Me and My Hair

5 Jan

I have an extremely complicated relationship with my hair. Some people may think this is strange, but those people are either male or have perfect hair.

You see, my hair is curly. Not perfect-cascading-waves curly, more like frizzy-lion-mane curly. For the first 14 years of my life, I just pretended it was straight. I brushed it every day. Anyone who has curly hair just reacted in wide-eyed horror to that sentence. Obviously, that didn’t work out too well. It looked more like I had a brown triangle-shaped cotton ball glued to my head. Luckily, for most of this time I was prepubescent and therefore adorable no matter what my hair looked like by the sheer fact of being under five feet tall.

Then came the first day of high school. I had, during middle school, slowly come to accept that I would never have the kind of hair that Disney princesses do. The first day of ninth grade seemed like the best time possible to make the change.

I went to the salon and chopped it all off. I was left with about five inches of extremely curly hair that ended right around my ears. When I got a similar, but slightly longer, haircut five years later, a professor told me I looked like a poodle. Luckily, at this same hair appointment I was also introduced to the magic of putting product in my hair. Suddenly I had curls! Not pouffy hair-like substance coming out of my head, but actual curls! Let’s not forget that the first few products I used on my hair made it crunchy, so it felt as if I had emptied a bottle of hairspray on it each morning. It wasn’t until years later until I figured out how to make my curls not feel like they would snap in half before they bent at all (thank you, Bouncy Creme!).

But still, this was a huge upgrade. People began to compliment me on my hair. I learned how to work with it. I have been heard to say, many times, “I love this shirt, but the neckline just doesn’t work with my hair.” How many straight-haired girls have to consider not only their personal style and body type when shopping, but also their hair? Not many.

Some claimed to be jealous of it.I knew the truth, even if they never would. Shiny, stick-straight hair always looked good. You could do fun things to it, or you could run a brush through it and call it good – a luxury I never had.

With a flat iron, though, I could pretend. I never straightened my hair regularly (I did not have an extra 2 hours 2-3 times a week) but when I did – WOW. It made me look older, by which I mean I actually looked my age. Curls tend to youthify a face, which I’m sure I’ll appreciate at 40, but looking 12 at age 15 is just annoying. As is looking 16 at 20.

Anyways, I had proof that my life would be better if I had straight hair. I got more compliments. More boys flirted with me. I looked in the mirror and was thrilled with what I saw.

But then, senior year, something weird happened. The curls just sort of … fell out. I don’t mean I went bald. But suddenly I had waves. Weird, ugly waves. My hair wouldn’t do anything it used to do. Just when I had figured out how to rock the curls, they were gone. And when they disappeared, I realized I was actually rather fond of them. They were unique, they were a part of my identity, and I could do this really awesome thing where I could tuck strands out of my face without bobby pins.

The curls came back. They still drive me nuts. But the good hair days are more common now, and some people have even claimed to prefer my hair curly. It’s a pain – I can never roll out of bed, run a brush though my hair, and call it good. I can’t have one of those slick ponytails that I’m so jealous of. But I can have curls that would take normal people hours in ten minutes or less. They can bounce around and they create a natural pillow that’s rather useful on long car rides. They make me easily identifiable. They make me, in some little way, me.

Still, one of my New Year’s Resolutions is to straighten it more often.

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6 Responses to “Me and My Hair”

  1. Christina @ Hair Romance January 11, 2012 at 11:59 pm #

    I had a very similar journey with my hair. Until you get a proper curly cut you will always hate your curls. Brushing like it’s straight is awful, but getting it cut like it’s straight will mean it never sits right.
    A haircut changed my life, seriously. Now I write about my hair all the time at Hair Romance. Feel fee to ask me any hair questions too. My hair is curly though I wear it straight or wavy abut half the time.

  2. laurenkcampbell January 6, 2012 at 12:11 am #

    Nice. Well I would encourage you not to brush it except when it’s wet – stick with scrunching 🙂 Picture?

    • Erin January 6, 2012 at 1:37 am #

      Okay dok I’ll have one up soon!

  3. Erin January 5, 2012 at 7:32 am #

    Soooo perming my hair tomorrow – any good tips or product reocmmendations for taming curly hair??

    • laurenkcampbell January 5, 2012 at 7:43 am #

      Wait, really? Why???

      • Erin January 5, 2012 at 6:11 pm #

        just for something different – it’s going to be a body wave perm so I’ll just have loose curls which will give my hair some actual body

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