More than 75 people gathered May 13 in Norman, Okla. for the first "Just About Curls" event -- a morning of curl education and curl fellowship.
The event was the brainchild of curl advocates Kelly Foreman, creator of the Mop Top and Fuzzy Duck lines, and Wrobyn Tompkins, owner of the Palms Salon & Spa.
"We wanted to help educate people on how to work with frizzy, fuzzy and hard-to-handle hair," said Foreman, who fought her own golden ringlets for much of her life. "Our goal was to help curlies embrace their hair and to be comfortable in their own skin/hair!"
Tompkins is a straight-haired stylist with curly kids who has made curls her specialty.
"I lacked some of the knowledge I should have gotten in beauty school," Tompkins said. "I want people to embrace their curls and love them rather than try to change them." The morning started with basic education about curly hair, and what makes it different from straight hair. The pair discussed ingredients -- those to look for and those to avoid (especially silicones, waxes and alcohols). They talked about the questions to ask a stylist before she cuts your hair, and different styling options for mid-length to long curly hair. And there were plenty of demonstrations.
Foreman said the event was an emotional experience for many who attended -- an audience ranging in age from 18 months to 65 years. One mother brought her curly daughter, who was less than happy to be at the event. She begged her mother to leave saying "Mom, I just want straight hair. Can we please go look at wigs?" Foreman said the child finally allowed them to show her how to condition and style her hair.
"She walked out with her curls held high!" Foreman said proudly.
Another mother called ahead to "volunteer" her daughter as a model in the hope it would discourage her from chemically straightening her hair. It worked. The daughter left feeling happy with her curls, with no plans to straighten them. One high school girl told the story of how she had never worn her hair curly to school. When she finally came to school with her beautiful long curls, she said people were shocked. All of the "cool girls with straight hair" enviously gathered around her in awe.
"What a great day for embracing your curls! " Foreman said.