Locks To Love

January 28, 2009
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I have always wanted to wear a hat. The thing is; there is no way I could ever get my hair to fit into a hat. I have lived with hair issues for my whole life. As a kid, I envied the long straight mains of my friends. I remember praying that one day my bangs would fall on my forehead and not straight up to the sky. I would wish that maybe, just once, I could contain it all into a braid, or a high pony tail.

When adults would ask me if they could braid my hair and I would usually answer them with a brusque "No" knowing that no matter how hard they pulled and combed my curls would be obstinate and stick out whichever way they pleased. Yet some, like my mother and my gymnastics coach were tenacious; obsessed with their goal of containing it.

I learned how to make pig tails work. Occasionally with the help of a couple dozen bobby pins I would be able to get it into a bun. As a child my hair wasn't something I was self conscious of, more just annoyed. When I was able to keep it out of my face I was happy. Then I started middle school.

My curls suddenly became something that made me stick out, a huge curse at that awkward age. When attempting to blend in, a head of blond medusa-like tresses was that last thing I needed. I hated the girls who rolled out of bed and effortlessly tied their hair back. When I looked in the mirror in the morning all I could see was a mess of frizz more closely resembling a chia pet more than it should any person's head. I would spend hours gelling and brushing my hair. My efforts were always in vain; the hairs in the front wound never fit in to any kind of hair-do. Wars between me and my hair began to take place on an daily basis. Something drastic had to be done.

My friend Brittney was one of the few who had hair problems comparable to mine. Yet, one day I saw her and her hair was flat. How did this happen?
"Its called Japanese Straightening. It's amazing. You should totally get it." Britney gave me the name of the salon where she had gotten it done. I knew that this was the answer to all of my problems; Brittney was my angel with the miracle cure. I begged my mom (who, by the way, has straight, shiny hair) to let me get it done for my 12th birthday. She was done listening to me complain about it by that point.
"If it will stop all this nonsense about your hair, you can get it done."

The salon was a weird, dirty place willed with people with hair just like mine, all ready to say goodbye to it. The process took about four hours, and when I looked in the mirror after it was done I couldn't help bud smile.

At first I loved my hair straight. I felt beautiful. I pranced around the 6th grade hallway showing it off and boasting that my curls were forever gone. I felt good about myself. But after a few months, something strange happened.

I began to miss the curls.

I began to feel as if I had lost part of my identity. Whenever I saw a young girl with a head full of curls, I began to feel nostalgic for my old mane. I realized that being a curly mess was part of how I defined myself. I decided I needed to grow out the hair treatment; the curls needed to come back.

It never ceases to make me sad when I see someone get rid of their curls; the gift that they were given to make them more than just plain. I wear my hair straight occasionally, but my curls have become my favorite part of myself, they match my not-all-too-organized personality. I've learned to take care of it better than I did when I was younger. My hair and I still have our quarrels now and then, but our time apart helped me realize just how important it is to me, even if I am never able to fit it into a hat.





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renee5652 said...
Feb. 12, 2009 at 5:56 am
What a great article!!!!! What fun to realize that your natural gifts are to be treasured. You were so lucky that when you made a change, it was reversible. You can change whenever you like, but you can always undo what you have done.
 
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