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Vicki Vela-Cambruzzi

Business is booming for Vicki Vela-Cambruzzi at Curls On Top in Laguna Beach

If anybody had told veteran stylist Vickie Vela-Cambruzzi five years ago she would be opening a salon dedicated to curlies, she would have told them "Get out of town!"

That was before Vela-Cambruzzi, a curly herself, saw the light. Or in her case, experienced the magic of a Deva cut at the hands of "Curly Girl" author Lorraine Massey at a hair show. The cut was her best ever—changing her whole perception of her curls—and she saved her money to go to a DevaConcepts Curlaboration to learn the dry-cutting technique herself. Less than a year later, she opened Curls On Top Salon in Laguna Beach, a salon focused on the needs of curlies. Business is booming at the 1-year-old salon, where curlies travel from outside California to get a Deva cut. "It's been incredible," says Vela-Cambruzzi.

Many curlies grew up at a time when few stylists knew how to work with curls, and most now have numerous war stories to tell about the bad haircuts and the botched chemical services they received. When NaturallyCurly.com launched 13 years ago, a handful of stylists and salons focused on the needs of women with wavy, curly and kinky hair. Most stylists once viewed curls as something to "fix" by straightening it or shearing it short.

Vela-Cambruzzi is part of the growing legion of stylists who have made curls their focus to help girls—and guys—with curls love their natural texture. This trend has been fueled by rising demand from women who want to work with their natural texture as well as the increased availability of curl training, thanks to curl specialists like DevaConcepts and Ouidad.

During the two-month Salute to the Stylists contest, which wrapped up yesterday, more than 315 new salons were added - many focused on curly, kinky hair textures.

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