For curly girls, the salon is a nightmare: A haven of bad cuts, flat irons, and long hair that doesn't shrink when dry. Until recently, women with wavy, curly, or coily hair have not had many options when it came to finding a natural-hair-knowledgeable salon. Instead, horror stories abound, from botched bleach jobs that kill curls to straightening treatments and blowouts that result in having to cut 10 inches off — an unsolicited big chop, if you will.
Luckily, there are now plenty of curl specialists in salons across the country who know how to cut and color curly hair without causing any damage to the curls themselves. This isn't your average straight haircut experience: Curls need special attention because the follicle is generally more fragile and drier than other hair types. In curly girl salons, brushes are a no-no, products boast sulfate-free on their labels, and scissors snip off bits of dry hair to lessen shrinkage.
Sadly, not everyone can make it to a curl specialist, much less afford one. So, how do you get the perfect cut and color on both a budget and time constraint? You ask questions, and be sure to have your Wendy Davis pink sneakers on too, in case one of their answers requires you taking your textured hair and running for the hills.
Here, we asked the pros which questions you need to be asked your salon in order to get the best cut and color for your curls. Read on, and be prepare to kiss that salon PTSD goodbye.