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4 Chic Hairstyles for Curly Hair

A quartet of Real Simple readers get the ideal style for their springy, spiraling, occasionally maddening curls. 

Shameka Brown Barbosa before
Elinor Carucci
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Before: Shameka Brown Barbosa, 36

“Everyone in my family had chemically salon-relaxed hair, but I wasn’t allowed to get a relaxer until I was 16,” says Shameka, who is an associate creative director at an advertising agency. “By the time I was in my senior year of college, my hair was really dry and damaged from all the chemicals. After a trip to Zimbabwe that year, I decided to reclaim my heritage and go natural. I went back to relaxing a year later. But when I gave birth to two daughters in 2006 and 2008 and was faced with three curly heads to deal with, I let my salon ritual fall by the wayside. I decided I’d straighten my hair on my own, at home, with an elaborate process that involved washing and conditioning, then hand-twisting my curls under a dryer every Sunday afternoon. It took two hours!”

Her goal: a polished look that doesn’t take hours to style.

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