My name is Donna, and lately I’ve become ‘The Curl Next Door’ and owner-operator of NZ's CG-friendly online shop, 'Curls Naturally'.
I'd been in a frustrating 25 year cycle of pixie-to-shoulder-and-back-again, when I discovered 'The Curly Girl Method' by Lorraine Massey in 2018 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 the way I now know curls are known, I’d take the pixie dive all over again. It was umm, safe.
In Jan 2018 I was in another cycle of growing my pixie cut out.
With an important event in May, I wanted my tatty locks to be turned into spectacular curls, and went to a hairdresser to learn how to make curls with a curling iron.
In the weeks after the event I had a quiet hair epiphany.
The sad iron(y) of 'making' curls on my naturally curly hair hit home for the folly it was.
On July 11th 2018, early in the morning, 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, just like me and you.
Knowing what I knew by that stage, I began to develop 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.
'One salon at a time - One giant leap for all curlkind' is my motto.
People all over the world have discovered 'The Curly Girl Method', experiencing life-changing success using the method. And we're expecting hair stylists to catch up and know what we know works!
And so, my personal curl story has connected me to a global world of curlies and curl specialists, more than I'd ever known was possible back on that day in July 2018.
I began to be asked if I would provide Curl Lessons which led onto being asked to provide Curl Workshops.
2019 has seen many weekends travelling to do these events, either home-hosted or salon-hosted, but always with a view to 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. Things were shaping up, discussions about venues, resources, accommodation, visa requirements, etc...
And then in October, Lorraine asked me if I would consider coming to Australia to learn curlbycurlTM cutting and styling from her.
My jaw dropped. It stayed dropped for a whole month while I simultaneously got busy booking flights, paying training fees and sorting life to accommodate this new pursuit.
And so, on Nov 4th I became the first person in NZ to be certified with Lorraine Massey's curlbycurlTM certification upon completion of her first ever workshop in Australia!
Now I look forward to practicing my new skill-set (taught to me by the coolest Curly Girl in the world) and adding cutting services into my repertoire of curl-love for curlies all over NZ!
I feel like I'm my best curly self these days, I've found 'my tribe', I'm authentically curly and I'm loving every minute of it.
I'd love to see you become your best authentic curly self too!