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.

By Julia Rizzo

Since writing my August column, I’ve had the opportunity to be a member of a People to People Student Ambassador Delegation. As we traveled through Italy, France and Greece I learned a lot about the countries we visited, the other teenagers we were traveling with, and about traveling itself.

In the countries we visited, I met many different people. And I did some people-watching, as well. As I walked around, I noticed many more curlies! The women I saw wore their hair down, loose around their shoulders. They had a tendency to wear their hair natural, whether it was straight or curly.

The other girls in my delegation did much the same thing . The combination of the need to pack light and a busy schedule made them forgo the straighteners and embrace their natural curl!

It was great to see girls leave behind their jumble of straighteners, blow dryers, barrel brushes and straightening balm, instead choosing to let their hair go natural. I met some really amazing people on this trip, and I learned that often we rely too much on our “routines”, whatever they may be, to make us feel beautiful.

What I’ve found is that the outside world sees us as just as vibrant when we skip the long morning ritual and opt instead for things that refresh and rejuvenate us.

So, if you’re a curly girl who’s been straightening her hair for as long as she can remember, break out! Experiment! Try putting in some leave-in conditioner or a little gel designed for people with curly hair and letting your hair air-dry. Your fingers can be your best styling tool; use them to scrunch and encourage curls along as your hair dries. You may be surprised by the results, and unleash a whole side of you that’s more confident with herself!

Sometimes all it takes is that one step, and you realize that you feel better about other aspects of your life. It may give you the boost you need to branch out and make other changes.

As we all head back to school, try simplifying your complex morning routine. Your attempts to “beautify” yourself in the morning may be producing more stress than confidence. Try setting aside that extra half hour or 45 minutes as time for you. Get some extra sleep, meditate, go for a walk, or cook yourself an extra-yummy breakfast.

You might find that you benefit the most when you give your mind a makeover!

Stay curly,


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