Be One With Your Hair: Embracing The Hair You Were Born With

Curly hair, don't care.

Curly hair, don't care.

I remember being 11 years old and coming out of the shower. I attempted to brush my hair until it was dry. What resulted was a goofy mess resembling Roseanne Roaseannadanna.

I woke up this morning and my hair was all over the place. This is something I am familiar with, as I have kinky, curly hair — which I affectionately refer to as my Jewfro. It's hard to find someone who knows how to cut curly hair. Consequently, I ended up with a terrible haircut. The thing about curly hair that people with straight hair don't realize is that is when it is blown out straight, it appears longer than it really is. It's like the car mirrors that say "Caution: objects in the mirror are closer than they appear." Curly hair (being curly and all) is comprised of spirals. So when you cut it, remember that it will look shorter than it is when it's dry. 

Last night I washed my hair, conditioned it, and slept on it. When I woke up this morning it looked like this:curly hair

It made me laugh so hard that I posted the picture on Facebook to show my friends. Boom — 56 likes and a handful of comments later, I decided this picture would be my before photo. I grabbed my flat iron and 25 minutes later my hair looked like this:

Admittedly, a different look, but one that I don frequently. straight hair

The funny thing is — according to the Internet, people liked my hair better messy, curly, and just-woken-up than primped and straight. Why? Because the Jewfro is real. The pin-straight look is artificially manufactured by my $150 flatiron. Yeah, I paid a lot of money for that shit because I want it to work.

Growing up with curly hair was a challenge. It took me years to figure out how to manage my kinky curly hair. I remember being 11 years old and coming out of the shower. I attempted to brush my hair until it was dry. What resulted was a goofy mess resembling Roseanne Roaseannadanna. 

When I went to summer camp, at 12, I met a girl named Tammy. Tammy was Puerto Rican and had hair that was similar to mine. It was very kinky and curly. She taught me a trick — which I would continue to use into my adult life — to manage my hair. It was simple. Shampoo and condition your hair. After getting out of the shower, combine cocoa butter and gel in the palm of your hand. This magical mixture was meant for curly hair.  Massage the concoction into your hair and let it dry naturally. All the boys told me my hair smelled like vanilla ice cream.

Still, even though I knew how to manage my hair, I longed for straight hair. The grass is always greener on the other side. I was not able to straighten my own hair with the blow dryer because my arms would get tired. Finally at age 34, I bought a flat iron. That is when I finally mastered the challenge of straightening my own hair. I felt like a rock star.

I love my hair curly and I love my hair straight. However, I would be misleading you if I didn't admit that people's positive reaction to my wild curly locks inspired me to keep my hair au naturel.

Right now, I am going to get my hair cut. Instead of having it flat-ironed straight, I am going to keep it curly. Thank you, friends for supporting my hair reality. 

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