I have curly hair, in case you haven't noticed.

When I was growing up, the stick-straight-curtain-of-hair-down-your-back was the only way to wear your hair. Thank you, Britney Spears. My friends were comparing Chi straighteners when we were ten years old. I was at an unfortunate disadvantage.

If I used gel, they would stay put, but the result looked something like crunchy ramen. If I used mousse, the Texas humidity would pump up the volume until I resembled a Chia pet. From ages 10-14, my hair was in two permanent french braids because I had no idea what to do with the mess. Yes, I attempted to straighten my hair a few times--but, it usually took about 3 hours and plenty of restraint when the smell of burning hair filled the room. When I realized that the more I straightened my hair, the less it would curl after a rewash, I was devastated. I knew that I loved my hair, I just needed to figure out what to do with it. I spent the next ten years learning by cause and effect.


The last time I got my hair cut at a salon, the women straightened it with a flat iron, cut it, thinned it, and then re-curled it with a curling iron. Yes, that is a true story. That was about nine years ago. Since then, my mom or friends would cut my hair, and when I went to college I learned to cut my own hair. I didn't feel like it was worth taking my tresses to a salon and getting that same look, "What do I do with this mess?" I had heard of salons that specialized in curly hair, but they were in New York and cost $200 a cut. I was content with pulling a trash can under my chin in front of my bathroom mirror.

My sister, Desi, also has curly hair. She found this salon, and surprised me for my graduation by flying me down to Arizona primarily to get my hair cut. Curls Gone Wild is a salon in Gilbert, AZ that specializes in curly hair, for an affordable price. My stylist was Priscilla, a cute, curly-haired guru with red lipstick and a red flower in her hair. She exuded confidence, and was so willing to share her knowledge. At this salon, they use the Deva Curl products, and the techniques found in Lorraine Massey's Curly Girl: The Handbook.



It was my first visit, and so I got the whole package. She taught me how to wash, apply product, dry, and style my curls. And, she gave me the cutest cut, even if I was biting my lip the entire time. It was the first time I felt like a stylist knew more about my hair than I knew myself. She taught me how to get my hair to curl at the roots, instead of allowing the weight of my locks give me the "flat top" or "triangle head." The products they use have no detergents, so they don't strip your hair of the natural oils. She also taught me how to use a diffuser. I have never trusted a blow dryer with my frizz, so this is a big step for me. You can find all of these techniques in Massey's book, but it was so great to have someone walk me through it.

The stylists were great. It was like a support group for curly-haired women. There was a stylist teaching a man what to with the little curls of his 4-year-old daughter, while another stylist was reassuring a woman that she couldn't stress about every little curl. I left with a huge smile on my face. Priscilla told me about, where I could find a salon in my area that specializes in curls. She told me to make sure that they do "dry cuts." A dry cut is a cut done dry, of course. Priscilla waited for my hair to dry, and then cut each curl separately. She focused on my specific curl patterns because even though I have curly hair, each section of my hair has different kinds of curls. Many other salons will cut your curls wet, not paying any attention to how it will look once it dries.

So, here is my testimony: Buy the book. Go to the salon. Love your curls.


  1. Roxanne, I just want you to know that I have been jealous of your hair since I met you three years ago. Like, not just a little bit jealous, but like, you are my hair icon. I wish I had your curls!
    love, maggie tata

  2. I've always wished I had curly hair. :) I love your blog, Rox!

  3. Roxanne! This post is the best news ever. Although my hair is not as curly as yours, I did go to that curly hair salon in NYC (and paid the big bucks) to get some hair advice. Loved it, and have been using the Deva products for a couple of years. I read the Curly Girl Book but didn't know how to find another curly hair salon and have been cutting my own hair, wishing that salon was closer. I knew there had to be more of them, and now you have given me the power to find one! That website is awesome. Thank you! And if you chance to find a salon around here that you like let me know!

    I love your blog, especially the name. You guys are so clever.


    Sam's friend Ashley.

  4. I have a friend with super curly hair (think Kelli Thredgold but dark) who told me once that when she walks into a new salon she asks the stylist, "How do you cut curly hair?" She said if they answer wrong (wet?) she walks out. Though I can't empathize I think curly hair is so cute! Isn't the grass always greener?