Something light for today, after a hectic weekend involving international travel and seven teenagers and more pizza than I could stand…

Girls as young as five-years old think they would have more friends and be happier if they had straight hair (Today Show). To counter this, Dove undertook a campaign encouraging young girls embrace their curls: #loveyourcurls.

It makes me sad that there has to be a campaign to encourage girls to accept and love curly hair.

Curly Girl

I have curly hair (and here is when I had straight hair). I don’t remember hating my curls (they made for excellent and simple poofy bangs in the ‘80s) and my mom adored them, she never encouraged me to straighten my hair. But I never really learned how to do curls well either. It took a trip to a salon specifically designed for curly hair for me to learn, after almost four decades of curls, how to do my hair.

Learning how to manage and sculpt my hair helped me love it, rather than feeling ambivalent about curls and it was much easier than I expected. I felt welcomed into a society to which I’d always belonged but never knew existed. I was no longer the Sneetch on the beach with no star on my belly. I was no longer hoping my hair would magically straighten.

I was a curly girl.

This is what my hairdresser Rosie taught me:

*Never use a comb or brush. I now haven’t combed my hair in over three years.

*Don’t shampoo every day. Curly hair tends toward being dry and over-washing exaggerates the dryness.

*Thoroughly wet hair in the shower. People are prone to washing before the hair is sopping wet. I know I am, our water only runs cold and sometimes we don’t have a lot and have to use sparingly or use buckets, and I want to get out as fast as possible.

*Apply shampoo on top and let it run down the hair but don’t pile it all up like in television commercials. Massage it into the scalp.

*Condition by applying conditioner below the neckline and use your fingers to comb out all the tangles.

*While rinsing the conditioner, scrunch hair in your fist to promote curling.

*Don’t towel dry and don’t do that turban twisty-towel thing, this will lead to frizz and flattened curls.

*Tip your head upside down and let wet hair drape over. Scrunch it up, squeezing out excess water with your hands. Now is a good time to apply product. I alternate between gel and foam, both Deva Curl.

*Using a cotton t-shirt or towel, scrunch hair until it stops dripping everywhere.

*Flip head upright and let hair fall naturally into place.

*Insert clips at the crown, adjusting locks as desired. This will add body and help hair dry more quickly.

*If pressed for time, dry with a diffuser. In cold climates, a good tip is to leave the clips in while driving to work and let the car’s heater dry your hair. If not pressed for time, let hair air dry.

*Remove clips, add any desired product, shake out hair, sometimes upside down again, scrunch up your curls again and voila.

Embrace and enjoy your curls.

Do you have a curly hair product you would recommend?