around in the morning (Three kids under three years old). I don’t like curls brushing my eyes like dangly wisps. That gives me a headache by the end of the day. What kind of cuts/shapes would you recommend?

Lorraine: My first question is always whether you still use shampoo with sodium lauryl sulfate. That might be part of the reason for your hair falling out. But there are so many variables that can cause it to fall out. If you are using a shampoo with SLS, discontinue using it immediately and switch to DevaCurl No-Poo or DevaCare No-Poo. A shorter haircut sounds like a good idea but make sure it is cut dry with movement so it's not going to spring back too much and become helmet-like. Leave some length on top, and please, please whatever you do, make sure your bangs/fringe is cut dry and every curl in its natural placement and not cut straight across with equal lengths.

Q: I am a 17-year-old girl whose 3c hair has been getting progressively curlier as time goes on. I love my curly hair, but every day is a gamble. Sometimes (rarely) my curly hair looks great. Most of the time, however, it ruins my day because it just won't sit the way I want it to. I think that the problem lies in my quest for length. Two years ago, I got a cut that was all wrong. The outer layer of my hair is too short, and doesn't match up to the curly hair. Since that cut, I've been waiting for my layers to grow out, but they haven't. I'm on the verge of straightening it. Is there any way that I can make my hair grow longer, or at least try to make it look better while it is in this unfortunate style?

Lorraine: I feel for you, and millions of other curlies do, too! It took me seven years (no joke) to grow out a hair murder! Babe, just be patient and watch my new DevaDVD (available soon in CurlMart). I promise you that you eventually will love your hair for life. Remember that your hair is not going anywhere -- only with you. Don't misrepresent yourself with the straightening threat. You and your hair will only prolong the inevitable, only to come down this path one more time!

Q: I've got a haircut rather than style question. I really love the whole "mod" look that is in style now, and I've noticed that a lot of those cuts include bangs -- either really blunt, thick, very straight bangs, or more angled, wispy, side-swept bangs. Having shoulder-length curly hair (I'd call it a 3b according to NaturallyCurly.com's guidelines), I feel like bangs might be nearly impossible. But I've been coveting them for months. So, for a 3b like me, are bangs out of the question? And if not, do you have any suggestions for how to incorporate them into a haircut?

Lorraine: I love the idea of bangs/fringe! I like to call them noncommittal bangs or s'bangels. Just do it! Remember to cut them gently, unevenly, one curl at a time, in their natural placement, with dry hair. When they're stretched, they should reach the top of your mouth -- possibly the chin -- springing back to gently brush your eyes! It's a sexy look, and it's time for a change.

Q: I'm wondering if it's possible to get my limp, thin hair to be very curly? I probably fall into the 2a category.

Lorraine: I'd like to think anything is possible. Wherever there's a wave, there's a curl. How curly? I can't tell, however, in my 30 years in the hair business (I was six when I started!), I have seen girls who think they only have a little curl who turn out to have a lot! They have a little and it turns out they have a lot! Simply by using a shampoo free method (moisture springs things up) and consistently reminding the hair of what it is (no blowfrying and remember to scrunch upward) you'll see how much curl you truly have.

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This method has not worked for my hair. In fact my hair is breaking off an inch from my scalp and I have lost my curl definition. I have tried this for a month and my hair is in worse condition than when I started. I'm disappointed and saddened that it didn't work for my hair and I'm mad that my hair is worse off.

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