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Why Don't You Curl Up and Dry: A Celebration of Musician's Natural Manes

Summer Camp's Elizabeth Sankey delves into the insane world of curls.

Elizabeth: unhappy with straight hair. After many years of straightening my hair, a couple of years ago, I stopped. I won't lie—it was a difficult adjustment. Naturally curly hair is harder to manage and there is no set way of dealing with it. Everyone's texture is completely different, and your tresses are at the whim of humidity, climate, and fairies, so it's not surprising that so many women with curly hair choose to straighten, because at least then you can rely on it looking the same every day.


Elizabeth: happy with her natural curls. Or at the very least, happy about her burger.

But for many naturally curly-haired women who refuse the use of an iron, styling their curls becomes a very serious business. There are many websites dedicated to discussions on which kind of curly hair you have. Lock-types are divided into numbers. “Am I a 3a or a 3b?” women scream hysterically on forums. “Who is doing no-poo!?” they yell. (No-poo is the method of washing your hair solely with conditioner, i.e. no shampoo. I'm an advocate.)

These forums are also filled with anger, particularly against women in the public eye with naturally curly hair who use heat to make it more manageable. They are known as faux-curlies and they are not our friends. There are also sob stories. Women who feel sidelined by popular culture, who were picked on at school, or didn't get jobs, and it was absolutely, definitely, no doubt about it, because of their curly hair (maybe).

Luckily the music world has a lot of naturally curly stars and we should embrace and celebrate them for the sake of all those bullied spiral-heads out there.

Mariah Carey
I recently saw a blog post about how much younger Mariah looks with her natural curls. So surely all people with curly hair look young! That's something to smile smugly about. Sadly, the 1967 law, “All women with curly hair have to paint their living room wall so it looks like a weird mottled mold den,” quickly wipes the smile off all our faces. Pretty brave of Mariah to pose in front of hers. Take a stand!


Shakira has pretty sweet mermaid curls. The long kind you can use to cover your boobs when you can't find a bra and need to open the door to the mailman. This was Shakira in her super-blonde phase, at the 2001 Grammys. I'm not sure how she keeps it in such great condition, considering it's a long way from her natural color, seen here on the right, when Shaki was 13 years old.

Beyoncé has had a lot of hairstyles, and she frequently uses heat to create big, smooth curls, but when she goes natural, it's incredible. Remember in 2002 when she burst onto our screens, dripping in gold, for her first solo cut, “Work It Out?” Her afro bounced all over the place, it was a perfect curly dream: she had arrived.

I wouldn't recommend matching your lipstick and eye shadow to your hair color, as she demonstrates here, but that's just me. And who do you trust more? Me, or the triumphant glamazon that is Bey Bey? Of course it wouldn't be fair to mention one Knowles sister without the other…

There is no snide remark or pithy comment that I can make about this woman. She. Never. Ever. Gets. It. Wrong.

St. Vincent
A lot of hairdressers—the kind who get asked by glamorous magazines to pontificate on the best haircuts for curly hair—claim that if you have waves, your hair needs to be long to look good. They argue that it stretches the curl making it look “better” *cough* less curly *cough*. Well, one day I am going to find these hairdressers, and I am going to march into their salons, refuse the complimentary champagne, and hold up this picture of St. Vincent. She is an angel and her hair is like a black curl cloud framing her alabaster face.


Eliza Doolittle
Although, if you're going to have it long, man, it's good to have it this long. And to all you curly haters out there—Eliza is now a MODEL. So stick that where the sun don't shine. If you’re like, “Eliza who?” She’s a British singer who's really fond of crop tops.

Recently she added her vocals to this Disclosure track. It’s already a stone cold classic. Apparently Eliza uses products that are as natural as possible, which is another thing that gets talked about a lot on the curly forums. Products with silicone are a big no-no. They make your 'do all fluffy. But maybe you want fluffy hair. Hey, it's your world baby.

Alaina Moore from Tennis
I saw Tennis play in London a few years ago and was captivated by Alaina's hair. My straightened hair felt so boring in comparison to her insane, Stevie Nicks-style mad curls. You need buckets of crazy confidence to pull off curls like this, but find it somewhere and do it. You'll never look back. After the show the only conversation topic was her mega-hair. And Tennis had played an amazing set.

Taylor Swift
Nowadays Taylor only ever has faux-curls, which is a shame, because as we can see from the photo above, she has lovely natural waves. I discovered the reason for this on a site with a post entitled: “TAYLOR SWIFT CURLY HAIR DRAMA.” Apparently she said, “My friends decided I had frizzy hair and was 'annoying' and they didn't want to hang out with me anymore.” I don't know if them finding her annoying was related to her hair, but when I think about how much I talk about my hair, in endless, minute detail, well, I imagine it probably was.


She goes on to say, “'I saw this commercial on TV for leopard-print hair curlers. I was so stoked when I got those in the mail. They were cloth and you would roll your hair in one and snap the curler in place, and then you'd roll another one, snap it, and then intertwine the two. It was so painful to sleep on.”

You straight-heads have it so frickin’ easy. Here is a picture of Tay from those difficult days. Urgh. Her hair is so annoying.

I guess we should also talk about male musicians with curly hair.

Actually, let's not.

We’re really envious of Elizabeth’s super-curls. She the singer of Summer Camp and she’s on Twitter - @Sankles.

Style Stage is an ongoing partnership between Noisey & Garnier Fructis celebrating music, hair, and style.