I’ve had curly hair since before I was born. I know this because hair doesn’t get this spirited unless you have good (on some days) karma or bad (on some days) karma. And judging by my reaction to my curly hair, I must have spent my past lives beating the crap out of my people while they toiled and I waved around a mutton leg during a feast giving unreasonable orders—curly hair was my consequence, my comeuppance.
Now, I don’t really believe in past lives. I rank past lives right up there with trying to keep my hair straight on a humid day, neither gets you anywhere but back to where you are—in this century, with this head of hair. But when I look at the glossy, straight haired women in my office, it’s hard not to think that our hair was put on our heads for a karmic reason. The sleek blondes must have been good people in their past lives. They were meant to fit in— everywhere—the country club, sororities, through a doorway. But not those of us with our springing, frizzing, bursting-out-all-over curls. We were left to make our own path— after we’d spent the first part of our lives trying to fit in by trying to tame our Medusa locks.
For me, it all began with the almighty orange juice cans that promised straight hair glory… if I could manage to get my curls to curl around the curve of the can. A big if. The first rule of thumb with curly hair is that it will only curl the way it wants to curl, and guiding a curl will only lead to a feeling of hopelessness.
After the OJ cans, a Lebanese friend introduced me to the pull-wet-hair-as-tight-as-possible-into-a-ponytail-and-wrap-ponytail-smack-up-against-the-head-and-secure-with-bobypins-until-hair-dries-76-hours-later method. It was actually a pretty adequate method, providing the places where the rubber band and bobby pins crimped the hair weren’t too unattractive—and there was only 6 percent humidity in the air.
Segue to the TV show Charlie’s Angels, starring lovely haired Farrah Fawcett. Ha! For a brief shining moment, providing the humidity wasn’t too heavy and the stars and moons lined up the right way, those of us with curly hair had it over the… [click to continue reading this Curly Hair article]