Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Curly Journey

I thought it would be fun to do a post about my curly haired childhood and show all of you readers that when it comes to having natural curly hair, I've been through it all. I wish that I had some better photos where you can really see my struggle of coming to terms with my hair, but alas, I don't have them digitized yet--in particular my seventh grade school picture would be fantastic; seriously isn't it enough asking any child to go through junior high without the pains of having curly hair?

Anyway, these pictures should give you some sort of proof that I know what I'm talking about.

Let's start at the beginning shall we. This is a terrible copy, but this is me as a 1-year-old. Can you barely see those tight curls? Yep, this is why I have short hair people. It curls better when it's short, or when I have barely any hair in the first place. Sadly, my curls would really never be this curly again.

Now, I don't have any pictures of my elementary school years on my computer, but let me paint you a picture with words. The year is 1999. I'm in the fourth grade, and because I'm just a lowly nine-year-old, I apparently have no say in how my hair is cut or styled. One day, one of my older sisters--I won't name names, but you know who you are :) --suggested a certain style to my mother and the hair stylist, and that was the style I got. Let's fast forward to the next day on the Hillview Elementary playground, where a group of boys from my grade noticed my hair and came up with a nickname for me--Afro Queen. They followed me around at recess and sang disco songs at me. Now, my hair wasn't exactly an afro, but it had slight tendencies that way, and nevertheless, I still remember shedding a few tears that day. OK, OK, I bawled like a baby, but wasn't it enough that I already had a huge overbite, thick glasses AND curly hair.

Next, if I had it, I would show you my seventh grade picture. But again, I feel words may better describe what happened. I was waiting in line to have my picture snapped. I was wearing my favorite purple shirt, and had a sparkly head band in my hair; I was feeling pretty good about my potential picture, despite having enough metal in my mouth to build a railroad. Then a volunteer/room mom came up to me with a comb and some hair spray and said "Oh, here let me help fix your hair a little bit." Now, I had checked the mirror before this, and my hair had looked fine. A little crazy, but that's the point I was at with my curls. This woman, bless her heart, had no idea what she was getting into. The result was a bunch of flyways and a strand of hair sticking almost straight up from my head. If this wasn't bad enough, I wasn't quite ready for the photographer when he said smile (it takes me a while to get a good smile going, even to this day), so I ended up with frizzy hair and a goofy smile.

 Although I don't have the masterpiece of my seventh grade photo, I do have this beauty from eighth grade. The same sister who suggest the "afro" haircut was my hair stylist and make-up artist for this doosy (thanks again). I remember one of my friends said to me, "You kinda look like a hooker today." In terms of curly-ness, my hair wasn't too bad here, it was just really crunchy that day from all the products swimming around in there, and it was super poofy. And of course we have the signature bangs I rocked for many years. But can you see the pain in my eyes? Yes, that is coming from having crunchy hair and having to force a smile to come out from the elastics forbidding my mouth to open wider than a centimeter.

Ninth grade, where my curls started fizzling out a bit and became more like waves. This was probably the most normal school picture I had ever had. I was finally braces free and I had finally won independence when it came to styling myself for school pictures. 

It was about sophomore year where I went into curly haired denial for two years. I tried to straighten my hair as much as I could those two years, even having my hair chemically straightened once. This picture is from my junior year of high school, right in the middle of those straight years. I don't really remember this picture day, except that day was around 90 degrees outside and the sweater I was wearing made me really hot and sweaty, which probably made my hair start to curl in protest.

And then we come to my senior year of high school, where I came out of straightened denial and started to come to terms about my curly hair. But, the trouble with that was my hair was too long for these pictures, so it was only really curly at the bottom. I  tried my best, but here would start years of curly-hair strife, until a couple of months ago, when I started the Curly Girl Method.

Again, this is pretty much what my hair has looked like throughout my college career. This is the day before starting the Curly Girl Method, with semi-curly/wavy hair. But now, I'm enjoying and embracing my curls...

I finally have uniform curls and I love it! Of course, there are still some days where my hair just doesn't cooperate, but those are less. And I still have straight-hair denial. But I think that I've made some progress.