Naturally Curly: Please, introduce yourself!
Paloma Herman: Hello! So glad to be able to get in the NaturallyCurly mix. My name is Paloma. I am a happy east coast transplant to the Bay Area for five years and counting. My mom is Brazilian, but the curls definitely come from my father's Jewish side of the family. I am an educator, a lover of home-cooking and an enthusiast of handwritten correspondence. I hope that everyone will one day feel comfortable rocking their own style.
NC: How and when did you start embracing your curls?
PH: Just recently, actually, thanks to NaturallyCurly's own Cassidy Blackwell, my dear friend and roommate. Two years ago, we took a very memorable trip to Discount Beauty Supply in the Fillmore District, and somewhere between the packs of Kanekalon hair and the wide-tooth combs, I started spouting my hair history and couldn't stop! I finally articulated the inferiority complex I had growing up, seeing so few curly hair role models and coveting the straight hair of my female friends. I really had no idea how to cut or style curly hair and be excited about it. I also didn't know I harbored so many feelings about my hair! With Cassidy cheerleading the reclaiming of my curls, and urging me to think of them as a unique asset, right there, at Discount Beauty Supply, I acquired my own curly hair power and haven't looked back.
Read More: Real Texture Talk: Cassidy’s Coils
NC: What is your current routine/regimen for your curls?
PH: In general, I like to keep things low-maintenance, so I don't fuss too much with my hair. I usually shower at night, so I "pineapple" my hair before bed, then refresh my curls in the morning with a leave-in conditioner, shaking my hair out left, right, up and down for great curl distribution. I try to use a deep conditioner every few weeks and whenever I remember. I also use a steamer.
NC: What about your hair stylists?
PH: I cannot gush enough about Marie and her crew of curly-positive, personable and talented stylists at MaduSalon! Cassidy asked me to be a hair model last spring at one of her events, which took place at this salon, and I had the great fortune of meeting Marie for a cut and style, along with hours of engaging, hilarious conversation. I had never felt particularly comfortable in such a space, as I was not ever sure of what I wanted to do with my hair but thought that I should know. Marie instantly put me at ease and swooped in with her expertise to steer me in a direction that worked for me. I needed that — specific advice from an expert.
NC: What made you decide get a bob?
PH: The curly bob was Marie and Cassidy’s idea, and before I had time to ask questions, I was already on the way to my new bob. During my most recent appointment, I took a seat in the chair, and they both turned to me and said something to the tune of, “Leave this haircut up to us. We know exactly what we want for you!” And I loved it! I completely trusted their knowledge of what would make my curls look their best, and Marie narrated the process so I could understand her techniques.
NC: What do you like most about being a curly and having a curly bob?
PH: I now appreciate how unique and beautiful curly hair is – we really stand out in a crowd! I wanted to make sure that the bob would require minimal attention, so when my stylist confirmed that with a few tips, I could essentially roll out of bed, use a few products, and start the day, I was sold. I love the texture to my hair and really feel like it complements my fashion well.
NC: What are your must-have products and tools?
PH: I have used Jessicurl products since first embracing my curls and I love them all, particularly Confident Coils. I also don’t travel without my Jane Carter Solution Curl Defining Cream. I'm currently on the lookout for a daily moisturizer for my regimen. I am lucky enough to live with Cassidy, who is constantly introducing me to new brands and testing different gels, conditioners, and shampoos on my hair.
Read More: Steam Caps or Heat Caps?
What would you tell others to encourage them to embrace their curls?
I would say, love what your genes gave you! More and more these days, women with stick-straight hair have shared their envy about my hair, and after all of those years of desiring their straight hair, I realized how helpful it has been to fully accept my curls and work with the hair I was given.
Tell us about your current and upcoming projects!
I work on the administrative side at a small, private school that I love. There is so much excitement in the spring at a school, so I'm pacing myself for tying up final projects, spending time with the 8th graders before they graduate (and hopefully imparting some wisdom to them about the high school transition), and celebrating another year finished successfully. Then, I will want a vacation away! I am also wrestling with the question of grad school in coming years. I'm always looking for ways to spice up my life, so I signed up for a pottery class that starts today! I'm grateful to live in this city where you're encouraged from all angles to explore new interests.
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