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As BDJ Box’s curl ambassador, I understand every naturally curly-haired gal’s lifelong struggle with fighting, taming, and eventually, embracing her unusual mane.

After years of bad hair days and parlor mishaps, I’ve come up with this fun list of facts about kulots. See if you can relate.

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1. We have a love-hate relationship with our hair. There are days when we absolutely love to flaunt the little tendrils that spring out of our heads, but on days when the frizz takes over, you’ll see us struggling in the bathroom with hair products, clips, and other tools to try to tame our unruly hair. If all else fails, we just wear a bun or ponytail.

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2. The brush is the enemy. Whenever someone asks if they could borrow my hairbrush, I retort: “Do I look like I brush my hair?!” A true-blooded kulot rarely combs and brushes because it actually makes her hair look worse. After some post-shower styling, we usually leave our hair as it is throughout the day. Unlike straight-haired gals, we rarely keep a comb or brush in our bags.

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3. If we had a dollar for every person who asked, “Why don’t you straighten your hair?” we’d have enough investment to put up our own salon. Although having crazy hairstyles and curly hair is more acceptable these days, the older generation of kulots (myself included) had to endure a childhood of being ridiculed and teased. There still is a big chunk of society that believes in the TV commercial standard of long, straight hair, so we hear the “Bakit di ka magpa-rebond?” suggestion from people every now and then. The answer, by the way, is no!

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4. We have a spunky personality. It takes chutzpah to pull off loud curls and frizz. A wise magazine editor once told me, “You need a guy who can handle the hair!” She’s absolutely right. I will never date a guy who thinks that I’d look better if I straightened my hair. We weren’t born to fit it, honey (in a Beyoncé snap-snap intonation)!

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5. There’s an art to styling our hair. After years of trial and error (mostly error), each curly-haired gal gets to a point in her life where she’s finally mastered what styling technique works best. For others, the wash-and-wear trick works. For some, they set their curls with a diffuser (a kulot’s version of the blow-drier) and lots of moisturizing hair products. For me, my hair looks best with the tendril-setting technique.

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6. Our hair tends to have a life of its own. Try watching us wear a helmet, hat, bandana, or fall asleep with wet hair and see what type of creature is unearthed from within. If you’d really like to see the swamp monster pop out, watch us step into the rain after blow-drying or ironing our hair.

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7. Our hair is always in the way. I pity whoever has to stand behind me during concerts, at the club, or in line at the movie theater. I’d like to apologize in advance to every human being who will accidentally eat my hair or get their eyes poked with my curls.

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8. People sometimes treat us like cartoon characters or mascots. They are so amazed at our curls and frizz that they cannot help but say, “OMG! May I touch your hair? Grabe, kulot na kulot!”

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9. We’ve broken so many hair styling tools—combs, brushes, clips, and elastics. We spend so much money on gel, hair oils, and other hair products. Talk about overhead expenses!

10. It takes years before finally meeting “the one”—the best hairstylist who can handle cutting and styling our hair without giving us that “Naku i-rebond na lang natin!” look whenever we step into the salon. Once we’ve found the one, we are as loyal as a puppy.

My fellow curly-haired gals, do you have your own quirks and anecdotes to share? I’d love to hear from you!

Photos by Kate Alvarez, Patricia Noble, Harie Bunda, Raymond Banela, conair.com, and someecards.com

Kate Alvarez

Kate Alvarez

Writer, editor, and commercial model, Kate is the curl ambassador of BDJBox. She brings a fresh and adventurous perspective on beauty, especially when it comes to curl-friendly hair products! Read about her travel adventures and quirky lifestyle at KateWasHere.com.
Kate Alvarez

Comments (16)

  1. I like my curly hair most of the time but when it comes to important evenings, dinner or feasts like Christmas, I absolutely hate it. You can’t make anything with it, except a bun (a ponytail looks as if I would have a little pet on my head).

  2. We love girls with curly hair, Clara. XOXO

  3. When I was a baby (until 2 years old) I usted to hace very curly hair, but it became a little straight (still curly) and my mother started to straighten my hair after that. When I was 13/14 I got really mad and I decided to wear my natural again. Now muy hair is curlier than never before, and I love it

  4. I’m using herbal essences too but be ready to splurge some bucks because it’s a little too pricey

  5. alotlessloser

    Totally relate with this article. Thank you for this.

    I’ve done rebond, relax for hair but eventually the didn’t work out.
    Though, right now, I love my curls so much.
    Straight hair friends envy my curls actually so yeah, being curly is so fab now. 😀

  6. Priscilla May Mayol

    relate much! 🙂 I tried to have my hair “relaxed” years ago when rebonding wasn’t a trend yet, but the curls just won after 2 days. since then I’ve learned to accept my curls! Hopefully I’ll find “the one” stylist, soon!

  7. Been hearing the same comments almost all my life — bakit di ka magpa-rebond? I don’t want to make my hair look like a walis tambo. pag humangin parang nililipad na yero sobrang tigas at walang flow. I mean, bakit pilitin. Embrace what you have. Basta ba well managed, diba.

    P.S. love your hair color Ms. Kate. Parang gusto ko tuloy i-try magpa-dye. 🙂

  8. laricabawar

    wow! thanks for the tips, Kate! 🙂

  9. ginalyn

    I used to hate my curly hair that I even have it rebonded back in college days and they all loved it! And since it’s curly I don’t know how to style it but just to put it on a ponytail. I also experienced being called “kulot, salot” w/c made me hate my hair more! buti na lang nauso ang digiperm! I don’t know pero akala nila I had my hair permed kasi since nagpa rebond ako di na kumulot yung upper part ng hair.. so parang yung half straight and then yung half pababa, kulot na! pero I always tell them na its my natural curls na! so Istarted embracing and loving my curly hair na! No rebond for the past 3 years and Im really enjoying and loving my hair! kiber kung kulot! yung iba nga gumagastos pa para magpa kulot! hehehe!

  10. I don’t really have a super curly hair, but I consider my hair as a wavy one. However, I do relate to some of the things you have mentioned. There are times I love and embrace how wavy my hair can be but there are times that my hair gets really buhaghag and unmanageable that I just tend to put it on a bun or ponytail. And I as get to be told na magparebond whenever I go to salon. I don’t know, but even my mama keeps on telling me that. Well, I think it’s her frustration since she has very curly hair. Haha.

  11. Kate Alvarez

    Hi, Judy Ann. I’m glad your sister finally embraced her curls! They call me Merida, too, especially since I’ve been coloring my hair red and orange the past year. Curly-haired Pinays will really benefit from coloring their hair a lighter shade. It makes the ‘do look lighter.

    Larica, the best curl-friendly hairstylists are pricy, but worth it. Try Jude Hipolito of Juro Salon, Stefan of Basement Salon Shangri-La, and Louis Kee.

    Ronallie, they still call me that sometimes!

  12. Judy Ann Gonzales

    Love reading this article as it reminds me of my younger sister who is naturally curly and have it straightened for years. She just embraced it her curly-ness last year when she realized that what she paid for rebonding treatments is not worth it for her due to very short term effects. After she embraced it, she did dyed it with a little bit of red/orange color thus we call her Merida.

    I also did try to do perm when I was in Sydney during winter as a solution to minimize styling hours before going work (kasi wash and let it all dry up nalang) so I could have more time to sleep (sarap kasi malamig) but in the end I need to come back to straight as hindi pala sya bagay sa akin when it is longer na (hindi sya mukhang natural).

  13. laricabawar

    Yeah, it’s very very difficult to find a stylist who knows how to cut curly hair! They always want to blow dry it first before cutting! Unfortunately, for me, I still haven’t found the one. 🙁

  14. And the annoying “kulot-salot” tease back in high school. G-R-R-R!!!!

  15. Kate Alvarez

    Me, too! And Cousin “it,” haha!

  16. back in college, they used to call me goldilocks.. =))