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The History of Curls & How to Keep Them Naturally Alive Today!

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Curls. Straight haired gals covet them, and go through great lengths to achieve them. We see examples throughout Hollywood of long tresses expertly crafted into long beautiful waves or bouncy full curls.  We all own a curling iron (some of us 2-3, depending on one’s need for size variation and European plug capabilities), and most of us have suffered through the sulfuric scent of a perm (well, those of us born before 1992 have suffered). I remember my first perm at 9 years old, in a salon in Sears. My eyes burned, and my head stunk for a week, but I had achieved the look of all of my favorite metal bands of the era (I still love you, Brett Michaels).

1930s  hair salon curls history classic machine

Historically, Egyptian nobles, men and women, would wear wigs for ceremonial purposes. These wigs would be short and curly or long and full of curls and braids. The first “curling tongs” have been dated to this period.   The upper classes of classical Greece are known to have used used curling irons as well.  In 1866, Hiram maxim, the designer of the machine gun bearing his name, obtained the first patent for a hair-curling iron.

The first perm was performed by German hairdresser Charles L. Nessler in 1906. This costly process took twelve hours. By 1945 a breakthrough was made when French chemist Eugene Schueller of L’Oreal laboratories combined the action of thioglycolic acid with hydrogen peroxide to produce the first cold permanent waves, which were cheaper and faster than earlier processes.

My pin straight hair miraculously turned curly one day as I was in the throes of puberty (around the same time as armpit hair and breast development).  Although I enjoyed the cool factor of the perms I received in the mid-eighties (think Motley Crue and Sara Jessica Parker), the 90s gave way to sleeker, straighter styles (think Shannon Dougherty on 90210 and the Jennifer Aniston on Friends).  I usually pulled my frizzy locks into a bun or ponytail, unless I wanted to spend the hour in the morning blowdrying and straightening my hair.

Over time, however, I have discovered amazing products which help tame the frizz while defining the curl.  Not all products are created equal (as we are well aware here at Cert Fab). Lucky for me I was in line for Miss Jessie’s Pillow Soft Curls.  The name of this product grabbed me instantly, as did the simple white tube with extensive bright pink wording on the front.  Pillow Soft Curls is described as a “quick drying styling lotion”, and is “the first fabric softener type styling lotion”.  Pillow Soft Curls is for “people who don’t want ramen noodle definition and instead want a larger expanded curl”.  That be me.

Miss Jessies Pillow Soft Curls 1This product truly does what it claims. Not only does this pleasant, clean smelling lotion dry quickly, my curls were soft and touchable.  When used while air drying, my hair was softly curled and pretty. My frizzies were tamed, without any heavy feeling some products impart. I also tried this product while blowdrying with the diffuser. My drying time was noticeably less, and my curls were springy and defined.  I received compliments on my hair both days, and by the end of the day (even after an intense and sweaty workout), the frizzies stayed away. 

I urge all of my curly haired sisters out there to try out Miss Jessie’s Pillow Soft Curls, you will not be disappointed!


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Stacey is an outgoing herbalist, spa frequenter, and a self-proclaimed beauty historian! She is the most recent addition to Certified F.A.B.U.L.O.U.S. and gives you weekly insight into the past and present of your beauty must haves!  

SKIN TYPE:  Combination

HAIR TYPE: Course, thick, naturally wavy, dry

HAIR COLOR: Dark brunette



BEAUTY ADDICTIONS: Body and face scrubs, exfoliating in general :)


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Guest Sunday, 21 July 2019