First, a warning. I’m about to wax and wane about my hair and allllll my related troubles even though I’ve never once had an in-person conversation where the listener has found it interesting. Not even my hairdressers. However, because this is my blog and I would like to pretend like you find it interesting, I’m about to write a novel.

My whole life I have been plagued by heavy, healthy, stick-straight hair. I can hear you rolling your eyes dear reader, but let me assure you that when you are afflicted with this condition, you can never hope to have ANY volume, curl, wave or texture ever. I have tried everything short of a perm to get my hair to maintain some semblance of body for longer than 2 hours, to no avail.

My hair also alienated me from being able to talk about hair problems and the like that high school girls frequently bonded over while growing up. I had no idea what “frizz” was until 10th grade, and just kind of nodded like I knew what they were talking about when girls in class started groaning about the humidity. I tried, several times, to “scrunch” my wet hair with product the way I saw every other girl in school do on the days they didn’t want to flat iron. It looked disgusting by the time it dried. I could never talk about getting my hair highlighted or “going blond” for the summer, because my hair was so dark even I in my limited hair knowledge knew it would just look orange, or strange even if it survived the lifting process. The fact that my hair was waist length made me “freakish” in a place where shoulder blade length was the norm (I chopped it off as soon as I got the hint).

Even with shorter hair, I couldn’t achieve the Victoria Secret-like curls the girls liked to rock on picture day, and because my hair was so smooth it had the tendency to slide ponytail holders right out of my head. I decided the problem was that I didn’t have layers, but the couple times I ventured into a salon (alone) I was underwhelmed with the results, and hairdressers always expressed surprise that my hair was not taking well to the round brush and hair dryer technique they used to finish styling the cuts.

For special occasions like prom and homecoming when I mustered the courage to try and curl my hair into submission again, I would have to start getting ready a good hour or so before my friends.Turning my iron to the highest heat setting and curling for a full 60 seconds produced astoundingly mediocre results. Some of my friends expressed worry that my hair was going to burn. Nothing happened but the limpest of curls. Later I figured out to use curl holding spray before the iron, but all that resulted in was a rigid, crunchy curl that went limp not long after brushing my fingers through to break it up.

Eventually, I just called it quits. Like the women who give up their flat irons and relaxers for a natural curly look, I just stopped and tried to embrace my hair. The only thing in its favor is that it can hold a geometric cut well, so when I was about 17 I hacked myself out some blunt bangs and have been wearing them more or less the same ever since. Maybe I’m making my hair dated or something by doing a version of the same thing for several years now, but I guess we can’t all be slaves to trends when some of us have hair that goes against the norm.

My hair is so low maintenance that unless it gets past my back (only once since high school), I don’t need a brush. I never get split ends so I don’t need to go in more than once or twice a year to get my hair cut; it pretty much keeps the same cut and just gets longer. Yawn. BORING ASS HAIR!

The end of the soap box is this; don’t tell me how lucky I am to have “nice” hair because at the end of the day if you want to follow just about any kind of wavy hair trend, the two do not mesh. Everyone wants big, bouncy volume other than a small minority of hair enthusiasts. If you knew the price to pay to NEVER have that kind of hair, I seriously doubt you would see “healthy” hair as an asset. In fact, it would be seen as as much of a hindrance as breakage or thinning, when it comes to achieving a coveted style. Of course one could argue it’s all about technique and tools and I may concede that point–but it doesn’t negate the fact that for my type of hair I may need special tools and a tweaked technique which doesn’t seem to exist between the pages of mainstream magazines.

Does anyone with real, in-the-trenches experience have any advice?


2 thoughts on “Hair

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