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Curly and Confused

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Bryn Mawr’s Laura Shapiro has struggled with her curly, unruly hair ever since she was a child. “It’s very thick, like a Brillo pad, and no one ever knew how to cut it,” she says. 

By the time Shapiro reached high school, her mother had taken her to every salon in the area—but she always left crying. “I wore my hair in a tight bun and wouldn’t let anyone see it,” she recalls. 

When she moved to New York to work as a sales manager for a large clothing manufacturer, Shapiro realized she needed professional help. She searched all over the city, but no one could help.

Though she moved back to Bryn Mawr in 1993 to marry her high school sweetheart, Shaprio would still commute occasionally to New York, home to a stylist “who was the best of the best,” she says, “but who still didn’t get the gist of my hair.”

Then Shapiro read an article in the New York Times about another woman who struggled with curly hair. “She had the exact same story as mine—she was telling my story,” says Shapiro. 

The woman in the article was Lorraine Massey, creator of the DevaCut technique, author of Curly Girl, and co-owner of Devachan Salon in Manhattan. Shapiro made an appointment at Devachan. Upon arrival, she was shocked to see so many men and women with hair like hers.

Read labels to learn what’s in your hair products. Avoid lauryl sulfate, sodium chloride, silicones, ethyl alcohol and mineral oil, which dehydrate your already dry curls and cause frizz. 

Shapiro got a cut from Massey herself, but knew she couldn’t travel to New York every time she needed a trim. While shopping at Beans Beauty in Wayne one afternoon, she ran into stylist Teresa Badolato, whom she knew from another salon. Badolato had just mastered the DevaCut, now a trademarked method of cutting curly hair while dry. 

Fifteen years later, Badolato is still Shapiro’s stylist. “Without her, I’d look like a witch,” Shapiro quips. “She’s the only one who can cut and color my hair. She knows what the trends are and what products to use. 

Newtown Square’s Lynn Feinman discovered Badolato about nine years ago. After seeing a particularly unflattering photo of her hair, she headed to Beans Beauty, where she learned that her thick, coarse hair couldn’t be tamed with anything in a bottle. 

“I was told that I needed Teresa,” says Feinman. “The first time, she shaped and diffused it. It looks great, has a lot of volume, and I love the curl.”

Still, learning to love her curly hair has taken Feinman some time. “I always used to straighten it and fight the curl,” she says. “It’s not as much of a battle anymore; it’s a positive experience. But it took a little getting used to.”

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