You hear it all the time, people who wish they had curly hair tell me how lucky I am to have curls.
But if they actually had to live with curly hair, I don't think they'd be so anxious.
The problem with curly hair is that it always looks a little bit celebratory. Think about it. If women are going out for a fancy evening or a special dinner or even dancing, they curl their hair. So how weird is it to wear curly hair when I'm going for a run, or working in the garden, or vacuuming, or arguing with a teenager.The hair looks totally inappropriate -- way too dressy.
I think the French got it right by calling it frisés. Most of the time, my curly hair is frizzy.
The thing is, anyone can have curly hair, all they have to do is get a perm. To have straight hair though is trickier. None of my hair dressers (is that still a word or does that make me sound 80 years old?) have recommended the Brazilian hair straightening process because it uses some sort of chemicals, like formaldehyde.
So if I want straight hair, I have to take the time each day to flat iron it. Not really a problem in the winter time. Even if I run in the morning, I don't sweat much and my hair doesn't react by frizzing or curling, but welcome to the summer and my hair grows and grows.
The first few days after I stop flat ironing, my hair is in a kind of stupor. It curls but doesn't go overboard. By the second or third day, the curls are feeling rebellious. They start to corkscrew, especially on the right side.
My hair, when curly reaches my shoulders. Straightened, it reaches well down my back. As the humidity increases, my hair will look shorter and shorter as it takes on a global quality -- and by that, I mean it looks like a globe, a big round ball.
I tell my hair cutter (could that be the right word? At least I'm not calling her a beautician) that I need the length in the summer to help weigh down the curls.
There was one time I really embraced my curls. About 10 years ago, my hair was long enough that it almost fell into dreadlocks -- long individual curls.
I'd use a clip to pull a few curls back. My hair felt beautiful. When I ran, I'd braid it, and the braid was long enough to pull in front of my shoulder to finish. The braid swished back and forth against my back during my runs, and I had to buy pony tail holders without metal on them because they'd leave abrasions against my back where the end of the braid rubbed. I probably could have put on more clothes instead.
So here we are in May, and my curls are in full swing again. It's time to embrace my wild hair. After all, I can always fall back on the pony tail.
Have you ever wished you had curly hair? If you have curly hair, what are your secrets to keep it tame?
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