I have curly hair. Not wavy hair - curly hair. Cosmo Kramer hair. Rosanne Rosannadanna hair. Finger in an electrical socket hair. And I hate it. With a passion.
My entire life has been a battle with my hair and almost always I've been on the losing end. In High School I would spend forty five minutes a day blow drying my hair as straight as I could get it. Then I would step out the door into the desert LA air and even that tiny little bit of humidity would send me straight back to Kramerville. Once I had the brilliant idea to get a perm. My rationale was that maybe then the curls would at least be in the right place. Because, to make matters worse, I have one hunk of hair in the front that always wants to stick straight up. To call the perm a mistake is like calling Rosie O'Donnell slightly opinionated. You could have set a table on my head. Plate, silverware, glass - they would have all sat completely level. I looked like Bozo the Clown. Or a really badly trimmed flat topped topiary shrub. On to Plan B.
Wait a minute, I had no Plan B. I still blow dried and fussed and my hair still threw ringlets back at me. What I was working with was an ineffective Plan A. And this is the way things stayed for a long time. With each of my three pregnancies my hair got straighter for some reason, but I still wasn't happy. My friends with straight hair thought I was nuts to want straight hair and I obviously knew they were certifiable for wanting curls.
I had years to ponder this "grass is always greener" theory. And all I ever came up with is...why? Why do women do this to themselves with such predictability? It's almost never men. When have you ever heard one man tell another man that he wished he had his thighs? Or eyes? We do it all the time, though. If you have straight hair you want curly. And vice versa. If you have pale skin you want olive skin. And vice versa. If you're tall you want to be short. And vice versa.If you have small boobs you want big boobs. And...never mind.
Then last year an amazing thing happened. The gal who does my hair flat ironed it. OH MY GOD. I had straight, sleek, shiny, swingy hair. For the first time in my life I absolutely loved my hair. I bought a flat iron and from there on I was a new woman. I felt girly and sexy and sassy with my straight hair. It was nothing short of miraculous.
A couple of weeks ago I didn't have time to flat iron my hair and went to work au naturel. And I'm damned if a whole slew of people didn't ask if I'd gotten a perm and tell me that my hair looked fabulous. One male co-worker even asked if he could run his hands through it. When I told everyone shamefacedly that this was my "real" hair and that I usually straightened it they all looked at me like I was crazy and said "Why?"
And for the first time in my life I'm really not sure.
Check out the wonderful Jo Beaufoix for what started me thinking about my funky follicles.