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CurlyTeen Scene is a column especially for curly teens. Julia Rizzo is a teenager living in Central New York. When not writing, she enjoys acting, reading and snow skiing. She has loved writing as long as she can remember, and plans to pursue a career in English. She hopes her column will provide encouragement and inspire girls to love their curly hair.

Exams, homework, sports, dance, theater, babysitting. If there is one thing most of us curly girls have in common, it’s that we’re busy.

Sometimes it seems like there isn’t enough time in a day to get everything done! While we seem to remember (most of the time) to take the dog out for a walk and finish our math homework, one aspect of our lives that we often forget is to take care of ourselves.

Sometimes, slowing down a little is the best thing you can do. Some of the best hair-care treatments take the most time. Whether you’re frazzled from a stressful week or you know you’re headed into a busy one, taking a minute out of your day to take care of yourself can make all the difference.

One of my favorite intensive care treatments is the hot-oil treatment. The Alberto V05 hot oil treatment is one of the most popular, and at $4, you can find it at almost any drugstore or grocery store. You simply stick the tube in a cup of hot water to warm it up, and massage it into your hair.

You can even make you own hot oil treatment. The homemade treatment takes a little more work than the VO5 tubes, but it’s all-natural and uses ingredients easily found in the kitchen. The simplest is a half-cup olive oil and a half-cup boiling water. You can add a few teaspoons of honey or a few drops of essential oils to the mixture to sweeten the smell. Shake the mixture well in a jar or bottle with a tight fitting lid until the oil has broken up, and pour it into your hands and massage it into your hair. (Caution: check the temperature before you pour it into your hands so you don't burn yourself!) After either treatment, wrap your hair in a clean, dry towel and wait 15 or 20 minutes, depending on how stressed your hair is. You can use the time to paint your nails, moisturize, read a good book or anything else you find relaxing! Next, rinse, rinse, rinse. Be careful of your footing; the shower may be slippery from all the olive oil.

Another good treatment is a deep conditioner. These usually come in the form of thick creams that you use much like normal conditioners, although you usually leave them in longer -- anywhere from three to 15 minutes. Recently I’ve used Curlisto Deep Therapy Masque, which you can get on this website’s CurlMart. Herbal Essences Conditioning Balm is another one to try; it smells great and is quite inexpensive. These rely less on heat to soak into your hair, but be careful to rinse well. If you don’t get all the conditioner out, the product buildup will counteract the effects of the conditioning.

Life can be hectic, but there is nothing quite like the feeling of knowing you’ve spent some time on yourself! No matter what you’re doing, it’s always valuable and refreshing to take a little bit of time to take care of your body. After all, it’s what keeps you going!

Tell me what’s going on in your world? Feel free to write to me or ask me a question at curlyteenscene@naturallycurly.com. Looking forward to hearing from you!

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Curls take tons of work. You almost have to take 20 minutes a day for yourself (or rather, your curls).

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