My name is Donna, also known as ‘The Curl Next Door’ and owner-operator of NZ's CG-friendly online shop, 'Curls Naturally'.
Passionate advocate for curly hair in NZ, that's me.
I'm now operating as a Curl Specialist, trained by Lorraine Massey, offering Curl Cuts, Curl Lessons and Curl Workshops, NZ-wide and based in New Plymouth. You can learn about my services at The Curl Next Door.
But it didn't all start there...
In 2018 I'd been in a frizzstrating 25 year cycle of pixie-to-shoulder-and-back-again, when I discovered 'The Curly Girl Method' by Lorraine Massey after deciding to grow my hair One Last Time before I hit the age of 50.
Because I'd habitually blow-dried my hair straight in the past anytime it was over a few inches long, by the time it reached shoulder length the curls I hoped to reconnect with weren't the broad bouncy ringlets I'd had as a youngster.
Instead, they were disappointingly lank, ratty and thin, or dry, flyaway and frizzy.
Over the years I've shared the same tears and fears that many curlies have had - frustrations with frizz, triangle tangles, disparaging comments, cuts designed to 'make my hair curl', wistful imaginations of styles found in hair salon magazines (only to mean that 'life' had to be avoided at all costs to maintain that false veneer), and estrangement from the mainstream hair industry.
Unable to find professional guidance from anyone who really knew curls, I’d take the pixie dive all over again.
On July 11th 2018 I took a deep breath and made a personal declaration to embrace my curls, naturally.
After scouring the internet for answers, I discovered Lorraine's 'Curly Girl Method', bought her book, and never looked back!
I went on to do every online course available, learning from every curl specialist offering training for regular curlies.
Developing a passion to see a change in the hair industry in NZ so that people of curl here can have access to the kind of curl specialist experiences that the rest of the international curl community gets to experience, my personal curl story connected me to a global world of curl specialists and trainers.
'One salon at a time - One giant leap for all curlkind' is my motto.
Putting my entrepreneurial skills to use to promote the CGMethod here in NZ so that the salon industry could find 'us', my social media pages attracted interest from stylists and curlies alike.
While I connected with Curl Specialist trainers and stylists interested to know more, curlies also began to find me which led to me being asked to provide Curl Lessons which led onto being asked to provide Curl Workshops.
In 2019 I hit the road, 'Curling it (the CGMethod) Forward' at the grassroots level, exactly as Lorraine encouraged me to do.
In the mid part of 2019 I was discussing with Lorraine and Saulo about creating a Curl Event down here in NZ with them, while they were going to be in Australia doing stylist training workshops in November that Lindsay Wilson of Curlsonly.au and Curly Girls Australia had initiated and organised.
Then in curve-ball moment in October, Lorraine suggested I come to Australia to learn curlbycurlTM cutting and styling from her, making it clear to me that having no formal training was not a barrier as it was 'the curl passion and curl desire' I had, that she was seeing, which made it possible.
And so, on Nov 4th I became the first and only person in NZ to be certified with Lorraine Massey's CurlyWorld CurlbyCurlTM cutting and styling certification upon completion of her first ever workshop in Australia!
Now curlies can find me at www.thecurlnextdoor.co.nz and on social media endeavouring to bring the best quality Curl Specialist and Curly Girl Method chat I can, and connecting NZ curlies to the world of Curly World, Lorraine Massey and curl specialists around the world.
I'd love to see you there (and ps: tell your stylist too!)