I was born with naturally curly hair. It has been both a blessing and a curse.
As a child, my mom tells me my long, curly strawberry blonde locks were admired by everyone we encountered. But by the time I was five, they were the source of endless fights. I hated my hair being brushed/braided/pig-tailed.
During middle school — a time where everyone wants to fit in — I stood out like a sore thumb. You could see me coming from a mile away, and I hated being “different.” Fighting nature tooth and nail, I blow-dried and feathered it each morning, pulling out the curls but still keeping some waves. I felt a little less self-conscious styling it this way, but not much.
By high school I was lovingly teased by my besties for my hair. It was my signature trait, and it was a piece of me. I’d accepted it and wore it long and curly. I kept it this was until college.
To be honest, all this time I never considered dying it. The color was unique and though it clashed with a lot of popular colors in fashion, it was a piece of me that scored a lot of compliments. What I always thought about changing was the curls. While I love curls on so many of my friends and celebs, mine were just hard to style.
Lo and behold, one day after a haircut freshman year of college and a terrible break up, I decided to let my stylist go to town and blow it out. The transformation was shocking. With my unruly curls flattened, shiny and swinging a couple inches longer than usual, I suddenly felt chic. Me, but not me. It was awesome!
I spent my twenties and early thirties straightening it nearly every day — loading it with hair products and frying it. Even the morning I delivered Maya, I straightened my hair, wanting to meet her looking my “best” (don’t laugh).
Luis, my friends, my family all told me how much they missed my curls … but I just wasn’t ready to go back to my “roots,” so to speak.
Then one day a couple weeks ago, I was running late to work and decided to just screw it and wear it curly, as I do sometimes on the weekends. After six years there, I realized I’d never gone curly!
I was shocked at how many people commented/complimented me over the next few days. Instead of feeling self-conscious, I actually felt free — like I was being my most authentic self. It honestly made me second-guess my decision to flat-iron it straight each and every day. Of course, this isn’t to say I’ll never straighten it … I surely will. But it’s nice to know that I can also feel good with my God-given curls.
These past few weeks I was reminded of something I’ve known all along deep down … that it’s not someone’s hair that makes them “chic” or confident … it’s who they are/how they carry themselves that does.
I’m hoping the hiatus from my Chi flat iron will be a good thing for my hair — but even if my hair doesn’t feel stronger or shinier because of it, I’m happy to say, the curls are back and here to stay. No more fighting nature. And tomorrow night, you can find me in the curly-hair section of Ulta looking for some new products!
Here I am on Halloween night — rocking the curls with my hubby and our little hootlet!
How about you? Do you have curly hair but straighten it, or vice versa?