Each week we pick apart a hot beauty topic. It’s our version of an op-ed—with hair, eyeliner and lipstick.
On the recent season premiere of The Millionaire Matchmaker, real-life cupid Patti Stanger tells a curly-haired potential date, “Straighten your hair. You look like a poodle!”
Now I’ve seen poodle-like curly hair before (have had it, too) and this girl looked nothing like these ringlet-covered pooches. But even worse than insulting a girl with beautiful loose curls is that matchmaker Stanger is telling her clients’s potential mates to change their looks to find love. Ironically, a matchmaker’s job is to match people based on who they really are. After all, what kind of a future do you have with a partner if you have to spend the rest of your life looking like someone you are not? I find this outrageous. And I’m not alone.
After Stanger’s insult, the “poodle-haired” girl went to see Shai Amiel, the owner of Capella Salon. Clients have dubbed Amel the “curl doctor.”
“Stanger wants these women to change their look to fit into a mold," Amiel says. "But what's going to happen when this couple goes swimming or takes a bath together? Is it really more attractive to have a girl saying, ‘I can't wet my hair’ or ‘I can't ruin this blowout? Isn’t it better to have a woman who feels good about her natural beauty and has the ability to be spontaneous? After all, it's hard for a man to love a woman who doesn't feel good about herself.”
If Stanger were really doing this woman a service, she could suggest another direction.
“A better solution is to understand and make the best out of your hair’s natural texture—whether you’re naturally curly or naturally straight—because makeup and clothes come off, but your hair is attached to you,” says Lorraine Massey, author of Curly Girl: The Handbook.
For example, whether you’ve got waves, corkscrews or something in between, beautiful curls start with avoiding sulfate-filled shampoos, using loads of conditioner, tossing your brush and only combing hair when it’s wet and covered in conditioner while showering.
The thing about having your hair look fabulous is that your self-esteem soars. And what’s sexier and more alluring for someone seeking a match than a truly confident woman who’s comfortable in her own skin—and her hair?