Au Naturale

One of the cool things about Levo League is that we have chapters of #LocalLEVO groups around the country (well actually, world). Maxie is the Community Manager and rocks. Unfortunately, she spends most of her time in California and/or flying back and forth around the country launching in new cities. So it’s extra special when she’s in NYC for our monthly team meetings.
Earlier this week, we were both commiserating over how much time we spend on our hair. Maxie has tight, bouncy curls and I have super out-of-control curls. (Maxie is also from Texas and keeps a teasing comb with her at. all. times. Seriously, roll over her photo on our team page.)
Maxie casually mentioned that her friend decided to go one full month without straightening her hair. To us, we agreed, going curly was similar to not wearing makeup.
Dealing with curly hair is obviously not the end of the world, but it does take a little bit of coordination, planning, and effort. When I was in Rhode Island this weekend, I was even more aware of how time-consuming and non-permanent the hair situation was. It was BEYOND foggy. Which translates to lots of frizz. I french braided my hair one day in the hopes of combatting the crazy, but ended up just giving up on Sunday. This was the result:
original shot on Unabashedly Prep
(Note: it was actually raining at this point and my hair was a total lost cause.)
Anyway… Maxie and I discussed how we needed to just embrace the hair we have and go with it. (Gulp.) The grass is always greener cliche absolutely applies here. Stacy will spend quite a bit of time curling her hair hoping to create great curls. And I’m over here blow drying and flat ironing the heck out of my hair looking for frizz-free pin straight locks.
Somewhere in the conversation with Maxie, I thought it would be an interesting experiment to actually not straighten our hair for a month. I have been trying to get a lot of writing in every day, but the time I have extra in the day is typically getting eaten up elsewhere. I figure that the 30ish minutes spent on my hair would be better devoted to writing. It’s actually perfect because my hair takes a while to dry, so it can begin to dry while I’m at my desk.
I’m committing to this. I am a teensy bit worried… I was thinking ahead to everything that is coming up events/parties/dates wise and I’m going to have to barrel through. I think it will be good!
It takes 21 days to break a habit (guarantee that fun fact will come in handy one day), so here’s to hoping that I can break the straightened hair habit!!! I think it will be healthier for my hair (duh), but also a good reminder to just embrace me.

Maxie just completed Day 3 and I only have one day under my belt. Eep.

Would you be willing to go a month without straightening (or blowdrying or curling or whatevering) your hair? Anyone want to join me?

PS I’m officially stocking up on product for curly hair, suggestions are welcome! (I normally use Dove hairspray or Garnier Fructis Curl Shaping Gel Spray.)

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I saw this on your twitter and loved the idea. I maybe straighten my hair once or twice a week, which isn't crazy, but it takes FOREVER. My time would probably be better spent elsewhere, like you said.

Jennifer Smeriglio

I actually haven't used any heating tools on my hair in years! I always just let my hair air dry after I wash it. No hot rollers, no straighteners and no hairdryers! I always get compliments on my hair even when all I do is just brush it. My hair is straight with a little wave in it but it has a mind of its own most days.

Good luck on your challenge!


I'm addicted to straightening my hair too, but when my hair is curly, I love Paul Mitchell's sculpting foam. It smells amazing to boot!


It's finals week for me, so I'm not doing much of anything to my hair anyways! Good luck on your straightener free month!

Maggie L

I rarely use heat on my hair. It's just too much work! Her are my hair product suggestions: Kinky Curly Knot Today Natural Leave In/ Detangler, which I buy at Whole Foods. Also, some Targets have the Kinky Curly Line. I have VERY curly & thick hair which tangles easily, so sometimes I apply this in the shower and comb it through. Otherwise I apply it after the shower and it smells AMAZING. The other product I picked up recently from CVS: Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie. Also smells amazing. I put this in my hair after towel-drying if I want more definition. Not sure how this would work with looser waves, but it seems to work well to tame frizz and define curls.

Aloha Anja

I have super curly hair and I used to straighten it all of the time! I didn't straighten it at all during last summer break and the health of my hair greatly improved and I learned tons of new ways to style my curly hair (mostly braids I found on pinterest :)Taking a break definitely teaches you to not be so dependent on your flat iron and saves you a bunch of time!

Mrs. Dork

I used to straighten my hair ALL the time in high school. Back then my hair was past my rear, but the heat damage caused it to break off and I lost about a foot of hair! Now I rarely use any heat on my hair–just a few times a year. It's taken a while, but it has finally gotten a little longer and thicker. Heat is your hair's worst enemy! Good luck to you on these 30 days!


My hair is wavy beyond control! I typically embrace my natural wave instead of using heat, besides that takes too much time. I highly reccomend and use religiously…garnier fructis mousse curl & bed head anti frizz! It works wonders.


If it's any consolation, I think your hair looks absolutely beautiful curly. The above picture is one of my favorites! I wear my hair curly every day, and personally love Redken mousse guts 10. It puts the curls in more of a wavy variety (which I appreciate) and isn't crunchy or wet looking, but just as I always want my curls to be.


YES! I've so been waiting for you to come over to the curly side. Fortunately for you, I have done extensive curly/wavey hair research.

I'm going on a no 'poo routine very soon. You should look into it!

Side note, since I haven't gone on it yet I still am using Redken's Ringlet 07 Curl Perfector. (It is not allowed for the no 'poo routine because it has silicone in it.) I like it a lot.

I use macadamia oil on my ends, that seals them very nicely.

Lastly, if you are committed to the curly style you should definitely get a Deva Cut! It lets your curls fall how they're supposed to.

Also, I'll just leave this here:

🙂 Rose

Preppy Pink Crocodile

I saw your pics on Sarah's blog and thought you looked so cute with your hair like that. You have nothing to worry about- it looks fantastic!

On the flip side, I would NOT be willing to go even a day without blowdrying my hair. Ha. I can dish it but not take it. My hair is the polar opposite of yours- super duper straight and flat and thin. I look sad without the intsy bit of body I can find using a blowdryer and big round brush.


Allie Emme

I know exactly what you you go through; my hair is naturally curly and sometimes it's a pain to deal with especially in humid/rainy weather. Good luck with not straightening your hair! You can do it!
As for recommendations, I use Garnier Fructis Morocan Sleek Oil. I apply it in the shower before I condition my hair. It's worked wonders for taming my hair.
xx Allie

Kendra S.

I absolutely love your hair natural! You look so great! Good luck on your challenge! I should attempt it as well but my hair is the frizzy, crazy waves kind so I'm not sure how I would do it!

Caroline Heafey

Love the idea of going a month au naturale! Hair has memory so your curls may even change a little! I have come to love my curls but it took years of getting my "product routine" down. I've used Herbal Essences mousses for a few years now and I really like them. They smell great and come in a range of "holds" which allows for flexibility if I want my curls to be loose or tighter. Love the look and good luck!

Katie Miller

My hair is always kind of a mess half curls, half straight, sometimes its wavy, sometimes its super curly. Anyways I've been in France for 4 months and I didn't bring a straightener or blow dryer with me. Its been a long 4 months and the first thing I'm going to do when I get home is straighten my hair. Good luck! I hope you break your habit better than I have


My hair is naturally super straight. I try to curl and wave it as much as I can to get it to look like yours! But when I don't straighten it, it just doesn't look neat or finished!


I used to be a hair straightener slave. But the less you do it, the less you need it, because hair that's in better shape will look much better when it's wavy or curly. Now all I use my hair straightener for is last-minute flattening of hems on my clothes…and the extra time in my day is definitely worth it.

Ps have you ever looked into keratin/Brazilian blowout-type treatments?


I've used everything for my curls, expensive salon products and $.99 hair gel included. My favorite products right now are the Garnier mousse and spray gel. I mousse it, let it air dry while I roam the internet and read the news, then blow dry with the diffuser and spray some gel before I walk out the door. Enjoy your curls!


My hair is naturally curly- I've been using Revlon Ringlet and Catwalk Curls Rock Amplifier {just a small amount} recently and halfway letting it air-dry and halfway diffusing it. PS- your hair looks super cute curly- I say go for it!

Jenn from A Pop of Style

I saw this picture on Sarah Vicker's blog the other day and thought your hair looked awesome! There is so much body to it! I don't straighten or blow dry my hair anymore, mostly because it's always stick straight.

Checkout my post on how to deck the halls on a college budget!


A Pop of Style


You look great with curly hair. When almost everyone has straight hair, curly hair makes you stand out!

I have an afro now but I used to relax my hair and use a blow drier and straightening or curling iron every other day. My hair is so much happier and healthier now that I don't use heat on it so often and I have an extra hour or two every week since I'm not spending that time straightening my hair. It's one of the best decisions I've made. I have been using a tiny bit of bumble and bumble's hairdresser's invisible oil mixed with brilliantine on my hair to keep it looking polished and I like that combo. But my hair is really, really curly.


Suave Professionals captivating curls whipped creme mousse is my go to for touchable curls. I just scrunch and air dry or use my diffuser. I also have my hair stylist cut my hair for curls (more layers) which has helped a lot. I recently embraced my curls too after years of straightening and I'm sold. I love it. Good luck with your experiment! I think your natural hair looks great!


I'm going to do it with ya, Carly! I think I may have to just straighten my hair ONCE for Christmas Eve, that's it!

mariela mara

Hey Carly could you tell us how you style your hair on curly days? Btw. I suggest you use kerastase oleo serum relax, its kind of a leave in cream for dry frizzy hair with lots of natural oils that really "calm" my curls.


I've beem embracing my natural curl lately too! You have to try Miss Jessie's products. If you go to their website, they even send free samples. I received a sample in my Birchbox a couple of months ago and have been a convert ever since. I've probably only blow-dried my hair straight 5 times in the last 2 months.


The entire "Frizz-Ease" line was my lifesaver!!! The price range is pretty affordable too, so you wont be dropping $80 on a bottle of serum!

little b

gah! I could never do that – I applaud you! your natural curls are very cute though, while my natural hair is very "poufy."Do you gel your hair when you let it air dry?


Curly girls forever!!!

I HIGHLY recommend checking out "The Curly Girl Method," but in a nutshell – stop brushing your hair and stop using shampoo. Find a gentle, "cone"-free conditioner, apply it to your scalp, massage in, then finger comb your hair to work the conditioner through. Use an old tshirt to scrunch the water out of your hair, apply your favorite product (I like Deva's Frizz Free Volumizing Foam and Kenra's Curl Defining Cream), and HANDS OFF!


I'm a fellow curlyhead and I rarely straighten my hair 🙂 It's the best thing I could do..because straightening takes a lot of time (and I'm always on the run!) and they just don't stay straight (expecially with humidity and here is very humid!)…plus, I like my curly hair 🙂 I'd suggest you to check for some product specific for curly hair I use those gels that make my hair look very good with a minimum effort 😀


I stopped straightening my hair when I worked at a summer camp and sometimes would only have fifteen minutes to shower/get ready before having to be on duty! I have very curly hair, and I absolutely love how it dries naturally. It's been almost two years since I've straightened my hair on a regular basis, and I get so many compliments on my hair. It's the best of both worlds since it's so low maintenance!

I love using Suave's frizz cream–it's a little silver bottle with an orange cap. It smells AMAZING and doesn't weigh down my hair.

Good luck going natural!!

The Yuppie Files

Your hair is really pretty curly! I have straight hair but have to blow dry it to make it look good. One side will air dry straight, the other will get a weird kink in it that is not wavy but just weird.

I couldn't give up the blow dryer!

Samantha Delperdang

I LOVE your curly hair, it's so cute! I myself have very wavy hair naturally and this summer I cut off 10 inches so it was incredibly short, making it even wavier. I used to straighten my hair about once a week, but just this semester I've embraced the waves and stopped straightening it all together. I never use a brush anymore and all I do is spray my hair with Suave hairspray while it is still wet. It definitely helps control the frizz, and I can even shape my own curls to give my hair some extra bounce!


The curly look definitely suits you! I think its always hard for someone to accept their au naturale look; everyone else sees the beauty where we see flaw. My issue is that when I let my hair air-dry it falls flat and looks greasy. I'm normally okay with just a blow-dry, but the weather in Florida (as you know!) makes it so difficult to embrace big/wild hair.

Anna Vigdorova

I am way too lazy to straighten my thick, curly hair every day, even though I wear it short (above my shoulders). I use Ouidad products, which are formulated specifically for curly, frizzy hair, and you can buy them at Sephora. They are INCREDIBLE– I brought their de-frizz gel to a summer vacation trip in Mexico, and my hair stayed gorgeous and frizz-free the entire week! Also, Aveda has some great products for frizz-free, curly hair! They're both fairly pricey brands, but you only need to use a small amount, so they last forever!


I try not to straighten my hair during the winter (even though in Texas we don't really get much of a winter) because it dries my hair out just that much more.

From what your curls look like they look really similar to mine, I use the Miss Jessie's line (right now both Target and Birchbox have them buy one get one free) and love it. The shampoo and conditioner kinda freaked me out at first because there were no suds, but it works like a charm. I'm in Houston and even though it's "winter" here (63 out right now) it's still super humid and I haven't had any fizz.

Good luck!


ill do it with you! i'll email you if i find anything good. 🙂 i use moroccan oil on my hair to get rid of the frizz. moroccan oil also has a great spray for frizz and that is what is (kind of) saving my hair today since it's raining.

Brianna Rojas

Okay now this might sound gross but I do not wash my hair every. I personally think my hair looks better dirty (maybe it's just me?) I typically use Garnier Fructis Leave in Conditioning Cream & some gel and let it air dry. Some days are better than others but it sure as heck beats the amount of time I could be spending it straightening it. (I have long, thick curls). Good luck on your mission; I started embracing my curls over the summer and have grown to love them!


I didn't even realize your hair was curly until now. I saw the pictures on Classy Girls wear Pearls and just thought it looked wavy from the salt water but I must say, I love your hair curly! It doesn't look frizzy at all in those pictures but thick and full of pretty waves!

Shay Henrion

Oh man, I quit straightening my hair over 2 years ago. At it's current length, it takes about an hour and a half to straighten, so it just wasn't worth the time! Sometimes I still wish my hair was straight (it's really puffy and frizzy and nothing seems to help), but for the most part, going curly is great!

Just make sure your shampoo and conditioner don't have sulfates etc in them and you should be fine!



Your hair looks lovely curly! I have curly hair (really long curly hair at that) with straight roots and over about 5 years I have found the products that work for me. I live in Texas with plenty of moisture so fighting frizz is a moderate battle. I will attempt to list all of the things I use or have used in the past with some commentary 🙂

The products I use IN the shower are:
-Paul Mitchell extra body shampoo (as my hair gets longer I lose the curl!)
-Paul Mitchell Cleanse shampoo (say I added a day between washes, swam in a pool, conditioner build-up etc)
-Paul Mitchell awapuhi shampoo made my scalp super dry but I used it at one point
-Joico Daily Care treatment shampoo, it fixes all scalp dehydration! It's amazing!
-Paul Mitchell smoothing conditioner, it doesn't build up as much as the extra body one
-Paul Mitchell moisture, fixes split ends easily
-Garnier Fructis 3 minute masque, once a week with the PM moisture and it is a LIFESAVER
-Sebastian Pentraitt conditioner, when it needs something in between the soothing conditioner and the moisture conditioner. It's very good and lasts a long time
-Aussie moisture conditioner, really good for rehydration but it also builds up extremely easy. I use it after I have straightened my hair and am trying to revive it!

I also rinse my conditioner out with cool water and then finger-comb it into its curls before I "crunch" the water out and wrap it in a towel for 10ish minutes. Once I am ready to give my hair attention again.
OUT of the shower I use:
-Paul Mitchell awaphui styling treatment oil, ends only!
-Sebastian Pentraitt Potion 9, if I want my hair to be more wavy…. it tends to
"straighten" ends and be a bit "heavy"
-Bed Head Control Freak, Frizz control for the middle area of my hair! It works perfectly for me
-Hair Milk Curl Booster, its okay but it really works the best in the summer
-Not your Mothers Beach Babe texturizing sea salt spray, GREAT in SMALL doses-BAD for the day to day, it will dry out your hair if you use it too often
-Beautiful Curls Shea Butter Curl Reviving Tonic, My answer to the sea salt spray. I use it for the day to day and it is really good. It keeps it moisturized, does not build up, does not make my hair crackle or hurt it and I bought it at Whole Foods so you know its good. 10% of their sales are sent directly to the small community in Africa that makes their products.
AND last but not least,
-Paul Mitchell awapuhi Shine Spray, makes it look even silkier and shiner than you would believe! It really does work, just keep it away from your roots! It is easily one of my favorite products!

Well there you go! All of my knowledge haha. I don't use all of those products day to day (3 shampoos would be ridiculous and seriously high maintenance!) I use it on a basis of what my hair needs. Curly hair is easier than straightening your hair every day but it comes with its own problems! I hope you find out what works for you and let me know if you have any questions!



I cannot recommend Ouidad Climate Control gel and Botanical Boost refresher spray enough. These miracle products get me through DC summers flawlessly! They are so worth the money and I'll never look back.


I have naturally curly hair and straighten the heck out of it! This past month my mom took away my flat iron so I am having to embrace my curls! It was super hard at first, but now I'm much more confident rocking my natural hair!


Au naturale looks good on you! My hair stylist convinced me to ~embrace the curl~ in my sophomore year of college… I still straighten my hair every now and then (maybe once every six months to check the length, or if I have an interview), but I don’t miss it at all anymore. The quality and condition of my hair now is SO much better without the constant straightening. It lets me be very lazy, too – I don’t even have to blow dry or use styling products, and I love my hair! I definitely recommend Bumble & bumble’s Curl Conscious Smoothing Conditioner. 🙂 I used to use the Devacurl products, but I find they make my hair kind-of sticky. All curls are different though!


I have also been told to embrace my curls so I actually get a devacurl cut a style of hair cut that accentuates my curls and helps them grow. I use devacurl shampoo and conditioner and I love it and I have noticed SUCH a difference in my hair!


Using a texture product will bring those waves/curls. I've been doing half and half this month. They are days when i just leave it naturally, but I don't think I could let it down, so if I leave my natural curly/wavy hair its usually either in a ponytail or a high bun.

I think what you and Maxie are doing is great. You two look so cute with your hair!! I didn't even know Maxie had curly hair!


Jennifer Skells

I have always left my hair curly and it's become a part of who I am! I would definitely recommend Lush's R&B product – it is AMAZING at taming smaller flyaways and combatting general frizz!


My hair was crazy curly/frizzy during my teenage years, but has thankfully calmed down in recent years. I can't do a blowout to save my life, but love the look. Most days it's just curly though, and I get a ton of compliments all the time. I use Healthy Sexy Hair's Leave-in Conditioner, Alterna's Texturizing Glaze, and Rusk's Deepshine Lusterizer, in that order. I hope you have fun with your curls!

<3 Josephine

Julia D.

I love your hair in that first picture! My hair is pretty straight, but does weird things when left to try on its own (not the fun, naturally beautiful waves kind) so I don't know if I could commit to not doing anything with it. I don't usually spend much (read: any) time styling it except for when I'm going out, but I still think you girls are so brave!