since posting above that I had a good experience with Orla Quinlan's for a style cut (on the recommendation of this thread), I went back there, and it was a disaster!!! She set me back at least 6 months. It seems like my first experience with her was OK because I micromanaged the whole thing (Im nervous with a new hairdresser) and told her exactly how I wanted it cut. However the second time, I relaxed and let her do her thing. She used a totally different technique the second time. Before I knew it, she was twirling my hair into finger-thick spirals, and running the scissors down the length of each spiral, to remove bulk. Maybe that technique works on wavy/ slightly curly hair where there is not so much hair. But on me it murdered my curls, thinning them all out and creating a mane of frizz!!!! Exactly what you don't do to 3B hair!!!!! There were uneven lengths scattered throughout, and wispy flyaways everywhere.

That was July, and only now at the end of November are my curls decent again, but I've lost about 2 inches off the length. I spent the last 4 months straightening my hair with hot irons, as the damage and frizz wasn't so visible then.

Anyhow..... the good thing about all that is that I've found another gem of a hairdresser who's helped salvage everything, and helped me love my hairstyle again. Gai at Gai's Salon in Lane Cove. She also has curly hair, and really listens to what you want. Her prices are great, and she's a pleasure to sit with.

So I'd rate Gai at Gai's Salon, Lane Cove, and Bianca at Glitz and Glam, Military Road, as my two favourite sydney curly hairdressers at the moment for my 3B hair......
best wishes to all you curly girls out there, and good luck with your Christmas styling :-)