Julia Rizzo

Julia Rizzo

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.

As a 16-year-old, I view the world from the perspective of a teenager who’s halfway done with high school. In this month's column I’d like to explore curly hair from a different perspective, that of my 12-year-old sister.

My sister Lilly is in seventh grade and known for, among other things, her short, curly hair. She’s a member of her middle school’s swim team, outgoing, funny, and loves to meet new people. I’ve always thought that her spunky haircut complimented her perfectly, but I wondered what she thought of it.

So I asked her, and she told me “I like my hair. Sometimes it’s hard to manage, but it goes with my personality!” My friends come up to me all the time and compliment it, telling me how cute it is. According to her, her friends do the same. “My friends love my hair.” she told me. “They touch it all the time! Kids come up to me and tell me ‘Oh my gosh, I love your hair!’ They ask me if it’s natural.”

She loves her curls, and has learned to take care of them herself over the last few years. I asked her if she had any haircare secrets, and she told me “Leave-in conditioner. You have to use leave-in conditioner, especially if your hair is dry like mine. And don’t touch it while it’s air drying — it makes it frizz like crazy!”

She’s right; leave-in conditioner is one of the best things for curly hair. If your hair is less dry, or thinner, a spray is great. And if your hair is thick and dry, a cream helps to define curl and provides more intense conditioning. While watching my sister put all her hair under a swim cap is fun, all this leave-in conditioner ensures that when she takes off her swim cap after a meet, her hair hasn’t suffered from the chlorine.

I asked Lilly what she disliked and she said that she doesn’t like to see girls in her grade straighten their hair. “A lot of girls at school straighten their hair but quite a few girls leave it natural, too.” she told me, “I think when people leave their hair curly it looks gorgeous. When they straighten it, it looks fake and fried!”

I’m really glad my little sister loves her hair, and I support her all the way! I’ve been getting a lot of e-mails from preteens and parents of preteens, and I hope this encourages all of you to love, appreciate and take care of your awesome hair.

Any last words, Lilly?

“You gotta rock the hair!”

Email your questions/comments to Julia.