Thursday, July 14, 2011

Living Curly in a Straight-haired World

Did you know that 65% of the population has either curly or wavy hair? Some of you out there are living under the disguise of straight hair, but when the summer stickiness arrives you begin to notice that horrible little happening...frizz!

(Make sure you check out my Curly Gurl page!)
Growing up those with twisty locks are ostracized! You see, curly hair has quite the mind of it's own and if you believe that you can tame its twirls, then, you are sadly mistaken. If you take into account how hard little ones play, parents who don't know the proper way to care for their little one's hair, and the horrors of frizz, you can end up with one messy mop! On top of that, stylist are not trained to cut/care for curly hair, in general. The wave of curly haired enthusiast have changed that and there is a growing trend of exclusively curly stylists, but until recently little girls had to suffer brutal hair attacks at the hands of a hair professional. (Often their poor curls were massacred in the name of a parent's frustration of not being able to "deal with them.")

When I was little I had teachers constantly insult my "crazy," "wild" hair. Guess how that makes a child feel? This was not uncommon, adults around me said terrible things to me about my hair. They made me feel unloved and ugly. The truth is, what does it matter if a little girl has messy hair? Shouldn't she be playing, growing and learning? Why does a ten year old need to be worried about her appearance? She doesn't and I didn't until people I "loved" and admired made me feel inferior.
My "crazy" hair
 It was very sunny!
This is a common scar among my curly haired sisters. This was the reason that I began the torture of straightening my hair in high school, and continued until after I was married. We grow older and realize that this mistreatment, though, has made us stronger. It's only strengthened my desire to show those that criticized my locks that curly hair is a blessing, not a curse, and a beautiful gift from God.
My actual curly hair revolution began while I was dating my husband. I was working a physical job and would often have to run home, shower, and change quickly before I saw him. Well, getting ready quickly and straightening your hair do not go together like peas in a pod! I ended up seeing him mostly with curly hair. Then, on our honeymoon, I didn't feel like packing a blow dryer or wasting time on straightening so I went curly that whole week. After we came home and I started back to torturing my hair again, he told me that he liked it best curly. So, I stopped straightening for him. I chopped off my fairly long hair so that the dead, damaged hair would quit weighing down my twists. But they were still super frizzy and messy. Then, I read a book called: Curly Girl: A Handbook by Lorraine Massey. I can't recommend this book enough! It literally changed my life. The testimonials in it all seemed to be my own story. Women being mocked, their hair mistreated and so we all were bonded in a sisterhood of curl bashing! (Curly-haired women are truly like sisters. I feel close to them all!) The methods in it taught me how to properly handle my special hair, and to quit treating it like something it wasn't...straight.
But most importantly, it helped me to realize that God made my physical appearance the way he did for a reason. This curly hair is a reminder to me of loved ones from whom I received it that are now with Him. I'm so thankful for my features now, because most of them remind me of my grandpa, to whom I was very close, and when I look in the mirror and see bits of him looking back at me, it helps me to get through until I'm in Heaven and I get to see him again!
After Accepting My Curls!
Now, I try to help others that I know advocate their own curly mane! To accept it and love it for what it is. Not, to vainly seek to change it into something God had not intended it to be.
Sometimes, I still feel the urge to straighten my hair, but I have a great cheerleader in my husband. He's constantly telling me that naturally my hair is so much more beautiful than others' and that they spend money and time just trying to look like me. He's pretty awesome. Whenever I try to straighten he says, "Why do you want to look boring?"!
If you are reading this and you have straight hair, I urge you, don't criticize a curly-haired child's hair. Trust me, it will have permanent effects, even if said in jest. (My daughter has gorgeous blond waves that have already been mocked by adults I know. This makes me so upset!) If you're reading this and you're a curly girl in denial...wake up! Your curls will never want to be suppressed and you'll be fighting them till you die. (I'll let you in on a little secret: they always win.)

If you're reading this and you're frustrated with your curls, here's my advice to you:
Check out my Curly Gurl page
Read the book Curly Girl: A Handbook by Lorraine Masssey
Click your way over to
You are not alone and being curly can be liberating!!!

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