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Majoring in Curls  
 
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It’s almost summertime! Finally.

For those of us who have recently finished the horrors that are finals, the time has come to breathe a sigh of relief. But of course, there is the daunting prospect of working all summer, whether it’s a summer job at the local ice cream stand (present career of yours truly), or starting a fabulous internship across the country. Or perhaps you’re one of the hundreds of high school seniors prepping to eventually begin a new chapter at a college in the fall.

But there’s one aspect of life (and hair) that cannot be ignored: the dreaded task of finding a new stylist/ hairdresser. Too many people will take it for granted and opt for the cheapest or most convenient option.

I believe trying out a new stylist can be one of the worst experiences a person can face. But it can also be a blessing if they turn out to work miracles with your hair. It’s like finding a new best friend.

In my opinion, curlies have far better horror stories than other hair types because the majority of stylists have no clue how to cut curly hair. While shopping around for a new dresser a couple of years ago, I asked all the salons if they cut curly hair. And they didn’t seem to understand the difference between curly hair and other hair types. Yikes!

My hair didn’t really curl until I hit adolescence. And then in eighth grade, it turned into ringlets seemingly overnight. Up until then, it was no problem to get my hair cut by the same woman who cut my mom’s hair. But my mom has drastically different hair than I do. Most of my early teen years were spent brushing my hair (oh, the horrors!), and pulling it back into a tight ponytail every day.

In high school, I wised up. I learned some of the ‘must-dos’ for every person looking for a new hairdresser. Having good recommendations from other clients is always a priority for me. My current stylist (who is wonderful) came to me through a woman my step-mother works with. She said she wouldn’t trust her hair with anyone else. Word-of-mouth can be the most reliable method of finding someone great. Asking around works wonders also. If you see a curly in the grocery store with gorgeous curls, ask her where she gets her hair cut. You know as well as I do that curlies love talking about their hair.

When you finally find someone worth trying, make sure you talk with them before starting anything. Just like any other relationship in your life, communication is key. They need to know what you want out of your hair. It’s your life and your hair, so don’t let them try something you know you don’t want! They need to know about your lifestyle, your time constraints and what you're looking for.

Don't have qualms about going to a new stylist! You won’t be hurting anyone’s feelings. They have plenty of other clients. You deserve the best cut and style.

If your favorite stylist is in your hometown, but you're away at school, and you can't get to her/him when you're away at school, you can make it work. I always wait until I go home for breaks and vacations to get a trim or cut.

At this stage in my life, I don’t feel the need to have a different stylist at school. It really does take a lot of effort to find someone new. When I really do need to find someone new, I plan to take my time to find someone perfect!

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