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If you’re a curly girl, chances are that you’ve had at least one experience where in which you leave a salon in tears. This has happened to me more than once — four times to be exact. Once, I looked like a shorn poodle, another time like I had stuck my head in an electric socket, and a third time, I had so many layers, my layers had layers.

But the fourth time was the worst: I had an up-to-my-ears bob that made my head look like a triangle with the width of my hair being three times the height. That was the final straw. I finally decided to find a salon where they knew how to cut curly hair.

So in light of my experience, here are some things to beware of so that bad curly haircuts and post-salon hysterics are a thing of the past for you, too! Here’s what to beware of:

Stylists who cut curls wet

Curly wet hair and curly dry hair are like distant cousins; they may be in the same family, but they act very, very differently.

“Curly hair may be halfway down your back when wet, only to spring up as much as 6 to 10 inches when it’s dry,” explains Lorraine Massey, author of Curly Girl: The Handbook“Plus, we wear our hair dry, not wet, so it should be cut that way.”

Stylists who want to blow your hair straight before the cut

I’ve had stylists do this to me many times, claiming that straightening the hair helps them see the hair cut better. But if you don’t wear your hair straight, why would you have it cut that way? You may get a nice straight hair style and cut, but not one that will make your curls look their best.

Stylists who straighten their own curls

Request a stylist who is an expert in curly hair or, better yet, one who actually has curly hair and wears it that way. Another curly girl or guy will understand the nuances of your hair. Plus, someone who has accepted his or her natural hair texture can help you love yours even more.

Salons that treat curly hair and straight hair the same

Call the salon and ask if they know how to cut curly hair. If there’s any hesitation, find another salon. Better yet, look for a salon that specializes in curls (or has some stylists who do”>. One good way to find one you love: ask any gorgeous curly girls who does their hair. Us curlies love giving out advice. Or, if that fails, hop on over to our Salon Finder and find a curl salon in your area.

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