“Do you by any chance write a column for NaturallyCurly.com?”

That's the question that made my day last week. I was sitting outside a lecture hall, chatting with someone I had just met, when she told me she recognized me from my picture and bio on this site. I was tickled at the coincidence of meeting another person familiar with NaturallyCurly.com. She introduced herself as Regine, and we launched into a girly discussion about growing up with hair that we didn’t always know how to deal with. Our brief conversation left me with the same happy feeling that comes from surfing around this site. The realization that I’m not the only one that thinks curly hair is pretty awesome!

You see, there are a lot of people bopping around with naturally curly hair, but not everyone realizes that it’s something to be proud of.

A few of my friends also rock their curls, and I love their unique perspectives. My friend Allison made me laugh when she told me in a mock serious tone that a curly hairstyle has a limited lifespan. After you spend 15 minutes washing it, it takes three hours to air dry. When it dries, you have “a precious three-hour window” when it looks good, provided that you’re careful not to touch it. After that, it inevitably begins to become unruly and soon enough you find yourself repeating the process! While I’m sure this isn’t universally true, I know for the last few months the Central New York winter has required me to wear a hat when I leave the house, which only seems to accelerate the phenomenon. Now, when we get ready for special occasions, we joke about the best time to wash our hair so we get the most out of our “three-hour window.”

Allison, Regine and I have one thing in common with millions of other teenagers. We all use Facebook. If you spend as much time on the social networking site as I do, I’m sure you’ve already discovered some of the groups dedicated to curly hair. My favorite is called “Curly Girls – It’s not just hair, it’s a way of life!” Some of the topics on the message boards wouldn’t make much sense to our straight-haired peers. I laughed out loud when I read the beginning of the thread “Have you been boinged?” I’ve definitely been “boinged." I guess people can’t resist treating well-shaped curls like soft, naturally occurring springs. The group has grown to almost 8,000 members — that’s a lot of teens with curly pride!

No matter how you celebrate your curls, befriend a fellow curly girl. From classroom conversations to serious style advice, “it’s not just hair, it’s a way of life!”

Stay Curly,