For years, I thought my hair was just wavy, not curly. Then, after living for a short time in California without benefit of hairbrush or hair dryer, I discovered it was curly. Not *curly*-curly, but at least more than wavy.
Since then I've been fighting a losing battle against Pyramid Head* and frizz and hair-in-face syndrome. Even at the best of times I've looked more like Roseanne Roseannadanna than like Nicole Kidman--which is not a bad thing, necessarily, but wasn't what I was going for. So after doing some research and dithering about and avoiding the phone, I finally made an appointment for what's called an Ouidad Carve And Slice haircut.
Ouidad, for those of you who don't know, is a woman who a) goes by one name and b) has developed a technique for cutting curly hair that rocks socks. A "carve and slice" is a proprietary haircut--there are only twelve or so salons in the country that have Ouidad-trained stylists--and it's meant to regularize curl patterns and keep curly hair from looking like a bush, pyramid, or big blocky mass.
It's not a regular haircut, that's for sure. I'm not certain if it was the haircut itself or the fact that my stylist was a little weird, in a good way, but it didn't seem like she had any real pattern or plan for That Which Ruled My Head. Instead, she'd grab bits of hair, seemingly at random, and run down them with the edge of a pair of very sharp scissors, planing off bits of hair. That's the "carve and slice" bit of the cut.
What this does, according to the theory, is allow the curls to sit inside one another with near-mathematical regularity. Thus, rather than having a mass of curls that just sort of...pile up on each other, you get nice, well-behaved ringlets (in my case) that have the extra poofiness planed off.
You would think this would make your hair thinner. It does not. True, my hair sits closer to my head, but only because it is actually in defined curls, rather than in a large mass that extends past my shoulders in every direction. You would think this would make your hair shorter. It does not. (No shit! Really!) Because I'm no longer carrying tons of poof around, my hair is now at my collarbone rather than just barely brushing my shoulders.
After I baked under a dryer for ten minutes with gel (this Ouidad stylist doesn't make you leave the salon with dripping-wet hair, thank Frogs), said stylist ran some sort of anti-crunch anti-frizz stuff through my hair and then made me shake it out gently. I am not shitting you in the least when I tell you that every single person in the very full salon turned to look. Several conversations stopped dead, and I heard at least two "Oooooo"s. I went from having a mass of impressive, unruly red hair to having beautifully behaved, shiny red ringlets in about an hour and a half.
This haircut was miraculous. Seriously. I'm never going to be more than three hours away from an Ouidad-certified stylist again. And I am not generally a vain woman. I do not put on makeup to leave the house, and I don't much care what I'm wearing at any moment. This, though, was such a good haircut that if the woman who cut my hair were abducted tomorrow by aliens, I might consider shaving my head.
So: curly-haired people: consider a Ouidad cut. It cost me a hundred bucks, but The Miracle Worker tells me I only have to have it done every four to six months or so, when the poof returns. That's not such a bad deal--especially when you consider that the whole process took 90 minutes and did not involve any hard-selling of Ouidad-brand products.
*This would be an excellent name for a beer. Get on it, brewers.