I’m 32 years old and I spent 14 years of my life straightening my hair. Any girl with curly, unruly locks knows the struggle. When I was young, I hated my hair. I hated the way it puffed up during the summer; I hated how dry and brittle it felt during colder months. Embracing the curl was a preposterous idea.

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Thankfully, I came to love my hair in my late twenties. Thanks to a masterful hair stylist (we will get to this later) and an astounding amount of information about caring for my locks, I now proudly sport short curly hair.

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If you’re thinking about making this decision yourself, remember these curl-saving tips:

1. Find the right style and stylist

Unlike our gal pals with straight hair, deciding to cut curly hair is not to be taken nonchalantly. A bad cut can be Annie-level disastrous, but a good one will have you whipping your hair back and forth.

Your hair’s volume and texture will be major considerations for the cut. Ensure that you find a stylist who is used to caring for curly-haired clients. I will personally never forget the day Lourd Ramos came in to my life. He and his team worked their magic and gave me the cut that changed my life.

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The style and the stylist are both important. Never forget.

2. Condition, condition, condition

The cardinal rule of curly hair maintenance: moisture. Curly hair gets dry more often than straigh hair; it is absolutely necessary to condition at least every other day. Tresemme Keratin Conditioner is a great product for you. The frizz is kept under control while keeping the bounce. Other products to check out are Human Nature’s Professional Salon Care Conditioner and Creamsilk Daily Treatment for Dry Hair. Budget permitting, any conditioner with argan oil works wonders.

3. Never blow-dry warm

Unless the look you’re going for is akin to Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz, keep away from hot blow-drying – period. Should you wish to dry your hair, keep your dryer to a room temperature setting or use a diffuser to enhance the loops of your curls.

I find that air-drying works best on me, but your preference may be different. Just remember that dry heat would only make your short curly hair seem wiry.

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4. Never leave the house without product

As we live in a tropical country, your hair care regimen will be challenged by the weather the minute you step out the door. Ensure that you have products to moisturize and hold the style. A handful of Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Mousse keeps locks bouncy all day long. For hotter days, leave on-conditioner or hair milk will definitely do the trick. Check out Monea Curling Milk (this is an absolute steal!) and Human Nature Conditioning for that gorgeous mane.

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