To anyone with perfectly straight hair – you can stop reading. The following does not apply to you. And btw, I hate you.
To all cursed with crazy curls – please read on. I know you feel my pain.
The past few weeks here in NJ have been very rainy and humid. The keratin treatment that I received in May seems to be gone, and I haven’t gotten around to doing it again. I spend a ridiculous amount of time blow-drying my hair in the morning, and by the time I walk the 50 steps from my car to my office, the frizz has ruined my efforts. Story of my life.
When I was very young, my mom let my curly, frizzy hair grow very long. She would manage my hair by styling it into two very long braids. I have to say, it was pretty cute.
Eventually, I became too old for braids, but not old enough to handle my mess of curls. Luckily, I had a very cool teenage babysitter who was nice enough to teach me how to blow-dry my hair straight. I don’t know what happened to that girl but I will be forever grateful to her.
The real problem occurred when I was in sixth grade. Charlie’s Angels was a hit TV show and everyone, including me, wanted feathered hair just like Farrah Fawcett. Please remember that we did not have the great styling tools back in The Stone Age like we do today. My frizzy curls had absolutely no interest in transforming to “wings.” My very tiny round brush and not very powerful blow-dryer were only able to get a little curl on each side of my middle part. Nonetheless, I told myself that they were wings and actually walked around like that.
There was one girl in my 6th grade class who was not only beautiful, but she had the perfect feathered hair I longed for (we all know “that” girl.) She may as well have been named Farrah. My fake wings just didn’t cut it.
When the 80s hit, wings were out and curls were in. Not just curls – big, giant curly hair. This was my decade – my hair was in style! I have to be honest, I still thought the straight-haired girls with perms looked better than me and my natural curls. They never had that frizz factor that I was cursed with.
Even with the frizz, the 80s and 90s were pretty good to me hair-wise. Curls remained stylish in various forms: curly hair with curly bangs, the side part with the swooped over curls, curly hair with straight bangs, and my personal favorite, the crown. This may have been called something different depending on where you lived. It was longish curly hair with the front and top cut shorter and blown up and back. This is not to be confused with the mullet. Thankfully, that was one hairstyle I did not try.
Curls had a good run, but by the time I was married with two young daughters, straight hair was back. This time around, I was somewhat better prepared. Blow-dryers were more powerful, round brushes were all different sizes, and of course, the invention of the flat iron. This was a lifesaver to someone whose frizz was hard to contain, never mind that it was burning my hair off.
Blowouts at salons became a thing. When I had an event, or a night out, I could go to my local salon and have them tame my hair. Somehow, their expertise always made the style last longer than when I did my hair at home.
Today there is Keratin, Brazilian Blowout, Japanese Straightening, etc., which are all a big help to the frizz we fight.
It is a fight, a battle even. Those with straight, silky hair will never understand how lucky they are. They don’t have the fear of going out in the rain, even with an umbrella. They do not have to worry about fighting the humidity on an otherwise beautiful, tropical vacation. They don’t race from the car into the store before they actually feel their hair getting bigger.
I will continue to fight this battle with the modern tools I now have to help me. Right now, I am going to schedule my Keratin appointment, but I am secretly wishing for the crown to come back in style.
Stacy was a stay-at-home mom/part-time preschool teacher whose life was turned upside down in 2011 when her husband passed away suddenly of a heart attack. She is raising her two fabulous daughters, now ages 18 and 20, who are turning into wonderful young women. In 2016, she started a blog about her experience as a young widow, The Widow Wears Pink. This led her to write for other publications including Huffington Post, Today.com, Scary Mommy, Grown & Flown, Kveller, Modern Loss, Thought Catalog, and many more. In 2018 she started Living the Second Act with fellow writer Mimi Golub. Today, Stacy and her daughters are happily living their “new normal” while always keeping her husband’s spirit alive.