I have a confession to make – this is what my hair looks like when I wake up. Straight as an arrow. Though those with unruly hair surely want to kill me right now, I spent much of my younger years trying to beat my hair into submission. Trying to convince it to be something that it’s not. But, alas, this is how my hair likes to be: Shiny and straight. It refuses to hold a substantial curl. Rejects bobby pins over time (literally spits them out like projectiles). I’ve gone to many a pinup hair-tutorial, to try a pin curl or a victory roll, only to have my locks laugh at me. Then the instructor comes over, smiling indulgently, ready to show my hair who’s boss. My hair only digs her heels in and refuses, laughing maniacally in all her sassy straightness.
My sister has a full head of gorgeous curly locks. In the 80’s, I begged and pleaded my mom for a perm. My sister got one and her hair sprung up like miniature slinky’s, bouncing down a zillion staircases. Finally, my mom relented to my pleas – and I skipped off to the hairdresser with glee. The stylist held my ramrod straight mane in her hand and informed my mother she would need to put in two perms at once to ensure it would hold. Despite the hours that awaited me, I would not be thwarted. I sat in the chair patiently for ages, waiting for my curls to spring forth. And spring forth they did! For about one week. Then slowly but surely, from root to tip, my hair, with bitter resolve, muttered to me, “I will be straight.” And my dreams of curls were dashed.
In later years, I definitely grew to love my hair (and really love the lack of q-tip puffball photos that can resurface from the 80’s thanks to the digital age). I’ve learned to work with what I have and can definitely appreciate the brush and go simplicity in the morning. Particularly on mornings where I’m in a rather big rush and barely have time to make my shoes match, let alone do my hair.
By finally succumbing to who my hair really is, most days I can convince her to take a gentle curl in the morning using a straightening iron (I’ve found my GHD to be the only one my hair will submit to!) and a few key products. But, by the end of the day – okay, by the end of lunch – it’s much more gentle than curled. And I’ve learned I’m okay with that. Because I now appreciate my locks for what they do, rather than what they do not. Though I will never have bouncy curls, I’m lucky to have hair that laughs in the face of humidity (Still straight). Narrows its eyes at updo’s (Straiiiiiight). Rolls out of bed with a flip and is ready to rock (Reliably. Undeniably. Stick straight)
It’s a common practice to covet what someone else has, what you don’t get to experience. But in doing so you can sometimes lose sight of all of the things that make you awesome. And despite my covetous glances at my sister’s luscious mane over the years, I’m sure she would have a thing or two to say about the Beast that is Curly Hair. Failing to appreciate the positives in every aspect of you will always mean that happiness is just out of reach. That you will always be fighting a losing battle. And sure, there are days when the battle is worth it. When I brandish the hot rollers and hairspray with renewed vigor. But I have learned for the most part to just let my hair be the best version of herself and silently thank her for her simplicity. And now we live happily ever after…
Got anything you used to hate in your teen years but have grown to appreciate?