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Elizabeth Rhodes

NaturallyCurly: Please introduce yourself!

Elizabeth Rhodes: I'm Elizabeth Rhodes, Professor of Hispanic Studies at Boston College. I'm also a sailboat captain and spend a lot of the summertime on the water — major frizz opportunity!

NC: How and when did you start embracing your curls, or have you always enjoyed and embraced your curls?

ER: I'm 57 now, and from age 12 to 30, I fought and resented my curls, as did many of my generation. When I was little, my mom, who always wanted curly hair, kept my hair short and curly. As soon as I could decide, I grew it out, and the trouble started there. Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton were our models then, so I practiced all foolishness in straightening techniques: I slept with my hair wrapped around my head or around a coffee can and sat for an hour under the dryer after every wash. I never actually put my head down on the ironing board and ironed it, although I had friends who did — this was before all the appliances today that do such things for you. If I had put all that time and energy I spent on my hair into something intelligent, I might have won a Pulitzer! Having kids helped me get my priorities straight and products for women with curly hair started to appear.

NC: What is your current routine/regimen?

ER: I go straight often in cold weather and curly in warm.  For straight I use the flat iron; for curly you can see my process next. I swim in chlorinated water and always gunk a thick, cheap conditioner all over my hair under my cap to protect it, then rinse afterwards.

Read More: Real Texture Talk: Natasha Piette

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