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Today I had a wonderful hair day. I credit my hairdresser for my particularly shiny curls: during my recent haircut, she urged me to acquire a diffuser and reinforced the fact that “product is your friend; don’t be afraid of product!” Her advice worked, and she gets props for never once suggesting that I let her blow my hair straight. She did mention, however, that when she was growing up she had no idea how to style her long curls. After losing a few battles with frizz, she said, it was easier for her to straighten her hair every morning

f you’ve read my past columns, you may notice that I’ve expressed some pretty strong opinions about straightening. You might even get the impression that I’m against it all together. Not so. However, I will admit that it makes me a bit sad when curly girls straighten their hair because they haven’t had a chance to learn the tips, tricks, and strategies that could help their curls look their very best.

Thanks in part to the new tricks my hairdresser taught me this week, I’m pretty pumped about my curls these days. While I fully plan on continuing to evangelize the beauty of naturally curly hair, I do recognize that even the proudest of curly girls can use a change once in a while; shaking things up now and then can be wonderfully refreshing!

If you’re looking for something different and plan on flat-ironing your lovely locks, I have two suggestions. First, practice safe straightening! Last year I routinely saw my roommate take a flat iron to her damp curls: I could smell burning hair across the room, and the steam it produced was vaguely unsettling. It doesn’t take an expert to know that can’t be good.

On the site this month you’ll find tons of suggestions that can help you minimize the damage straightening (or any other type of heat styling) can cause. Check out some of these tips before you straighten your hair; your curls will thank you for it later.

My second bit of advice is to remember your curly pride! If you’re like me, your friends are accustomed to seeing you with a fairly routine range of hairstyles. If they rarely or never see you with straightened hair, prepare to get a reaction! I used to think my hair looked better straight because of all the extra attention it garnered. But in reality, my friends were just responding to the change.

Change can be fun, and rocking a novel new style is a great way to mix it up. Before you reach for the flat iron however, make sure you know how to make your hair look its best! Once you’re happy with your natural curls, straight styles will be nothing more than a fun diversion from your normal style.

Stay Curly,
Julia

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