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Mastering Curly Hair – What Works and What Doesn’t 

By Madeleine Bhamjee

Growing up with curly hair was a challenge to say the least. Although my curls received many compliments from relatives, they were also the subject of teasing and jokes by classmates. In order to conform to “hair norms,” I turned to flat irons and spent countless hours each week applying heat to flatten my curls and ignoring the warnings that this would damage them over time. 

After four long years of this, I grew tired of devoting several hours of my evening to straightening my hair and I became less and less satisfied with the end result. I also became weary of other curly haired individuals’ warnings that the heat could pose significant damage to my hair. So, after careful consideration (and some reluctance!), I abandoned my flat iron and sought an alternative. 

Once I abandoned the flat iron, my curls returned with vengeance, and although they made me self-conscious at first I slowly began to embrace them. After consulting many curly-haired beauty gurus across the internet, I slowly began to build a routine that has proven to be very effective for my curls. Here are some tips I have for other curly haired folks who are keen on improving and maintaining their curls!


Although it can be a challenge to find a hairdresser familiar with curls, a knowledgeable hairdresser is an asset when it comes to managing curly hair. Frequent trims (every few months or so) do wonders in revitalizing curls. Curly hair is also prone to split ends and frequent visits with your hairdresser are key in ensuring that they are removed. 


With so many shampoos, conditioners, sprays and serums on the market, finding the right products for your curls may seem daunting. For starters, though, products that are free of sulfates (which can be very drying for curls) are a must. It may take a bit of trial and error, but researching products that are specifically designed for curls is an excellent way to start. I also recommend consulting reviews of these products from fellow curly- haired people to determine whether the product will be beneficial for your hair. 


There are so many curly hair techniques out there and a lot of them take some trial and error. But through a bit of experimentation, I’ve found a few that work for me. If you have longer curls, wearing your hair in a loose ponytail when you sleep can prevent them from being squished and looking flat in the morning. Using a t-shirt to dry your hair after a shower, as opposed to a towel, can also help prevent frizz! 

The Bottom Line: 

While many curly-haired people have found success with these techniques, keep in mind that what works for some may not work for everyone. That said, with the internet at our disposal, you’re bound to find something that works for you. Just keep at it and embrace those wonderful curls!

Maddie Bhamjee

U Ottawa '25

Hi, my name is Madeleine or Maddie!! I am a first-year student pursuing a double major in political science and philosophy. You'll find me writing!
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