Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Curls where once there were none

I discovered two days ago that despite growing up with stick-straight hair, despite having invested plenty of hours in styling chairs enduring perms and other such tortures in my earlier days ... I now have curly hair.

Yeah, you could have knocked me over with a feather, too. Come to find out my hormone-ravaged, infertile self has begun to manifest symptoms of said hormone ravaging in my hair, of all places.

I discovered this while at a salon, having my bi-annual "I want to be s@xy!" trim. The stylist who gave me my new, shorter 'do was nice enough to blow my hair out on Monday. She also added a little of hair serum this, and a touch of hair putty that before grabbing a wicked-looking flattening iron and smacking my suddenly sproing-y locks into submission. Since I walked in with relatively straight, long, stringy-ish hair (thanks to it's length, weight and the nice blow-drying I'd given it an hour before hand), I was fine with walking out with hair that was lovely, flat, bobbed and sleek.

What I wasn't prepared for was the morning after. Unsuspecting (despite having seen the corkscrews that had covered my head after the trim), I climbed into the shower, shampooed and stepped out. It was only after giving my head a vigorous toweling that I looked in the mirror and well ... I'll be honest ... I freaked.

Completely unsure as to what I should do with this head full of twists and loops, I grabbed the can of mousse that I use on my kids for AWANA Crazy Hair Night each year and rubbed some in to my wet hair. Then I grabbed my trusty blow dryer and went to work.

Now, if you have had curly hair all of your life, you can go ahead and laugh and I will not hate you. If you have straight hair and know what happens, well ... just you remember: pride goeth before a fall. I guess I deserve the good mocking I'm going to get here, but---

The fact is, I had no idea what was about to happen. Within minutes, though, I saw my mistake. That funky, string-y look I'd been annoyed with for the past two years with my long hair was back, but in a shorter, frizzier version. And with more attitude.

I tried to straighten the end result with a cheap flattening iron I'd picked up at Target for $8. It was clearly not up to the task at hand. In desperation, I re-washed my hair, lightly toweled it and tucked the ends behind my ears. I walked around like this all day, occasionally spotting myself in a mirror and wondering who this curly-headed freak thought she was, wearing my new pink Old Navy shirt. The nerve on that girl!

I admit to obsessing over the whole thing yesterday. I called my mom--a lifelong hairdresser--and asked her opinion as to why it happened (confirmed via internet, see above) and how to handle it. I called my husband, whose hair is kinky curly. I called a good friend who has super-curly hair, as well as my cousin, whose curls I secretly coveted throughout childhood. Everyone had the same advice: embrace the curls. And for goodness sake, quit blow drying them!

This morning, acting on a tip from friend T., I skipped my morning shampoo and instead rubbed some de-frizzer into the ends of my hair before zapping them with the flat iron. While the effect is nowhere near as polished as the look my stylist whipped up on Monday, it's not bad. Time-wise, it evens out, I guess: I spent about ten minutes on my hair, which is about the length of a nice shower. That's doable.

I'm still trying to get used to the whole idea, though. To have spent your entire life knowing one thing about yourself, then suddenly having it changed, well ... it's an odd sensation. I guess it has me wondering what else I have missed.


SmallWorld said...

Aah, yes, welcome to the world of curly hair. Sigh. How I've always longed for perfectly straight tresses! Right now I'm in an embracing-the-curl stage, but I'm not always there....

~ Angi :) said...

Oh, the drama tale is so vivid ~ so priceless! I'm grinning so big, my ears hurt!!

{psssst! come here! I'll let you in on a little secret: I'm a ringlet curl girl. Yup. It's true. I blow it dry straight.}

{Of course, unlike you, in shock, I actually LIKE my curls . . .but, with the current [for the past 5 years pretty much] doo, well . . .I'm just not *as* keen on 'em pokin' out.}


Welcome to my world, girl! :)

Kindred Blessings said...

Just a tip from a curly headed person: blow drying can make your hair more frizzy. The only time I blow dry is if I want it straight and that's only if there is low humidity outside. I usually put a little mousse on it and let my hair air dry.

I love your curls BTW!