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Julia Rizzo

Julia Rizzo

New to NaturallyCurly.com is CurlyTeen Scene, 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.

I was flipping through the channels on TV the other day and came upon QVC where a man in a slicked-back ponytail was pitching a very expensive straightening iron and line of straightening products, extolling their merits by 'transforming' one curly haired model after another.

He could have been pitching other types of products to reduce frizz and define curl, but instead it seems there's a better market for getting rid of it all together. This made me think back to the previous week. I was skiing with my family and as I came into the lodge and took off my hat, two women came and complimented me on my hair.

"It's so bouncy!" one said. "Mine's so flat."

"Wouldn't you just die for that volume?" exclaimed her friend.

This left me wondering why we pay so much to change something that is not only an integral part of who we are, but also something that other people think is beautiful?

In response to last month's debut column, my first question was from a mom who wonders just that: 'I'm the mom of a 13-year-old girl and she hates her hair. She wants to get thermal transitioning and won't even attempt to let it go natural. She has such beautiful curls and I think she would grow to love it with the right cut and products. It sure would save a lot of time, money and heartache! How do I help her see that her curls are an asset?'

When I first entered my current school, I was twelve and self-conscious about my hair. I went out and bought a straightening iron and tried to get the look other girls had naturally. What I found was that it didn't look as good as I thought it would, and it didn't make me feel any more confident. In fact, my friends told me I looked too different! My mom was also a great influence. She helped me find products that worked well and promoted my efforts to take care of my hair. As I've grown older, I have realized (as you have) that curly hair is an asset. I think you are already on the right track in helping her to see it's just one part of her, but a part she should love! As I get older, the attitudes of the girls around me are changing.

Another reader, Jenn, asked: 'Do you see more of your curly friends letting their hair go curly or are most curlies still straightening at your high school?'

I find that in my high school many of the girls are discovering the bounce and spunk of their curly hair. While a few do still straighten, many are forgoing the drying effects of a straightening iron in favor of their natural hair. In my high school, as girls rise in grade level, fewer and fewer straighten their hair as they learn to better care for, and then embrace it. Plus, they've discovered curly hair can be fun and versatile.High school is a great time to experiment with all the creative and different ways you can wear it.

Stay curly and keep those questions coming!

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