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
“I just wanted to tell you that you have cool hair. What ever you’re doing, keep on doing it!”
My sister, Lilly, is approached with comments like this all the time. Last week, we were in Nantucket, an island off the coast of Massachusetts, visiting family. We’d just watched my cousin Bobby perform with the Cobbletones, an a cappella group. One of the members (who sported shoulder length, blond curls) approached my sister after the set, and struck up a conversation about, of all things, hair. To some people, it might be a little weird, but to me and my siblings, it’s not the least bit surprising.
Whenever I see someone of any age, race or gender rocking their curly hair, I feel like we have something in common. A great example is a woman we met in one of the island’s many boutiques; she immediately commented on Lilly’s hair. Introductions were hardly necessary as we launched into a conversation about ways to take care of our three different hair types. She was from Jamaica and we soon got philosophical. She told us about how she straightened her hair for years, but stopped when she realized how much more personality her curls had. She was effervescent, and her positive, self-confident manner was infectious.
She reminded me of a fellow high school student I’d met two weeks earlier at summer camp. The humidity was through the roof every day, and I felt like my hair was absolutely out of control in the damp air. It was camp, however, so I let it do what it wanted. I met Amanda outside the dining hall, while we were waiting for dinner to begin. I’d see her around; she was easy to spot. Her tight, kinky curls spiraled halfway down her back. “You’ve got awesome hair,” I said, and she smiled. We shook hands and introduced ourselves, and we were soon chatting about our hometowns and our week at camp. It was a small thing we shared, but it was enough to break the ice.
It’s always fun to talk to other people with curly hair; it’s evident from the success of this site! The camaraderie that exists here isn’t limited to the web alone, however. So if you’re standing in line behind a curly in the grocery store or sitting next to them on the bus, say “hey." You may have more to talk about than just your hair.
Email your questions/comments to Julia.