~by Mollie Robinson Zachary
Curly hair. It seems to be a popular topic, and for the people who have it, the topic is usually discussed just about every single day. After having many similar conversations, it appears that the conclusion ends up being the same:
Everyone is unsatisfied and frustrated with their hair.
Very few are content with their hair. Many wish to have curly hair, and the ones who do have it wish to give it away. Here’s how I, a girl who wanted more than anything to have straight, blonde hair, learned to love my brown, crazy, curly hair.
Growing up hating curls
Frizz. Forever frizz. This was my view of what curly hair was. It was uncomfortable, unmanageable, and I had a crown of “tiny frizzies” framing my face. The majority of my family and friends had straight hair, and in my elementary school mind, being different wasn’t cool. My ponytails looked different than the other girls’, my braids were kinky and quirky, and in drawings it would look as if I had a puffy cloud around my face.
All I wanted was straight, blonde hair like my friends. Because of that, I had no interest in caring for my curls. My mom offered to buy me a pick, but I insisted on using a regular brush like everyone else. I didn’t try out different products. I didn’t want to fix my curls, I wanted to get rid of them. My sisters would sometimes straighten my hair, and I would receive compliments from my peers. I doubt they put much thought into, their comments, but to me it solidified the thought that I had to have “normal” hair to look pretty.
As I grew older, I slowly started taking more interest in caring for my hair. I learned tips from my older sister, researched different products, and experimented. My confidence grew and I started wearing my hair down more and more. I was getting to a point where I didn’t mind my hair as much, and people started giving me compliments. I didn’t know how to handle attention, and I went through three stages of thought:
Stage 1: Brush it off.
I didn’t like the spotlight on me, so I would say how difficult it was to take care of my hair, or how it really was just a crazy mess.
Stage 2: Just say thanks.
I figured out that my first stage was not the way to go. It disregarded people’s compliments, rather than being grateful for their kind words. Receive kindly, and be appreciative.
Stage 3: What’s wrong with your hair?
I didn’t say this out loud, but it seemed like most of the time, people had a follow-up comment after their compliments. “I wish I had your hair” and “I can’t do anything with my hair” tend to be recurring statements. It was so funny to hear this, especially when I spent half of my life wanting somebody else’s hair. I would appreciate their good words, but I hated the shaming of their own, beautiful locks.
It leads me to this conclusion, in which I hope everyone will take to heart . . .
Hair can be extremely frustrating. I don’t mean to deny that, for personally I have been aggravated countless times because of my endless tangles and frizz. Different hair types have different struggles. Some people need twenty bobby pins just to keep their hair pulled up, while others snap hair ties in an attempt to make a ponytail. The important thing is to be content. It’s okay to search for new ways to take care of your hair. If you want to try a different color for fun, go for it. Just remember the incredible fact that everyone is unique. Whether it be your hair, facial features, personality, or interests, each individual has natural and fascinating qualities and should be appreciated.
Tips and Tricks for Curly Hair
- Figure out your curl type. There are several, and to know specifically what kind of curl you have can help with product searching. (I would say mine is a 3B) Here’s the link to the chart I follow: https://www.naturallycurly.com/hair-types
- Lessen your shampoo. It can become a habit to shampoo your hair every day, but that can dry your hair out very easily. Only shampoo when your hair needs it; that can be three times a week, once a week, it really depends on your hair type.
- CONDITIONER. Disregard the whole “use a quarter-sized dollop” advice on the back. Use as much as you need. I try different kinds, but the two I usually go back to are Garnier Fructis Haircare Sleek & Shine and Renpure Coconut Cream Nourishing Conditioner.
- Beware of brushing. I only use a brush if I’m going to straighten my hair. Use a wide comb or a pick. I personally condition my hair and run my hands through it. For me, the more I tamper with it, the frizzier it gets.
- Leave-in conditioner. I love Cantu Argan Oil Leave-In Conditioning Repair. To help the ends, I also add coconut oil every once in a while.
- Air dry. Some people use diffusers and it works well for them. I like to play it safe and let it fully dry naturally.
- Braids are the best. If you need to pull up your hair, braids are the best at preserving your curls. Wear it in a braid one day, take it out, toss it around a bit, and your curls are good to go for day two.