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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.


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.


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.


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!


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)!


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.


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.


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.


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!”


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,, and

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