Until my senior year of high school, I had long, straight, waist length hair. I looked more like I grew up in the 70’s than in the 80’s. As teenagers do, I went through a time when I was trying to reinvent myself, and in a very uncharacteristic move, I spontaneously cut off my long hair to a chin length bob.
I loved having short hair, and kept it short all through college. I tried all different kinds of hairstyles as well as a few different colors out on it. I realized for the first time that my hair grows incredibly quickly–which is desirable if you want long hair, not so much if you don’t want to spend the time and money getting it cut every 4-6 weeks to maintain short hair.
After college, I got married and for the first time, regretted my shoulder length hair. I wanted a big updo, so my hairdresser provided a hairpiece, and in my wedding photos, most of the hair isn’t my own. Then the baby boys started arriving, and my hair went into superdrive–I thought it grew fast before, but when I was pregnant, it grew almost inches overnight.
Soon I had a head full of waist length hair again, and as I was also caring for a newborn, I simply stuck it in a bun, with no thoughts to taking time to get it cut. Once I emerged from newborn-survival mode, and started feeling more like myself again, I again cut off 10 inches of hair, and donated it. This happened just in time to see double lines on the pregnancy test again, and start the process over.
My hair has always been stick straight, and has resisted curl (with the exception of an unfortunate perm in high school. Don’t judge, it was the late 90’s). I backpacked through Europe one summer in college with no hair dryer–it air dried every day and was still completely straight.
I’ve donated my hair about 6 times now, with the most recent being five months ago. Each time I cut my hair short, I think to myself, “This time I’m really going to keep it short, at least for awhile.” When I washed my hair the morning after my most recent hair donation, it came out super curly. I thought it was strange, but I blew it dry in my normal style, and figured maybe my hair was in shock from losing so much length at once.
It was summer time, and I broke up with my hair dryer for awhile, and my hair stayed curly. After a few months, I finally came to terms that maybe I really did have curly hair, and should learn how to take care of it properly.
I went to my hairdresser, and got a haircut specifically for curly hair. She warned me it was probably a change in hormones that turned my hair curly, and when it was time for menopause, my straight hair might come back.
Then I googled, “How to care for curly hair” and lost my mind a little. There’s a whole underground world for people with curly hair–I had no idea. Whenever I want to learn about something, or figure out a problem, I turn to books, and in all my online research, everyone kept talking about this one:
This book has taught me everything I need to know about taking care of curly hair. As soon as I started following Massey’s recommendations, my hair started behaving itself. Among the strange and bizarre things I now do: I’ve given up brushes, combs, traditional shampoo, hair dryers, and products with lots of chemicals, and I use lots and lots of natural conditioner. To be clear, when one says they no longer use shampoo on their hair, it doesn’t mean they’ve quit washing/cleaning it.
It’s been strange to go from one extreme of the hair spectrum to the other, and who knows if my curly hair will last. For those of you with curly hair, have you tried the curly girl handbook? And do you have any curly hair tips?