UPDATED: 12/02/2020 with new photos! Click the link to scroll to the bottom.

September. The month we all begin to dream about pumpkin spice, hot cider, warm color palettes and leaf peeping. While I love this month for all those reasons, I am excited to start this season with my new curly hairstyle!

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Finding A Curly Stylist

If you belong to the curly community or are newly embracing your #quarantinecurls, a trip to the salon can be quite dramatic. Finding a curly stylist can be like searching for a lost bobby pin in day 4 curls!

I started my curly hair journey about 2 years ago. Fortunately, a talented curl stylist was located a few miles from my home in Charlotte, North Carolina. We had a great thing going. She helped me accept and love my natural curls and I sent every curly girl I met her way.

Fast forward to My Last Curly Girl Cut with Sanctuary Salon and Spa in March of 2020. Thankfully, it was right before the salons closed due to the coronavirus and everyone entered quarantine. We were moving to New Hampshire. I was devastated as no one could refer me to a salon for my next curly hairstyle. Instagram influencers could not help me, Google Searches came up empty and I was at a loss of where to go.

One day, I came across a website for stylists certified by the Curly Hair Artistry. Devacurl salons specializing in Devacuts were familiar to me, but I had never heard of this certification. The Curly Hair Artistry is owned and operated by Scott Musgrave and is an advanced education company teaching stylists to work with all forms of curly hair. I searched the curly hair stylist locator and found three stylists on the list in New Hampshire. They were all located at the same salon in Manchester!

New Hampshire Curly Hair Stylists

If you are in New England and are desperately searching for curl specialists for your next curly hair style, look no further than Merlin’s Ultimate Images. Ask for Catherine Kimpton, the owner, Amy Beckman or Fausto DI Ianne. They are all Deva Stylists and Curly Hair Specialists. I was fortunate to have Catherine work her magic on my hair.

Catherin Kimpton, Deva Advanced Stylist

Cathy is a curl specialist, colorist and owner of Merlin’s in southern NH. She has been styling curls for over 25 years! At the beginning of her curly career, she focused on deva cuts. However, over the years and with further education, she now has a unique approach to curls.

For new curly customers, she spends extra time with your curls. She understands that every curly haired individual is unique. A one size fits all curly cut, like deva cut, doesn’t work for every person.

Cathy will give you a natural curly hairstyle with a beautiful shape that frames your face. If you need color, layers, or curly hair highlights, she is your go to gal.

My Latest Custom Curl by Curl Cut

As always, I share my latest haircut for curly hair with you. My goal for every salon visit is healthy curls, complimentary shape, and lots of volume! (Who else loves big hair like me?!)

On this visit, I was looking to add curly hair highlights. Last December, my virgin hair experienced color highlights for the first time. With a few grey curls here and there, I wanted to add a few more highlights.

Cathy began my first curl by curl cut with loads of questions ranging from hair parts, curl goals, curl type, and curly hair products. Only then did she begin to trim by curls one at a time adding layers in my long hair. I brought my curl-friend along to witness the transformation and she was in awe of Cathy’s artistry.

Curly Hair Highlights

Once my curly hairstyle had its shape back, she moderately applied curly hair highlights. Her recommendation was minimal highlighting for a natural look.

Cathy painted on my highlights using a pintura highlighting technique. Pintura is when color is painted on textured hair without foils. Pintura highlights add dimension to curls. It is an easy to maintain, universally flattering look.

Curly Hair Products: Clean, Plant-Based Ingredients

After my highlights were done, Cathy washed and styled with hair with Innersense Organic Beauty products. I had never heard of this product line but love the results and their mission. They are committed to a cleaner, healthier lifestyle: Toxin-free beauty. All their curly hair products are gluten-free, cruelty-free and non-GMO.

Here are the products my curly hair stylist used to wash and style my 2c hair.

Innersense Organic Beauty

Step 1: Wash curls with Innersense Organic Beauty Hydrating Hairbath.

Not only does this shampoo give you loads of suds, it removes knots and hydrates! I could run my fingers through my curls during and after my hair cleanse.

This shampoo is ultra creamy and is derived of coconut oil, shea butter and tamanu seed oil. It is also paraben free, sulfate free, cruelty free and color safe. It won Best of Beauty Allure 2017.

The Hydrating Cream Hairbath is best for thick, coarse and curly hair. It smells like vanilla and sage.

Step 2: Condition curls with Innersense Organic Beauty Hydrating Cream Conditioner.

The Innersense shampoo was completely rinsed from my curls. Since I have low porosity curls, my curl stylist continually added water to my hair. Water is key to unlocking gorgeous curls!

The Hydrating Cream Conditioner was applied to my entire head, from my scalp all the way to my roots. Normally, I prefer to work conditioner on the lower half of my hair. However, Cathy said this was not a hard and fast curl rule to follow.

She rinsed the conditioner from my scalp but left a generous amount on my ends. I left the wash station with my curls still dripping wet.

Step 3: Apply Innersense Organic Beauty Quiet Calm Curl Control via praying hands and Raking.

The consistency of the Innersense Curl Control is a thin, liquid-like gel.  It hydrates, defines curls and eliminates frizz. It works well for all hair types and has a light, orange blossom scent.

The Quiet Calm Curl Control was applied to my curls upside down and soaking wet. At this point, my curly hair felt heavily hydrated.

Step 4: Apply Innersense Organic Beauty | Create Volume Volumizing Lotion

This was the final step and product my curly hair stylist used. She “squished to condish” this light volumizing lotion into my curls. The Volumizing Lotion adds lift from the roots and gives body to your curls with organic honey and aloe.

At this point, my 2c 3a hair was fully saturated with water and product. My stylist then used her technique to pin curls around my scalp for added volume. She pulled families of curls perpendicular to each other and then clipped at the roots with double prong clips.

Curly Hairstyle Revealed

Cathy dried my roots first and then used this Black Orchid Large Hair Diffuser to completely dry my curly hair. She prefers the extra long fingers for root to tip drying. This blow dryer diffuser has a 1.8 inch diameter and attaches to any hair dryer with the same diameter.

Never touch your curls if they are still damp. Once my curls were dry Cathy Scrunched Out the Crunch (SOTC). Here are my curly hairstyle results with my curly highlights.

Day 2 Curls: Refreshed

I received so many compliments that afternoon after my visit to the curly hair salon in Manchester, NH. Maybe it was the fact that my mask hid the rest of my face so everyone noticed my curls? I don’t know. ha ha!

While I was shopping at Target, I picked up a bottle of 100% Pure Argan Oil. Recently, I read that it works great for low porosity curls. I emulsified it between my hands and then applied it lightly over my roots and tips using praying hands for a beautiful refresh day.shea moisture 100% argan oil curl refresh

cute curly hairstyle day 2 curls refreshed

Curly Hairstyle Conclusion

While you might be adverse to traveling long distances for a curl cut, I highly recommend visiting Merlin’s Ultimate Images in southern New Hampshire. I live almost 1.5 hours away and found the quality of service and curly styling products to be top notch. Bring a curl friend and make a day of it!

PS: If you, like me, prefer gluten free, organic beauty products, check out these blog posts. The natural makeup looks in my photos are using products from these posts.

Curly Hairstyle Update

It’s been a couple months since my curly haircut. My curls took some time to normalize after the chemical treatment from the highlights.

During this phase, I continued to use my every day curly hair product routine. My hairdresser sent me home with several demo products from InnerSense Organic Beauty

All the curly hair styling products I used for my wash day are detailed above. Here are my curls before I scrunched out the crunch!

My favorite InnerSense curl products are the shampoo and gel. The Hydrating Cream Hairbath leaves my hair feeling hydrated and detangled. Most curly hair shampoos leave my hair tangled and dry.

The Quiet Calm Curl Control goes on like water! You almost feel like you need to add more, but hold your horses. A little goes a LONG way!

As you can see my from photos, my curls almost look wet from the gel. I usually wait 24 hours to SOTC as it gives me an extra day between washes. My curls kept their shape and hydration several days after.


Diagnosed with Celiac Disease nine years ago, I've been on a journey discovering what it means to be truly healthy. Join me as I share my personal fitness goals, gluten free recipes I've tried, travel tips, product reviews and all things creative.

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