Friday, October 24, 2008

Boing! Curly girl!

Why is it so hard to find people in the fashion industry who LOVE curly hair? I have lost count over the number of makeover shows featuring stylists brandishing flat irons. I have walked by numerous booths at the mall, staffed by eager sales associates, who eye up any hair with a whimper of a wave, and attempt to stamp it out of existence. Curly hair isn't always seen as pretty, and it makes me really frustrated.

I spent the majority of my life thinking I had horrible hair. I'd brush it out once it dried, and the most I could think to do with it was pull it back into a ponytail. I looked at my sleek straight haired friends and burned with envy. Unfortunatly, a former stylist of mine used to help feed my negative self image. My hair was permanently straightened, many years ago at his salon, and after examining it he said "It's a good thing you're doing this, because you really have horrible hair." He even took pictures of my hair, so we could all re-live the dramatic before and after transformation. I paid hundreds and hundreds of dollars to keept it straight, and purchased a slew of top of the line hot styling tools, just so I'd look more mainstream. After all, if my natural hair was horrible, how could bear it?

My salvation came oddly enough through my mother. She was at the Woman's Show in Toronto many years ago, and there was a stlist there who specialized in curly hair. My mom always wore her hair short, and teased out (blech!) and he took her sorry curls, and with a new technique, and the right products, he turned her hair into magic. Instead of poof and frizz, she had glorious curls! S he kept going to his salon every few months, and gradually grew out her hair. It looked amazing the longer it got. I was watching her go through this process, and I was amazed. Seeing her success made me wish that I had curls to work with also. (At this point, I only thought my hair was wavy.)

One day I found myself calling up this salon, to see if he'd help me style my waves. I was nervous (I didn't want ANOTHER person telling me I had horrible hair), but determined. What I discovered that day was amazing. I was still growing out some permanent straightening I had done, but they were able to work with what was left and show me what my hair was really capable of. My curls were a bit limp because the majority of my hair had been straightened, but the roots had serious promise, so I was encouraged.

I focused on growing out my hair and going in for frequent trims to keep it healthy. Before I knew it all the processed hair was gone, and I was back to the natural me. That was 3.5 years ago. I now know what products curly hair should avoid (anything with silicone in is a major NO), and better yet...what products my hair loves. I learned how to style curly hair too, which is really important. It's so easy, and takes me minutes a a day. Now, I get compliments on my hair all the time. I run into numerous people who come up to me to say they love their hair, and wish their frizz could look like this. I tell everyone that it CAN! (See the picture below. That's my hair before all this happened.)

What kills me is that most of the women who come up to me DO have hair that has major potential. They just haven't learned how to manage it yet. It's because society right now has tunnel vision, and straight hair has become the be all and end all. The majorit of hair stylist out there have no clue what to do with a mass of curly hair. ALL my former stylists used to flat iron mine, and then cut it as if it were straight hair. Naturally my hair would look really weird if I did attempt to forgo the flat iron for the day.

Well I'm not buying into it the whole straight hair thing anymore. Being me has never felt better. It costs much less money, is saving me considerable time, and I get more compliments now than I ever did with straight hair.

If anyone out there has gone through a similar situation, I strongly recommend you check out this forum: I found the people there a HUGE support. I learned a lot, and discovered some additional techniques and products that my new stylist didn't recommend, but that are really working for me. If you're in Toronto, and would love to learn how to get amazing curly hair, check out my stylist. His name is Jonathan Torch. His website is He is so passionate about curly hair, and I always feel amazing after leaving his salon. He understands how to properly cut curls (very few stylists do), and he has develped some great products for curls. (My favorite product of his is a runny liquid gel called Curl Keeper. It works miracles, and gives curly girls amazing shine!)

Another tip is to check out this book by Loraine Massey called "Curly Girl". Loraine has another technique for working with curls that works well for a LOT of people.

Anyway, I hope this little blurb helps anyone out there who is struggling with their natural hair! Curls can be gorgeous, so love what you were born with, and hold your head up high!


Studio618 said...

This is too funny - I'm the one on the opposite end. My hair is straight-ish with enough wave to drive me crazy. I use to perm my hair so I can get curls. lol

MeghanT said...

What I find amazing is how much curl/wave can be lurking in your hair, when you finally figure out what products to use to set it free! For a while I used to use procuts that had a lot of silicone in them, and these really weighed my hair down, and pulled the curl out. My hair looked really blah. I was amazed at how much body it has now that I gave that stuff up!

How long did the perm last in your hair? I had a friend with straight hair who got hers permed, and her hair didn't like it. It reverted back to being straight within a week!

(I LOVE your rainbow hoop earrings by the way! Great uplifing colours.)

ChezChani said...

I love your curly hair, I've always longed for curly hair. Always seemed like it would be so much easier to deal with. I went through the perm thing but it never looked good.

Khadija Dawn Carryl said...

I adore your curly hair. It's just like my daughter's!! You do your thing. Who cares about the rest of the world?!

I really like your photos of all of your jewelry! You have a great camera and take great shots!


Anonymous said...
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MeghanT said...

Thanks for the feedback guys! :) Glad you're enjoying the pictures of my work. I LOVE photography. :)

Deanna said...

Loved your post! I've been "suffering" from naturally curly hair my whole life. I'm always trying new products, hoping for that "miracle". Any specific products you can recommend?

MeghanT said...

Deanna...try something called "Curl Keeper". It's this great runny gel you use in your hair right after you get out of the shower. Seriously, check out the website I mentioned I think they have some new videos up that are really helpful! Naturally curly hair can look amazing once you learn how to style it properly! Good luck!

S. said...

LOVE your hair! Followed the link on the NC forum, hoping for more pics of your fantastic hair :-)

MeghanT said...

Thanks S. I'll have to do another curl related post since I got so many responses from this one!

Chrissy lilcoopr said...

Hi Meghan!

I had an appointment with Chantelle at the CHI 3 weeks ago and was so impressed with the curls she found hidden in my frizzy waves (looks a lot like your before picture).

I purchased the Curl Keeper, Slip detangler, and Treatment Shampoo, but I can't re-create the style! I am pining after gorgeous hair like yours but my hair is naturally fine and thin and looks like your before picture.

the domestic fringe said...

I'm SO glad I read this post. Someone Pinned it on Pinterest and I followed the link. I straightened my hair for years, but am now embracing my curls. My hair is not nearly as fabulous as yours, but I'm trying to learn how to manage my own and make it better. I just learned to dry it in a t-shirt instead of a towel and I have no frizz now. That one little thing made such a huge difference for me. I really want to learn more. Can't wait to check out the links in your post. Thanks! You have beautiful hair.