Calling All Curly Heads!

Are you a victim of twisted tresses and unmanageable Brillo-pad hair? The days of fearing your frizz are over thanks to – a fun and informative social networking “curl-munity,” filled with expert tips, trends, top product information and North American salon listings. Fashion Junkie recently caught up with NaturallyCurly co-founders, Michelle Breyer and Gretchen Heber (who share a history of fighting frizz) to find out what it takes to start loving your locks.

FJ: Why did you decide to launch

NC: We both moved to California at different times and had unruly, curly hair. Having worked at the same newspaper, we constantly commiserated about how to handle our hair. After conducting extensive research, we noticed a serious lack of resources available for curlies and thus, was born.

FJ: How has the site evolved since it launched nine years ago?

NC: We initially launched the site in ’98 as a hobby, with very little content. Eventually, we took things a little more seriously and started treating the site as a monthly magazine. Then, in the spring of ‘04, we launched CurlMart (our e-boutique), which sells over 500 top quality products designed specifically for curly heads. The site has become extremely interactive and we receive a lot of positive feedback from our readers. People post all kinds of product reviews and look to us for expert advice, such as “how do I fight frizz” and “where can I find a hairdresser that cuts curly hair.”

FJ: Why would someone want to be a part of this “curl-munity?”

NC: For tons of information and advice! It’s come to the point where we’ve become such good friends with some of our readers, that we’re even launching off-line “curl gatherings.” We’re organizing an event at Devachan Salon (a cutting-edge salon for curly heads in New York) so that curly girls can meet and talk about a whole host of curl issues.

FJ: What advice would you give to curly girls who aren’t happy with their hair?

NC: We really want to help curlies learn to love their natural curls so that they don’t feel they have to straighten it. Curly heads make up 50-65% of the world’s population, so we’re encouraging them to embrace it. In fact, we’ve even developed a curly hair ranking system, which helps determine your hair type. This also enables us to make product recommendations and tips formulated specifically for every type of curl (i.e. loose waves or kinky curls).

FJ: How often do you straighten your hair?

NC: We have bad hair days just like everyone else. Since we live in Austin, Texas, the weather (and humidity!) is constantly changing, so we have to switch our products accordingly. But we haven’t straightened our hair in years!

FJ: Who cuts your hair?

NC: There are so many amazing curly hair stylists to choose from. Some of our favorites are Christo (owner of the Christo Fifth Avenue Salon in New York City), Lorraine Massey (co-founder of Devachan Salon in New York City) and Rodney Cutler (the Creative Director at New York’s Redken Salon). Visit our CurlSalons section for a complete cross-country listing of curly hair-cutters.

FJ: What hair products and tools do you use?

NC: Right now we’re into Innersense Inner Peace Whipped Creme Texturizer, an organic line out of California, Curly Hair Solutions Curl Keeper (by Jonathan Torch), Curlisto Structura Lotion and AG Hair Cosmetics. Of course, there’s Curly Cocktails – seven intoxicating style offerings tailor-made to fight all types of frizz.

FJ: Is there a right or wrong way to cut or wear curly hair?

NC: It’s really about curl pride. Be proud of your curls and don’t fight them! Some stylists use the Bonzai technique, which is when they cut the hair according to where it needs cutting. Different things tend to work better for different people and it really depends on the hairdresser. We’ve definitely noticed a changing attitude about curls over the years. People used to fight them, but now they’re finally becoming fashionable.

FJ: What’s next for

NC: We’d like to spread the word to as many people as possible. In fact, we’re organizing a “Love Your Curls Day” in Austin, TX on Sunday, November 11th and are planning to host similar events across the country. Plus, we’ll continue to launch a wide range of new product collections such as Curly Cocktails.

Check out the Fashion Junkie Fix email newsletter about Curly Cocktails, a hot new hair styling regimen designed specifically for curly heads.

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