Sunday, April 7, 2013

Coming out of the "curl closet"

The time has arrived. I am ready to really let you all in on a big secret. 

I have naturally unruly, crazy, afro curly hair. If you saw me in person  you would never know this fact. Purely because I never wear my hair curly. In fact, if you have seen it "curly", theres a pretty good possibility that those are fake curls. Like this? 

Yeah, my hair doesn't naturally do that. Those curls were performed by me flat ironing my hair...and then making the curls...with the flat iron. Its a two step process and it takes about 1 hour. I tell you these things because I am trying to get you to understand just how crazy my hair is. Let me start from the beginning... 

Here is my Father. 

This isn't the best picture of his curls but I couldn't find one that really captured his true "white mans afro". I am told that in High school he even sometimes placed a "pick" in the back of his head, secured by the curls. So, naturally I was doomed to have "great" locks. 

When I was a baby I was actually pretty bald for a good portion of my babe life. I had a good dome, but it was pretty bare. Which was fine. I had huge eyes, so you could just be distracted by those. 

When my hair eventually did grow in, it had a mind of its own. It was blonde, almost white and it was big.  I remember telling my Mom when I was really small, "Mommy, I have puffy hair."

My dear Mother tried everything she could to make me feel pretty by putting bows and clips in my hair to keep me looking cute, but this usually just ended up with me screaming my head off because she couldn't get a comb through the mess. Every morning when it was time to brush Catherine's hair, it was a HUGE deal. I would sit between my Mothers legs and scream my head off because no matter how much detangler she used, it was never a pleasant experience. Somehow we got me through a somewhat cute childhood stage. And look, sometimes it even turned out in something less than a mess. 

And then...just like every dear 10 year old girl, I went through this very awkward stage. You know what stage I am talking about. The one where your teeth are too big for your mouth and your body is doing weird things. It was pre-puberty, and it was BRUTAL. Whenever I see girls going through this awkward phase its almost like my sensitive heart and feelings go out to them. I completely remember this stage. And for your entertainment, heres a picture of it. 

I told you it was bad. My hair doesn't look too bad here, the curl actually isn't too wild, but I can only imagine how long we combed that broom before it got to that point. 

When I was about 14, I discovered the flat iron. It was a turning point in my appearance. I remember thinking that all I had to do was just run this clamp thing through my hair and it TAKES AWAY the frizz! It was glorious. It had officially happened. I had become a slave to my hair appliances. And, so it began.

I styled my hair straight for the next 10 years. I blow dried, and then flat ironed my hair for hours. And to make matters worse, I was always friends with the girls who would get right out of the shower and let their hair naturally dry into a perfect silky straight style. I think I spent most of my teenage years coveting my BFF's hair. You know how people have shoe and clothing envy? I had hair envy. It's weird, I know. After all this time, I should probably see a therapist about it. 

When I went to Hong Kong to visit Peyton, I was naive and thought that my flat iron would work in an international plug. Yes, there were sparks, and a burning smell. The asian plug had blown up my flat iron. I remember skyping my Mom crying, telling her that I had no way of fixing my hair in this crazy country. "Asian people don't straighten their hair. They wouldn't have flat irons for sale anywhere." After I went on an adventure in an international city in search of one, I finally paid close to $100 for an international approved plug so that I could look my best while on my asian vacation. It was a mess. 

Even on our honeymoon I straightened it. If It wasn't straight as a board it was pulled back tight, with a headband secured.

Yesterday I bought a diffuser at the hair store, some mousse, relaxing cream, and perused some blogs on the best way to style curly hair. You see, there is a process. You have to section out 6 parts of your head and then place product and diffuse it until it is all over dry. It is important to distribute the product throughout all your curls. I hadn't worn my hair natural curly for about 10 years,  so I was even a little curious to see just how curly my hair truly was after all these years. After my hair was applied with pounds of product and dried on a low heat setting, I yelled out to Peyton "Well honey, its pretty big!" I will never forget opening up the door to show my husband my natural hair. I will also never forget his words. "I love it. It looks great!" I almost cried. I sat on the couch and ran my hands on my curls and thought to myself, "I need to do this more often. This is who I am." We already know that our poor children are going to be cursed with my curly hair, but I also know that from a very young age I will be encouraging them to love their curls. I may not be in love with my hair. It will take time getting used to having my hair big as opposed to flat, but I think it will be rewarding after all this time, finally showing people who I really am on the outside. 

And lets be could be worse. 


  1. I think your curls are Beautiful! I would kill for some natural curl!

  2. I know you don't want to hear about people who love your curls!! I always thought your curls were cute - I have "curly" hair - but it's mostly very wavy - which is worse in my mind.

    I suspect if you had straight hair you'd maybe wish you had some curl. But in the meantime, you are a beautiful young woman - no matter how you wear your hair!!

  3. it's funny how people with curly hair always want straight hair and vice versa. i lOVEEEE curly hair!!! I loveee your hair! I am ALWAYS curling my hair for special occasions like dances, parties, and of course - when I got married! I hate my straight hair - it's so dang straight - I don't ever understand why anyone would straighten their hair (except for variety) when it's so beautiful curled! Alas, the grass is always greener on the other side - but I love your hair straight or curled!!!