While my golden, curly locks have not been my defining feature my entire life, from the moment I exited puberty, I've been good ol' curly-haired Casey. My hair has gone through numerous identity crises in my 22 years of life. From the black hair with blonde tips I was born with to the reddish brown bowl cut that was my first haircut, the top of my head has seen it all. Me and my locks have been through a lot.
During the years of basketball, soccer and volleyball practices and games, it spent the majority of its time on the top of my head in a high ponytail. At my high school dances and proms, I spent hours straightening my hair, only to utilize a curling iron to return it back to its original state.
It's made me cry when it doesn't cooperate, it's made me laugh when I wake up in the morning and it's made me want to rip it all out and hope that I look good bald. At the end of the day, despite our tumultuous relationship, my curly hair is a part of who I am, and I couldn't imagine life without it.
It may have taken me a solid two decades to reach curly-haired acceptance, but now that I'm here, I'm pretty happy about it. Granted, I'm still trying to figure out how some women with curly hair manage to rock the whole messy, "just rolled out of bed" look, but hey, I'm trying. (Seriously, though, teach me your ways, you beachy-waved bombshells.)
Despite my present acceptance of my curly hair, there are still a number of things I'm not sure I'll ever be able to get over. Curly hair is a blessing and a curse. It's a love-hate relationship. It has the "it factor" that turns heads, but it also makes me want to hang my head in shame. Here are 11 things I'm tired of saying to all you curly-hair inquisitors:
1. It takes 45 minutes to straighten my hair.
That doesn't even take into account the amount of time it may take to blow dry it. This is a question I answer every single time I show up with straight hair. "How long did that take you?" Answer: A long ass time.
2. Yes, I know women pay good money to have hair like mine.
Uh, sorry? I never really know how to respond to this one. Am I supposed to feel guilty at this sentiment? Do I swell with pride knowing that women are envious of this mop of hair on top of my head? If you really want hair like this, but weren't gifted it like I was, then keep paying for that perm, sister.
3. Yes, this is natural.
I've always been amazed by this question since each of my curls is so unique. Some days, I have spirals hiding out at the nape of my neck, and other days, I look like I've been at the beach all day. The fact that people think I actually physically curl my hair with an iron every single morning is mind-boggling to me.
4. No, you may not touch it.
I'll never forget a high school field trip when a friend of mine was complimenting me on my hair, and she raked her fingers through it as she was talking. You read that correctly: She raked her fingers through my hair. As in, she took her fingers and essentially combed my hair. I still cringe just thinking about that. Don't touch my curly hair, please.
5. Sorry, you can't borrow my hairbrush because I don't own one.
If I don't like people running their fingers through my hair, just imagine how I feel about putting a brush through it. My hair goes from perfectly sculpted curls to looking like Cousin Itt from the Addams Family in a matter of seconds. The only time I would ever brush my hair is in the shower, but that clogs the drain much faster than I would like.
6. Yes, that's probably my hair in your car.
I don't think I've ever not left a curly lock behind. Honestly, I'm surprised I still have hair, considering the amount I shed. From socks and pillows to car mats, my hair gets everywhere. It's almost like a dog marking its territory. I just wanted to remind you I've been there.
7. No, I don't wash my hair every day.
Curly-haired women know washing your hair every day is actually detrimental to the health of your locks. This particular curly-haired characteristic can be a difficult one for me, as I work out six days a week. But, I promise I don't smell. (At least, no one's ever told me I do.)
8. Yes, I do straighten it on occasion.
This is a question I commonly field regarding my hair. I do straighten it for special occasions or when I want to switch things up. Even curly-haired women like myself get bored of it from time to time.
9. Sorry, I play with my hair a lot.
This is a habit I simply can't shake. The only thing I can say about this is, if you had curly hair, you'd understand. The curls literally spring right back into place after you tug on them. Just imagine that for a second. It's hours of entertainment.
10. You want my hair, and I (sometimes) want yours.
This is one of those "grass is always greener" situations. Women with straight hair want curly hair, and women with curly hair want it to be straight. We all want what we don't have (until we have it, that is). I usually just thank them and remind them how much work it takes for my hair to look halfway decent.
11. Yes, I know I have a lot of hair.
It's funny how often people say things like this, as if they think I don't realize it. I'm like, "Hello, I live with this pile of curls on my head every single day. I get it." It's another moment when I'm not sure if I should apologize or say thank you.
Despite the numerous questions I get about my hair on a regular basis, I wouldn't want it any other way. It's a conversation starter, and most importantly, it's what makes me, well, me.
More guys hit on me in bars when my hair is curly. More women approach me and say how beautiful they think it is. More people stop and stare when I walk into the room because of my long, blonde locks. For that (and so much more), I'm happy to have curly hair.
To all you curly-haired women out there, I know you think life would be so much better if it were straight. I know you dream about waking up in the morning and not having to take 30 minutes to get your hair in order. I know you may feel you would be more attractive to members of the opposite (or same) sex if you had straight hair.
But hear me when I say (clichéd as it may be) you're beautiful as you are. It's time to stop hating on the curls and start embracing them. The grass is not always greener on the other side. It's beautiful just as it is.