Thursday, March 31, 2005

Straight vs. Curly

I'm a slave to my hair, I'm not ashamed to admit it. I have extremely curly hair. I'm talking Nicole Kidman when she first came to Hollywood hair. Not wavy curly, but spiral curls. Check out Halle Berry's hair right now. That's me, only mine's real, I didn't buy it.

When I was a kid, I wore my hair in Princess Leia buns. Later on was the weekly ritual of the hair salon, sitting under the dryer for an hour, my hair on rollers the size of coke cans. Let me tell you, I got a lot of reading done during those years.

In the summer, came the frizz. I swam everyday at camp, so there was no way I could have my hair set. This was in the days before mousse or hair gel, when your only options if you had curly hair were Dippity-doo or Afro-sheen. Needless to say Dippity-doo was my best friend.

When I hit my teens, I learned how to set my hair myself, my hair in smooth waves. It wasn't until my early twenties, that I actually had any idea how curly my hair really was.

Now, I've made peace with it. It helps that almost every company makes products for curly hair. Unfortunately, my hair only loves the expensive hair care products. We're talking the $12-$30 range. Anything less, and my hair is a frizzy curless mess.

My current favorites are Clinique, Biolage, and Redken. I have yet to try Devacurl. I've had my hair cut at Ouidad. There's even a website for us curly girls, Naturally I've learned to ask which stylist knows how to cut curly hair. Usually they have curly hair themselves. I no longer suffer from bad haircuts.

Every now and again, I'll take go to the hairsalon to have it blow-dryed. I feel like a completely different person with straight hair. It's almost like it isn't my hair. For one thing, I can run my fingers through it. For another, it reminds me of my Chrissy doll that I used to have as a kid, where you pushed her belly button and her hair was long or short.

People marvel when they see my hair straight. The first thing they mention is they had no idea how long my hair was. Guess what, neither did I! Then they marvel at the color. See curly hair doesn't reflect light, so it's not until my hair is straight that you can see the true color or in my case whatever came out of the box of L'oreal Preference. Right now, it's Medium Light Golden Brown for that J-Lo effect. Last, they marvel at how much hair I actually have.

But straight hair is a lot of work to maintain. Taking a shower is a major effort, just to keep my hair dry. Also any sign of humidity, and my hair will start to curl. Straight hair means sleeping on my back on a satin pillow.

Curly hair on the other hand, is wash and dry hair. Just put product in it and go. In the summer, it's the only option.

Anytime I see a curly haired celebrity, I feel validated which is bizarre but I do. When they go straight, I feel deserted. You know who you are Nicole Kidman, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Aniston, Andie McDowell, any American Idol contestant, Susan Lucci, and Laura Wright.

Rachel True is my girl because her hair is natural, Cree Summer. Why is it that only the black girls where their hair the way god intended it? And even then, it's only a matter of time, before they're blow-drying it too.

Straight hair is somehow seen as more professional, curly hair bohemian and wild. Still, apparently more people are getting perms to have curly hair. My mother used to tell me how lucky I was to have curly hair, that people paid good money to have hair like mine. At that time, I didn't believe her.

What idiot in their right mind would want hair like men. The truth is millions of them! Lucky me that mines natural.


Anonymous said...

I was the reverse of curly hair since I grew up during WWII when curly hair was very "in"and straight hair was a disgrace. Our role model was Shirley Temple, so as a young child I underwent grueling permanents under an electrical permanent wave machine that looked like something from the electrocution chamber. Initially I did look like Shirley Temple much to my mother's delight,but the straight hair would quickly grow in and alas I would be the straight haired orphan again. I struggled with this through high school had constant permanents,almost burning my hair to a crisp.Finally in college I decided to give in to nature and just leave my hair STRAIGHT,not even a hint of a wave. Some of friends even liked the look and then all of a sudden "voila" straight hair was fasionable-I felt like I had won the lottery.Fortunately,now,everything is in even baldness for women,should that be their choice.But this all still leaves me with the question "Why is hair so important??? Barbara Gordon from Batman (she was the police commissioner's daughter)

Marley Gibson said...

I'm so jealous that you've been to Ouidad! I've been using Ouidad products for about 5 years them! They're the best thing for curly hair, taming it and making it look more natural (to us permed gals.) I'd love to splurge one time and go to the salon! = )