{FAMILY} Why I Finally Decided To Embrace My Curly Hair

When I sat in the hairdresser’s chair this morning and told her that I wanted to go big – she squealed excitedly. “I’ve been hoping you would say that, I’m so excited that I finally get to play with your hair!”

As she fluffed and snipped my dry afro, she continued to express her excitement…

“I can tell you’re a bit of a control freak. You want to control each and every curl, keep them in line and in order. I’m so excited to hear that you’re finally letting lose – isn’t that liberating?”

And in that moment, I realized she was right.

Since my teen years, my hair has gone through some pretty dramatic changes, but whether it was short and curly, or long and straight, it was always controlled. I either doused it in curl product to twirl each piece of hair into place, or I flat-ironed my blunt cut to achieve a smooth, well-aligned ‘do. Never, in all of these years, had I let my ‘fro flow.

In life, as with my hair, I have always been a control freak. I’ve hovered over my children, wanting to control their every move – scheduling every minute of their day. My parenting insecurities have been buried in my constant craving for control. As I get older – and as my children get older, I’m realizing that they need space to grow. They need to learn from their own experiences, and have their own opinions. I still believe in schedules, rules and routines, but I am also starting to see that too much control is restrictive.

It’s time to stop twirling every curl. It’s time to embrace the fact that I’m going to have bad hair days, and that I can’t always control whether or not the tough times are going to happen.

I’ve finally decided that it’s time to let my hair down, and loosen the reins.

And it feels good.

 

Curly Hair

15 Problems That Only People With Curly Hair Can Understand

I haven’t yet decided if it’s a blessing or a curse. I was born with a head full of curly tresses, and my love/hate relationship with my naturally-frizzy fro has dominated my life. I’ve constantly changed my hair – convinced that a little colour, chemical, or chop would make me love it, but I’m never satisfied. The grass is always greener as they say.

People are always complementing my curls – “you’re so lucky, when I was a little girl all I wanted was curly hair” they’d coo. But they have no idea how hard being a natural curly head can be. Because it’s fun from afar, but far from fun when you’re born with it.

Here are 15 (of the trillion) reasons why people with naturally curly hair can sometimes hate what their mamas gave them.

1) Don’t touch my hair. The funny thing with fuzzy things is that people are always wanting to touch them. I can’t go a day without someone asking if they can touch my hair or bounce a curl. But what people don’t understand is that really curly hair is similar to those push-pin toys where you stick your hand in and it moulds to that shape. I’d love to let you touch it, I really would, but then the side of my head would look like this for the rest of the day:

Curly Hair Problems

2) Only use a dime-sized dollop of conditioner. LOL. Ya right.

3) Can’t undo an up-do. When you have curly hair, you get one chance to style your hair and that’s it for the day. If you put it in a ponytail or a bun, you had better like it because that topknot is not coming out until your next hair wash (if you try to take the elastic out, your hair stays frozen in place, or you have an extreme case of dent hair).

When I was younger I fantasized about having that lusciously-flowing hair that you see in movies – where the heroines take out their buns, shake their heads in a sexy slow-motion sort of way, and then smize at the camera like this:

 

I just have to live with the fact that I will NEVER. HAVE. GISELE HAIR.

4) Wear it big. As if there’s any other way. My straight-haired friends beg for me to rock my fro – “make it BIGGER” they say. Well a) my hair is never “flat”, and b) have you ever worn a clown wig 24/7? A full fro is itchy, hot, and results in perma-blinders due to side frizz – which could be a safety hazard when you think about it.

5) Hair trend fails. Crimped hair, beachy waves, blunt bangs. Curly hairs just can’t pull it off.

6) Perm does not = permanent. “Oh I totally understand why you hate your curls, I had a perm once and…” Shut up. No you don’t know.

7) I whip my hair back and forth. No I don’t, because it’s curly and it doesn’t move. I can’t flirtatiously toss my tresses, or run my fingers through my mane, because my fingers would get stuck.

8) The well-kept secret that is the morning afro. You think my hair is big? Well you ain’t seen nothing my friend. Because nothing compares to the poof of my morning afro – unfortunately for you, it’s only for the eyes of my closest friends and family (if they’re lucky enough to see it).

9) Is that your natural hair? Yep (lie). I tell people that I wake up with natural ringlets in my hair but anyone with naturally curly hair knows that this is a blatant lie. It takes product and manual finger twirling to rock this look.

10) Hair straightening and then wanting your natural curls back. The best way to make us love our natural curls, is to take them away. I can’t count how many times I’ve chemically-straightened my hair, only to realize that I miss my curls when they’re gone. It’s a vicious cycle.

11) Blame it on the rain. Living in Raincouver with naturally-curly hair makes “a good hair day” an impossible mission. I can tame my frizz and twirl my ringlets until the cows come home, but one step outside and it’s back to a lion’s mane in minutes.

12) Triangle hair. Growing out curly hair means enduring the triangular grow-out stage. Many curly heads don’t make it past this point when growing out their hair, and end up cutting it shorter again, never exceeding a certain hair length for this very reason:

Curly Hair Problems

13) Like a box of chocolates. Curly hair is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get – and not in a good way. Curls have a mind of their own – each and every one of them.

14) Men love it by day, but hate it at night. Some men love women with big curly hair! But at night, when you snuggle in for a good night’s sleep, they don’t stop complaining about the frizzy bits that tickle their faces. Boo-fricking-hoo.

15) No rest for the curly. Sleeping, relaxing, or even leaning your head back on the headrest in the car = all ways to ruin your ‘do when you have curls. Because if you do…(see #1).

Want to join me on my never-ending quest to find the perfect curly hairdo? Follow my Pinterest Board: Big Hair, Don’t Care.