Hello everyone. My name is Teresa Badolato and I am addicted to hair.

Yes, I'm serious--I love. it. Especially curls. I can not help wanting to play, touch or a curl when I see it. My obsession with curl goes back to my childhood. All of the women in my family wished their hair was curly. From childhood until my early twenties, my hair was pretty straight, but as each year went by I noticed more wave and I loved it. I started styling my hair wavy and it looked great! I love all hair textures, but cutting curly hair is so similar to sculpting, which makes it fun and way more challenging. It keeps you on your game. It is my art and all that know me well,  know how passionate I am about hair.

I work in Wayne, Pennsylvania at a high end beauty store and salon called Beans Beauty. Beauty store? Yes. This brings me to my next addiction--products. I found out about DevaCurl much faster than any other salon in the area because Beans finds out first and sells only the best.

A successful hairstylist needs the best hair products and I love quality products. Guilty as charged. I am very selective whenever choosing a shampoo. I like quality products that perform, and that is why I've been using DevaCurl on my curly customers since it first hit the shelves. Mist-er-right has had my number. I have been a hairstylist since I was 4 and my younger sister, Angela, was my first victim, er, customer. Let's just say, if my mom had let me finish the cut, it could have been a masterpiece.

Although I am the only one in my immediate family with a wave more than a 1 on the curl type scale, we have always had a slight obsession with curls. My afro wig was always included in my "dress-up play" as a child. Curly hair has always fascinated me and after 12 years of practicing my hair styling skills on dolls, friends, family, (whoever would let me), I got a part time job in a salon as a "shampoo girl".

I was eager to begin my career as soon as I graduated high school. My curly hair stylist status was not made official until I was 23 and went to Devachan. That changed everything.

If you were in middle or high school in the early to late 90s, pickings were pretty slim as far as curly hair products go. There was no such thing as a true curly haircut back then. During my early years in cosmetology school, a high school friend's mother, (who had 3c curl and a terrible mullet) came to me often with curly hair questions. I'm sure she could see the panic in my eyes when she asked 131 questions about curly hair. What did I know? I was taught to cut all hair types and textures the same way, with the only variation being the angle you hold it. I had no idea what to tell her, but that was the push and inspiration I needed to explore the path of the unknown... curls.

In 2001, at age 19, I was given an opportunity to apprentice a well known stylist in the Main Line area. If you wanted to be successful as a hairstylist, he was the man to learn from.  He could do anything, whether it was makeup, hair, photography, or design--he was a true artist. He could also sell anything to anyone and they believed they needed it. I was one of the fortunate few to make it through his rigorous 6-month training after 6 months. Although he was the master of the hair stylist universe, his knowledge of curls was actually limited.

The first few years in my career my knowledge for curls was still below par.

Through trial and error and other stylists I worked with, I figured out a way to style curly hair. I've always been the hairstylist trying to convince my clients to let me style their hair curly. I felt like the   stylist encouraging my clients to love their natural hair. The look for hair at this time was flat and super-straight.
I could not understand why anyone would want to straighten their beautiful hair. I wanted to help people see the beauty that I saw in them. I needed to give my curly clients a better understanding of their hair, as well as finding a better technique. I felt confident in my curly styling skills but was still in search of a better way to cut curls. The traditional wet cut or dry and flat-ironed super straight cut wasn't cutting it for me, (pun intended). Neither technique made sense to me. Then came Deva.

In 2004, I had to meet the woman behind it all.

Lorraine Massey was the guru behind The Curly Girl Handbook, DevaCurl products, and Deva Cut. She held weekend trainings at her salon on Broadway, Devachan Salon, also known as Heaven. And it was. It changed my life and career forever.

I left feeling like I finally understood why I didn't understand  how to cut curls before and grateful that I learned this so early on in my career. I had been cutting hair for four years and finally learned an awesome technique that made sense.
I learned curly hair should not be cut wet and taut because it will shrink up dramatically and unevenly. Curl patterns vary on every individual and even on the same head. It is impossible to see the curls take shape when the hair is wet. It all made sense! The only hurdle to overcome was to convince my clients to try curly, when the look was straight or die. Our generation has come a long way. Finally, people are embracing their natural hair and inner curl. Sort of. A lot of my clients are looking for a style that they can manage. They want the un-done, natural look, utilizing their natural texture. I work in a very conservative area, but my reputation and expertise in curly hair has brought the more avant-garde clientele who want to have fun. B ig hairstyles are the most fun for me. In my area, I definitely notice more of a natural but controlled look. Not contrived, loose and perfect. People are looking to loosen their curl more than straighten it now and I couldn't be happier that is the direction we are heading.

As for hair color trends, baby-lights are on trend. Balayage and ombre' are still in demand--and I absolutely love to balayage curly hair! Over 95% of my clients are wavy or curly, which is the best palate for balayage and ombre'. 

The word on the street is if you have curly hair I'm your girl. In the area in which I work, I have heard references such as the "Diva of DevaCurl" and "The Queen of Curl".

Sometimes you have to make hard decisions that leave you doubting yourself and if you made the right choice. I am talking about the type of decision that is life changing, not just for yourself but your family also. In February of 2015, I decided I no longer wanted to be a partner in a salon business. The stress of the business and partnership had a major effect on my happiness, as well as my family's.
I was so consumed with the salon stress, that I couldn't function the way I wanted to as a mother, wife and hairstylist.

I wasn't able to just focus on my family and customers and go home. It was a difficult time. When I finally hit rock bottom sadness, I decided I needed to move on.

I gave it all up and chose happiness.

I now go to the salon, do what I love to do and when the job is done, it's done. It doesn't come home with me like it used to. I feel like myself again. For awhile, I felt like a failure. I thought l lost and that was so important. I was wrong, I gained.

I've realized that although I am not a salon owner, I do what I love. I am receiving more recognition for it than I ever have before.  The decision to leave the business was the best decision for me and my family. I am most proud because now I am free to be my own person and the extra time spent with my family is so worth it. During the dissolution of my salon business, I was named by a reputable magazine in Philadelphia, Main Line Today, as Best Stylist for Curly Hair. Actually the votes scored me win as the best in my area for curls, not the magazine. The magazine does their 'Best of' issue every year, honoring a variety of businesses and people that are on their radar of possibly best in the area. Some winnings are based on votes, some are critics choice, and some are both votes and critics choice. 

I was contacted by the M.L.T. the end of May notifying me of my win. This award means so much to me because "curly hair" was actually added as the wild card space. I feel honored to not only have won a non-existing category, but to have earned the most votes. Hopefully this category will continue.

I have worn many hats in this industry.

Education is so important to me. I recently did an intense three day training that would determine whether I would qualify as an educator with a company  (I can't reveal names yet). We had to do timed presentations on products we had just learned about, they tested our ability to  speak in public, tested our basic skills, as well as technical. We were in class from early morning until 4:00, went back to the hotel to study all night then back again the next morning. We were tested all three days. At the end of the week they would tell us if we passed all of the tests. It was the most intense training I've done in my career and I loved every minute of it.

I love being behind the chair. That's what I see myself doing in ten years from now. I'd love to explore more possibilities with curly hair. We shall see.

Dear curly, know this:

One thing every curly haired person should know about themselves is that you are not alone in the struggle. We all want to change something about ourselves, and to those that were born happy exactly the way they are, I applaud you. 

The one thing we all have in common is the desire to change something about their physical appearance. As a stylist, my job is making people look and feel beautiful, however my self appointed job is to teach my clients how to work with what they struggle with, not change it, but to embrace and encourage it. If you do the opposite you will be unhappy most of your life.

I am not advising you to not change your look--I'm all for that. I want to teach you how to work with what you have and learn to truly love it because you will never look or feel as great as when you've accepted your "flaws" as unique to you. The root of the issue is deeper than what is shown on the surface. There is something to be said for being true to yourself. P.S. Your hair is not straight and frizzy, it is curly and dehydrated.

Keep up with me online (and book an appointment)

If you'd like to see my work you can go to my Facebook, T.B. curl girl and also read my reviews here I can be found bouncing between two of the four Bean's salons. One is in Wayne and the other is Manayunk.  I take my own appointments. If you'd like to make an appointment with me, you can message me on Facebook and I will call back Monday through Saturday from 9:00am to 6:00pm.