Does Controlled Chaos Work on Permed Curls?

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What do you think of when you think of permed hair? Likely one of two things: short, white granny perms or fluffy 80s poodle-perm looks. Or possibly both. Since perms were so popular in the 80s, we sometimes tend to forget that people do still get them occasionally. And guess what? These days, if someone gets a perm, it's generally to mimic naturally curly hair! Most grannies don't even get those stick-to-your-head tight curls or the perms to hold in their helmet-head roller sets all week. No, while perms are not as popular as ice cream, some people like them because they've had straight hair all their lives and covet natural curls. And today's perms are a lot gentler and more natural-looking, so it is possible to get softer waves or curls that don't scream PERM!! from a mile away. Remember that, all you curlies: people pay good money to get curls that some of us grow naturally! Embrace them, if you aren't already!

That being said, we at Controlled Chaos are asked quite frequently: does Controlled Chaos Curl Crème work on permed hair?

If you follow the logic of perms mimicking natural curls—and the fact that the Curl Crème says "For all curly hair types"—then you would think that yes, it works on permed curls. The goal in styling natural curls is to get them to clump together where they naturally want to fall, right? Not separate and fly away or dry stiff and crispy so that they prick you when you touch them. (Ouch. Plus, that's not a great look.) When you get a perm, the disulfide bonds in your hair are broken down and rearranged to form into a curl pattern. So basically, your hair is tricked into thinking it's naturally curly. With that tidbit of chemistry knowledge, then you would also think yes, Controlled Chaos Curl Crème will work on permed hair. In addition to those two reasons, the same styling techniques and methods that work on natural curls work on permed curls (if you don't believe us, ask your hairstylist). So we say all signs point to yes—a resounding yes! Controlled Chaos works on permed curls. Give it a try and you'll be amazed how soft, frizz-free, and natural your permed curls look!

What if my natural curls have been relaxed or "smoothed" with a keratin treatment?

If you've had a relaxer or keratin treatment done, your hair takes a while to recover back to its natural state. While we don't recommend relaxing or trying to straighten or loosen those curls (embrace them for what they are, baby!), you can't change what you may have done to your hair in the past. Chances are, unless you had the strongest super-harsh relaxer done, you probably still have some curl pattern in there anyway and have to style it somehow. Well, guess what? If you still have waves or looser curls, you can still use Controlled Chaos Curl Crème to style! In fact, depending on what your natural curl is like and which treatment you had done, you may end up with some gorgeous, jealousy-inducing beachy waves that look like you spent hours working on. That doesn't sound too bad, now, does it?! Give it a shot styling your hair with the Curl Crème—just be sure to follow the recommendations for styling with wavy hair. (They're not drastically different than those for tighter curls, but they will produce better results if your curls have been loosened.) If you style your hair naturally, it will gradually ease back into your natural curl pattern as it grows out, and you may find that you like it better styled with Controlled Chaos even in its curlier state!

So there you have it—Controlled Chaos will indeed work on chemically treated hair. In fact, if your hair has been chemically altered, it's likely a little more dry than it otherwise would be, so you may want to consider using the Hair Moisturizer as well. The combination will make your curls or waves very happy. If you have any other questions about Controlled Chaos and chemically treated hair, feel free to leave them in the comments below. Happy styling!

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Fall Curly Hair Trends

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Since we're embracing fall in all its glory (what else can we do?!) and we are all about curly hair, let's talk about some of the hair trends that you'll be seeing around town this fall. Curly hair may be in a category all its own, but that certainly doesn't mean you can't have fun with it! On the contrary—just like blondes, curls have more fun! With curly hair, you can do some of the same things that straight-haired people do and it looks drastically different. How cool is that? Besides, those straight-haired girls have to work to get their hair to look like ours does all by itself. (You know they're jealous!) 

Fall Curl Trend 1: Curly Bangs

Curly bangs are back!! That's right—this fall, curly bangs are all the rage. Isn't that a relief to hear? Bangs are crucial, since they frame your face, and they can either be a complement or a detractor to it. It's been especially difficult for curly girls in the past when straight bangs were in—what a dilemma. Go with no bangs? Cut bangs and straighten them? Wear them curly and not care about the trends? Well, as of this fall, worry no more. Curly bangs are in, so wear them with gusto! And they don't just have to be full bangs, still have options even with curls. They can be sideswept or loosened, fuller or just a sprinkling. Bangs are also a great way to add more volume around your face! Just remember to work with your face shape and curl texture—and never forget that curls do shrink!! It's always better to keep them too long than to cut them too short. Of course, it's best to get help from your stylist, especially if you're getting bangs for the first time. 


Fall Curl Trend 2: Curly Lob

If you haven't heard of a lob yet, it's long + bob = lob. Think, like...a bob that lands below the shoulders, maybe around the collarbone. Most lobs have little to no layering, but for curly hair, you might want to have your stylist add at least a bit in around the edges to avoid the triangle/Christmas tree look. Or you can go for more layering and still have a lob look—it's entirely up to you! But with that being said, curly lobs are hot and trending this fall! There are different varieties of lobs, so you'll want to look up options if you're interested. (Make sure you look up "curly lob" and not just "lob," so you can get an idea of what your hair may look like with it and find a pic of someone with a curl type similar to yours.) The curly lob is the perfect medium length to show off your curls after they've been styled with Controlled Chaos Curl Crème!

Fall Curl Trend 3: Middle Part

Curly hair with a middle part is in for fall! If you've never done a middle part with curly hair, now's the best time to try it out. The middle part trend has gone in and out over the years, but what makes it different for 2017 is combining it with curly hair for a different look. Scared to try it out? Ask your stylist to test it and see how it looks with your curls. A middle part doesn't have to mean that you lose volume—nor does it have to mean you can't have bangs with it. Depending on your hair type and especially your face shape, a center part can work well if it's customized to you. (And your curls are already naturally customized to you, so let your style work with them!)


Fall Curl Trend 4: Double-texture Styles

Ever since The Hunger Games, braided, woven, and similar styles have come back with a vengeance—and that's one trend that isn't going anywhere anytime soon. However, the trends and styles have evolved, and this fall's trend is a new take on the look. This trend combines two (or more) different types of texture into the same hairstyle—for example, twists with loose braids, tighter braids with looser braids, loose waves with tighter curls or braids—play around and get creative! Curly hair is the best and easiest to achieve these creative styles with, as we've got all that natural texture to begin with. Just grab a few bobby pins or gentle hair ties (after your hair is styled with Controlled Chaos Curl Crème, of course) and see what you can come up with! The sky's the limit on this one, so don't be afraid to try anything. Think Jack Sparrow/Boho gypsy/Katniss/Princess Buttercup...and don't forget to check out Pinterest if you need further inspiration!

There you have it—four trends to try on your curls for this fall season. Fall is a great time to change things up a bit! The best part about these trends is that none of them requires a long-term commitment like changing your haircolor or moving to a warmer climate. Embrace fall, cooler weather and all—embrace your curls, and show off these looks along with your cute new sweater! 

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Keep A Breast/Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month (it is October, after all), we at Controlled Chaos have partnered with the Keep A Breast Foundation™ and would like to share with you their latest exciting news! Since 2000, Keep A Breast™ has set out to educate youth across the globe on breast cancer and raise awareness of self-detection and prevention. Their mission is to inspire young women to perform self-checks on their breasts once a month and commit to doing so. And through their latest endeavor, they've created a way to make it easy to remember and commit to self-checks and join with others who are committed. 

Keep A Breast™ has created a Check Yourself! app! The new app is available in six languages and allows you to set monthly reminders for self-checks, but that's not all. The app is partnered by social media campaign #CHECKYOURSELFIE that encourages young people to snap a selfie with three fingers on their breast—a visual symbol of their monthly commitment—and post it on social media. The selfie, with the #CHECKYOURSELFIE caption, is considered a pledge that will be shared and linked to, where you can see others' selfies, inspire others, and be inspired. You can also tag friends to challenge them to post their selfies and take the pledge.

Many young women think that breast cancer only happens after a certain age. But did you know that of the 300,000+ women that are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, 12,000 of those are under age 40? A diagnosis can happen at any age, so Keep A Breast™ wants to stress the importance of getting into a routine of self-checks early. Early detection is important to survival rates, and knowing what's normal for your body helps you determine when something isn't. That's why regular self-checks are key.

So no matter your age, October is the best time to start a routine of monthly self-checks. And what better way to get started than to download the app and join the #CHECKYOURSELFIE campaign?! C'mon, you know you take selfies at least occasionally. (Who doesn't?!) Why not take one for a good cause and spread the knowledge? You just may help save a life!

Visit or for further information. Thank you to the Keep A Breast Foundation™ for partnering with Controlled Chaos and allowing us to share your news! 

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Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall!

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If you haven't checked the calendar, fall is now upon us! We reached the autumnal equinox at 4:02 p.m. EDT on September 22. Rather than being sad that summer is over, let's embrace fall in all its glory—pumpkins (and pumpkin spice lattes!), candy apples, hot cocoa, piles of multicolored leaves, sweaters and hoodies, corn mazes, cider...need any more reasons to love fall? 🍁

And your curls love fall too. They will be happy to have less sun/sand/salt exposure! But it's also important to change your curl care routine up a bit coming off of the exposure to the elements of summer and going into the drier weather of fall. They may need a bit more or a different type of TLC for the transition as the temps begin to change.

Add more moisture.

We know, we're always stressing moisture. But it's important—no, vital—for curls to get that hydration. And while we're sure you're already staying on top of moisture for your hair (being the good curl caretakers you are), you may still need to bump it up a bit. As the weather gets cooler, it dries out gradually, and you may not notice the change happening. Before you know it, your curls will be dry and freaking out and you'll be left wondering why! Get a jump on it and boost your moisture levels before that happens so your curls can stay healthy and hydrated. Consider leaving a bit more of your conditioner in after washing or add an extra leave-in (like Controlled Chaos Hair Moisturizer) to your routine.

Do a hair mask.

If you did spend time in the sun, sand, or salt water over the summer, most likely your hair could use some extra hydration anyway. If you haven't done a mask or deep conditioning treatment in a while, now is the optimal time! It doesn't have to be a super-expensive one to do the job, but try out whatever you'd like. Did you know that you can use coconut cream as a hair mask? Not coconut milk, but the thicker cream can be applied just like a deep conditioner. It's an uber-natural, EFA-loaded way to strengthen and condition your curls! There are also many recipes out there homemade masks made with various food items, so if you're feeling creative and adventurous, try one out! If you opt to go the more conventional route, look for one labeled hair mask or reconstructor. Apply at least every other week and be sure to leave on for at least 20 min.

Watch out for those collars!

Don't forget that when you start to wear sweaters, hoodies, or jackets, your delicate curls can get caught in the collars and tangled at the nape. While you don't want to pull your hair back tightly, it may be a good idea when you wear something with a collar to pull it back loosely to avoid these problems. Another solution: check out satin-lined caps (for daytime or for sleeping) that help protect your curls but keep in a bit of warmth as well. They can prevent your ends from snagging in those zippers!

Remember to protect from heat.

With the weather getting cooler, you may find yourself diffusing your curls a bit more than in the summer. Be sure to style with Controlled Chaos Curl Crème, and you can layer on another heat-protecting product if you're prone to heat damage or split ends. Don't wash your hair too often, either! You can get away with washing it less often in cooler weather than in summer, but be sure to add a few drops of oil or Hair Moisturizer on the in-between days to keep it hydrated.

Pineapple overnight (or daytime), stay on top of regular trims, and use good products.

Sleeping with your hair pineappled will not only protect your curly style, it will prevent damage overnight as well. Plus, you can pineapple your daytime hair and it looks cute! Make sure you get regular trims to keep the ends from drying out too much. And, of course, use good products like Controlled Chaos. (Always a given.)

Following these tips will help your curls transition seamlessly into the cooler, crisper air of fall. Stay ahead of it and you won't even notice a change in your curls, because they will stay hydrated, healthy, and happy all season. 

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Controlled Chaos, Curlee Girlee, & the Today show!?!

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If you have curly hair (which you probably do, since you're reading this) and you're familiar with the Today show, read on, because we've got some exciting news! You may have heard of Atara Twersky's book "Curlee Girlee," where she encourages little curly girls to love their hair. She wrote it for her daughter, whose hair started growing in curly unexpectedly in the midst of a straight-haired family! Rather than making her daughter feel isolated or outcast, she decided to teach her to love her curls from an early age and embrace them as she grows up. (Something we at Controlled Chaos are all about!)

The Curlee Girlee book and blog are blowing up in response—to the point that Curlee Girlee made a recent appearance on the Today show! People are excited for a kids' book that features a curly girl heroine, since that's pretty rare. (And talks of a book sequel and movie/TV show are in the works.) Twersky also features a different person's curl story on her blog each week, and curlies everywhere are so eager to share their experiences that the waiting list to be featured is months long. And guess what—Controlled Chaos found a spot on the Curlee Girlee blog! We feel very honored.

We at Controlled Chaos want to help curlies love their hair—not hide it under a hat or flatten it out with chemicals or a hot iron. We definitely like to promote the mindset that all curls are beautiful—from loose, lazy waves to uber-kinky ringlets. With help from curl-friendly people like Twerksy, we are joining together to spread the curl love one person at a time. In fact, we (and probably our mothers too) wish we'd had the Curlee Girlee book and some Controlled Chaos Curl Crème as kids! Imagine the difference it would've made it your own life (especially in those lovely, awkward tween and teen years), and then think of the difference it will make for the generation that's young right now and those to come.

So without further ado, here is the interview with Controlled Chaos creator and curl expert Alanna York, featured on the Curlee Girlee blog! 

"Introducing our new blog series, “Changing the Coarse of Curly Hair”! In this series we interview curly change makers: salon owners, hairdressers, curly platforms, curly journalists, and much more. Stay tuned, because Curlee Girlee is changing the coarse of curly hair and it begins right here … Tuesday is blog day!

I am so excited to interview Alanna York, owner and creator of Controlled Chaos!

Alanna describes herself as “an unruly child”—which, to this day, she says is a direct result of her untamable hair. With thick, coarse curls that neither her mother nor she could control, she vividly recalls the exact moment her hair torment began. It was in the third grade during an in-class movie. Everyone had settled into an anticipatory silence of the film. Lights off and then, “Hey, Brillo Head, I can’t see the TV!”  And so it began, the instant mortification that she learned could (and would) explode at any moment throughout grade school and her teenage years. Spurred by relentless taunting, Alanna took to sleeping with wet hair encased in a tight-knit cap. By morning the puffiness had deflated, but she says her neck was encircled by what can only be described as a Shakespearean collar of curls that had crept out during the night.

A bad hair day is NOTHING compared to a bad hair childhood—and so Alanna’s obsession with hair began.

When her professional career began in the early 1990s, Alanna had perfected a hairstyle that was tolerable, at best, and was eager for life after high school. Alanna had intended to distance myself from the bad memories, but instead she found herself diving headfirst into helping others with their curls. Alanna opened her own salon, Head Games, in 1999, and developed her very own cutting technique for curls, which she teaches to stylists all over the US and Canada. In 2007, she created Controlled Chaos, hair care products that help turn frizzy chaos into the BEST CURLS EVER. Airing on ABC’s Shark Tank catapulted the product line to a new level of success.

Curlee Girlee:  You are the owner of Controlled Chaos- a really cool, curly haired salon in Maine. How long have you been in business and what made you decide to open your own salon?

Alanna:  It was a total fluke! I had been working at another salon for seven years and loved it there. I was just tired of the decor, and like any normal Virgo, I needed a new work space. I checked out one cool-looking space and signed the lease that day, then thought…"I guess I’m opening a salon!"

Curlee Girlee:  In your salon do you style adults and children as well?

Alanna:  Yes. I especially love the awkward teen or pre-teen age group. I remember how I felt as a frizzy-haired, buck-toothed teen and I love showing them the uniqueness of their curl, and that the actually have CURL…not frizz … if they embrace it. They are usually amazed by the great hair they have had and never knew it!

Curlee Girlee:  You created your own product line. How did that get started?

Alanna:  There were only two other curl brands out there when I started this process in 2007. I owned a salon & specialized in working with curls, so of course I wanted to carry these products and offer them to my customers. I was disappointed to find that they didn’t actually WORK any better than regular mousses or gels from other brands meant for all hair types / straight hair. Plus, I thought there should be an effort to be socially conscious & eco-friendly, which neither were. Basically the old adage “if you want something done right you have to do it yourself” was how it all began.

Curlee Girlee: I know your hair products were featured on SharkTank. There must be a great story as to how you got there. Tell us about it?

Alanna:  I traveled a lot pitching to different salons and distributors and doing hair shows, and complete strangers kept telling me, "You should go on Shark Tank!" I had no idea what the show was, but after hearing it of the 50th time or so, I had to check it out. I watched one episode, and of course was hooked and thought “I SHOULD go on this show!” We applied for season 4 and got to round 2, then the producers called us for season 5 & I was SO EXCITED. THEY called US?! But we still didn’t make it. We were struggling with handling some large orders, keeping enough inventory on hand and going through lots of growing pains. I had never manufactured a product line before (we had 16 at the time!) I was educating stylists on the Controlled Chaos haircutting technique—the only precision cut for curls—and it was just too much. We still weren’t profitable and I felt it was time to pull the plug on the entire company when I heard Shark Tank was hosting auditions in Portland, Maine…literally 2 miles from my salon! I could barely summon the energy to put forth to attend. I couldn’t take any more disappointment. My friends and family talked me into it & we did it! It was a long & somewhat torturous process, but it saved my company & was totally worth it!

Curlee Girlee:  I am sure over the years you have seen a lot of different types of hair, curly and straight. I have often felt that curly haired people have a personality that matches their hair. Do you find that to be true?

Alanna:  Heck yeah! I say we are all “good crazy!” I haven’t met many shy or subdued curlees ;)

Curlee Girlee:  How would you describe that personality?

Alanna:  We all seem to be quirky, confident, unique, friendly & most of all, FUN!

Curlee Girlee:  As you know I wrote a children’s book, Curlee Girlee, and started a curly girl movement in an effort to ensure that all children love their hair and all their unique features. How do you think we can change the “coarse” of curly hair and the way the world views curly hair?

Alanna:  I think it’s been a long time coming, but finally curls are back! Gone are the days of sleek, straight blowouts, so it should be easier than ever—IF people can understand that frizz doesn’t exist. That’s right. It’s not even a thing. If a boy or girl has frizz, that boy or girl has curl! Period! In the past, the only way we have been taught to deal with frizzy hair is to straighten it. Why do that when you can embrace and encourage awesome curls with the right product and styling techniques. Throw out all brushes within 100 miles of all curlees would be a great start! It's all about confidence. We can all work together to keep curls cool and put an end to curl shaming, and confidence will come naturally.

Curlee Girlee:  What do you find is the biggest difference working with curly hair and straight hair?

Alanna:  I find curls much easier to work with, but I think stylists with straight hair or less experience with curls would disagree. Each curl has its own personality. One person could have a kinky curl, right next to a wave, right next to a perfect spiral and then… a crazy square curl mixed with a section that is totally straight! So I guess the multiple personalities & mix of texture that usually goes with a curly client can be a bit daunting to some. With straight hair… it all lines up like it’s supposed to, requiring less customization.

Curlee Girlee: Do you find that curly haired women struggle with their hair more than straight haired women?

Alanna:  Oh yeah. I keep going back to the frizz thing. We love curl… we just hate when it turns frizzy.

Curlee Girlee:  What is your favorite go-to curly haired product?

Alanna:  Controlled Chaos, of course! We have a fragrance-free formula for kids, and our cleanser and moisturizer is launching in just 2 weeks! We are now offering the perfect little bundle of joy for curls!

Curlee Girlee:  How important do you think it is to have Curlee Girlees start to love their hair and embrace their curls?

Alanna:  OMG. It’s the single most important thing that can make or break your day. “Bad hair day” is a thing for a reason. How many bad hair days can one take before it starts taking a toll on one’s self-esteem? It sounds shallow, but it’s true for most people. When you look good, you feel good & feeling good is very important!

Curlee Girlee:  What is your best advice for Curlee Girlees, young and older?

Alanna:  Almost every single curly I have ever had in my chair says the same thing …"If I had YOUR curls, I’d LOVE my hair … but mine isn’t ‘good curl’." That’s when I show them that all texture is good texture, all curl is "good curl," you just have to know what your curls want. I have been a Curl "Thairapist" for so long, I can tell what my guests are going to say before they even start talking. They think I’m a mind reader, but it’s not that at all. We all have the same common enemy … FRIZZ. Find a great stylist who either HAS curly hair or has studied and practiced for YEARS on clients with curls. Watch as many styling videos as possible until you find ones that are specific to YOUR hair texture and YOUR curl tension. We have a ton at

Curlee Girlee:  There are 1.6 billion curly haired women in the world today and they overwhelmingly dislike their curls. What would you tell these women to help them realize they are beautiful just as they are?

Alanna:  While I have created ONE product that replaces leave-in conditioner, frizz tamer, curl enhancer, shine serum, sun block and heat protectant…that works on ALL textures and curl types (just change the amount of product used based on texture & climate), EVERY curl type is different. Not all curls can be styled using the same technique & expectations need to be realistic so that everyone will be ABLE to embrace their curls. Let’s face it—if I wanted beach waves (think T. Swift circa 2015), I’d be putting a lot of work in every day and I’d probably be disappointed. Learn what your hair can do without a TON of product and a TON of styling time…and accept that you are SO LUCKY! Most of us don’t even have to blow-dry!

Curlee Girlee:  Thank you Alanna, what a great interview!"


A great interview indeed. Thank you, Curlee Girlee, for the spot on your blog—and many congrats on the Today show appearance!

Also, follow && comment @curleegirlee_ on IG for a chance to win an autographed copy of the Curlee Girlee book, which is featured today on!

Curlee Girlee Social Media links below:

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