Updated: Apr 14, 2020


During my first few months as a stylist I had a mother and daughter make an appointment. The Mom had straight hair, but the daughter’s hair was very curly. The Mom had read The Curly Girl Handbook and was adamant her daughter’s hair should never be shampooed. She had been using a drug store conditioner as a co-wash #cowash for about six months. I’d heard using conditioner instead of shampoo was a thing, but I’d never actually seen it in action. Moment of truth here…My gag reflex was engaged, and I just wanted this experience to be OVER!! Her hair was greasy, and her scalp was coated with a thick layer of natural oil and #silicone that smelled awful. I was embarrassed for them, when I should’ve been embarrassed by my own ignorance on the subject. Looking back, I know for sure that Mom was doing the best she could, she’d tried everything, and nothing had worked. We’ve all been there.


If that same Mother and daughter walked through my doors today here’s what I would help them understand. The scalp MUST be cleansed. It doesn’t have to be cleansed with a harsh #sulfate shampoo, but it must be cleaned. When you #cleanse the scalp some of the cleanser will rinse through the ends resulting in the removal of excess oils and debris. Regardless of the quality of products you use some build up #buildup is going to happen, whether it be from the environment, your water or your products, but less build up will occur with #organic, water soluble #watersoluable products.


I’m a fan of suds…I grew up watching Prell commercials where the models had a good 12 inches of suds coming off their hair in the shower. Curly hair doesn’t need that kind of cleansing, but I’m still a fan of some suds that let me know I’m breaking through the oil and product on the scalp. I often cleanse a client twice at the bowl because the first time through I’m not able to get much sudsing (is that a word?) which indicates there are more oils present. Not to mention it feels amazing to have your scalp massaged and cleansed…I have a few clients who need reminding that moaning makes the experience over! Because, come on, let’s not make it weird.

In some cases, a #detox is in order. For my own curls, I perform a detox every six to eight weeks.  My detox consists of a hot shower, ascorbic acid mixed with Long Hair Don’t Care and a disposable shower cap. I gently massage the LHDC and ascorbic acid #ascorbicacid onto my scalp and hair shaft top it with the shower cap and go about my routine. After 10-15 minutes I cleanse and #hydrate like I normally would. The results are always amazing, which tempts me to detox every single time I wash, but that would be a mistake, more of a good thing is seldom a good thing, so I resist. A detox perks everything up; My curls are better defined; my scalp is refreshed, and my hair shaft absorbs #hydration and styling products better. Behind the chair, I assess every client’s hair and scalp and perform a detox as needed. A healthy scalp #healthyscalp is key to healthy hair. An occasional detox is basically a curly girl’s reset button.


So, what should you cleanse with? My weapons of choice are Inner Sense Organic Beauty #innersenseorgaincbeauty. Most of my clients do well with the Color Awakening Hairbath, it is a middle of the road product and while it is called “color awakening” it is good for hair that isn’t color treated as well. My other go to is the Hydrating Hairbath which is a much richer, and as the name implies, more hydrating version of the Color Awakening Hairbath. Both products will give suds due to the coconut oils in them…Suds without sulfates is a win-win!

Co-washes have their place and for that my go to is Long Hair Don’t Care #longhairdon'tcare (LHDC). It is the holy grail of co-washes and is not always easy to get your hands on. The creator sells it from an Etsy store, and it is in high demand, so it is often out of stock. I try to keep a few on hand, but it’s just as hard for stylists to get! I talked earlier about using LHDC as part of my detox routine, but it is amazing on its own as a co-wash. When you order it, you can request it with double #eucalyptus for more tingle. A word of caution though, the extra eucalyptus is not for folks with sensitive skin or scalps.


Find a cleanser you love and stick to it. Don’t buy into the commercial hype surrounding products and go deeper than what the front of a bottle promises. Read the ingredients and understand what each one will and won’t do for your hair. The curly girl journey is a marathon, not a sprint. Stick with me, it’s so worth it!



Inner Sense Organic Beauty

Ascorbic Acid Supplement

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Updated: Apr 14, 2020

June 2019 on the Staten Island Ferry
My Friend JO and I in New York.

Intro: If a person can be judged by her friends, then I'm doing something right for sure! Meet my friend Jo. We met online, because we are both online educators for Head Shape Matters.#Headshapematters I always admire the way Jo gives feedback to the students on their assignments; she has a humorous way of putting words together. Words are Jo's gift, and when she puts them together she creates pictures for me in my head. I'm usually laughing out loud, crying, or warning her 'NO! You can't say that, the picture is too....". So you and I are in luck! Jo has agreed to let me re-post her blogs. I know you'll enjoy her humor and you'll get to know her very well. She is a Curl Specialist #curlspecialist that lives in works in Colorado Spring, CO. She is the owner/curl specialist at Born Blonde A Curly Hair Salon.

One Size Fits None


Did you know 60% of folks have wavy #wavy or curly #curly hair?  And for every 32,000 curly people there is only ONE curl specialist...Wow, right?!  

I failed to embrace my curls until I was well into my 40s...mainly because I didn't realize I had them.  The first 25-30 years of my life I had bone straight hair, I could air dry it in any climate, with or without product and it was just a straight, silky, shiny swath of blonde hair.  Blow dry it...it was straight.  Curl it...it was straight in an hour, you get the picture. Then something changed and I started to struggle.  I noticed that instead of the effortless smooth hair I had always had all of a sudden I had days where I looked like I was auditioning for the Lion King...only not in a glorious Simba mane kind of way, I resembled Scar the evil uncle.  I purchased flat irons, round brushes and a cabinet full of styling products in an effort to control my hair (any of this sound familiar?).  For at least 15 years I fought the good fight, Every. Single. Day. I got into the vicious circle of shampooing my hair daily because my scalp was oily but my ends were fried.  I bought products that promised a smooth finish, I bought conditioners that promised to hydrate my locks, I bought every product my stylist used on me and mostly I turned to the internet where I tried everything from apple cider vinegar #applecidervindgar to #castoroil castor oil.  Folks, the struggle was real and no matter what I tried or how much money I spent I could not get my hair in shape!!

When I went to cosmetology school the problem got worse instead of better.  Now I'm a "professional" and my hair still looks like crap most of the time.  How is it possible that I have access to the best of everything and I still can't get it right?  Here's my truth: I was fighting a battle I was never going to win.  My hair was not meant to be tamed with silicone's, #silicones blow dryers and hot tools.  I attended a training course in Florida where another stylist friend said "Hey, why are you fighting your curls?" I laughed and said I was fighting my frizz, #frizz not my curls and that conversation started my curly girl journey.  This quest led me down an educational path where I discovered ingredients do matter and techniques are just that...some work and some don't.  

What does it all mean?  For me it meant everything I read and saw on the internet wasn't necessarily true.  Just because an IG influencer said something worked didn't make it true and don't even get me started on YouTube videos!  It can be really hard to get past the noise and find the truth.  And my truth will not exactly match your truth because no two heads of curls are the same.  It is tempting to look at pictures of hair and say "YES, that's what my curls resemble so I'll do what that person does."  Mirroring another person's personality is creepy, so please don't mirror another person's hair either. Curls aren't one size fits all or even one size fits most.  The waves and curls on your head are as unique to you as your fingerprint and as long as you are trying to make your curls look like my curls you are still fighting a battle you won't win.     

My commitment to you is that I will always do my best to educate myself and share what I've learned. This is a marathon, not a sprint, and I'm happy to help you where ever you are in your curly hair transformation!  

Cheers!  Jo

Our trip to Soho Manhattan, New York for Deva Level 2 advanced.


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