The Cons of Curls

By Samantha Allan

“Oh I love your hair, it looks so effortless,” says a random stranger.

Over the years, I have had many people comment on my curly hair.  I want to start off by saying although I love it, curly hair is its own beast. Things like humidity, hats, wind or other outside factors can turn curls messy. Hair products and hope are your best friends. These two factors are requirements for the good hair days everyone wants. While a girls’ curls might look light and springy, they are actually loaded with hair products and wishful thinking.

So why am I talking about curly hair? A recent subpar experience with a hair stylist had me reflecting back on all of the bad haircuts of the past I can remember. One of the most frustrating parts of having curly hair is that lots of stylists have no idea how to handle it.

These stylists have pictures of beautiful work that clearly indicates their talent. However, the same stylists has gotten a hold of my head and turned it into something less than beautiful. From my 20+ years having curly hair, I could tell you about more haircuts that went bad than great.

After all of the bad experiences, particularly a recent one, I could not help but wonder why this frequently happens. It turns out this issue is something not centered in the Youngstown area.

In “The Art of Cutting Curly Hair,” Johnathan Torch explains that “Most beauty schools don’t have the time to teach stylists how to work with curly hair. So many stylists attempt to cut curls just as they would straight hair or wavy hair. And they learn the hard way that it just doesn’t work.” While the stylists may only be able to do so much, a lack of education is not exactly comforting for a skilled trade. The students will never learn how if no one mentions the distinction and teaches them differently.

If this aspect of beauty school is never updated, many more people will continue to get bad haircuts. While this may not be something that is the end of the world, a lot of people have really strong feelings about their hair.

Hairstyles are a subtle way to say a lot about a person. A short bob haircut often gives a different first impression than a longer, more flowy style would. A rainbow of colors can also project a rainbow of personalities.

Many people recognize their hair as part of their identity. A bad haircut or style can be extremely disheartening. This is why it is so important for stylists to know how to cut curly hair. Maybe it’s time to rethink the stylist approach now, and update it for happier people in the future.