Check a curly girl’s relationship status with her hair, and you can pretty much guarantee that she’s labeled it “complicated.” While those corkscrews, ringlets, and waves may look incredible to you, they have likely been the center of much attention, angst, effort, and (hopefully) appreciation over the years.
Here, for your commiseration or education (depending on where you fall on the hair texture spectrum), is a rundown of six things every curly-haired girl knows to be true.
1. No two curly days are the same.
The weatherman is calling for rain on Monday, a cold snap Tuesday, and a mid-week warm-up on Wednesday. That weather forecast isn’t just telling you what to wear — it’s also telling every curly haired girl within broadcast distance that she might be facing a particularly unstable roller coaster ride with her curls over the next week.
Sadly, it is not just atmospheric pressure that likes to mock our curls; how we sleep, how much we touch our hair, where we are in our cycle, and more can lead to curls as moody as we were during our 7th grade goth stage. Who knew that you needed a very zen, everything-is-temporary approach to curls? Every girl with curly hair ever.
2. We can break down the exact history of our hair.
I had big fat ringlet curls when I was a baby that went away as I got older. Then, when I was 15, bouncy waves suddenly appeared in the humidity of a South Carolina summer. By 18, it was really curly. Now, it’s barely wavy up front, and crazy curly in the back, and it is especially frizzy and poufy right behind my ears. Wait, are you snoring? Did my precise description of my curly hair journey and pattern cure your insomnia? Good! Sleep can always be within reach if you ask a curly haired girl — who has spent years of her life obsessing over it — to tell you about her hair.
3. We really don’t want you touching them.
If you don’t have curly hair, chances are that you have been mesmerized by someone’s curls and have maybe even tried to reach out and touch them. The best case scenario is that the move only landed you a harsh look. The worst case scenario is you got your wrist slapped because, as every curly girl knows, you don’t touch the curls if you want to avoid frizz.
4. We are intrinsically linked to every other curly haired girl.
Look, the curly haired girl struggle is real. Some of my fastest friendships have come when I caught the eye of another curly girl (and promptly revealed my crazy by asking her not just what she uses in her hair but precisely, step by step, how she styles it). Surely I am not alone when I say that I feel an instant bond with another curly girl and typically waste no time commiserating over the joys and challenges of curly hair while trading hair secrets.
5. We’re always just a little bit of self-control away from screaming, “I have been betrayed!”
There are days when I leave the house and my curls are so on point that I feel like a hair model. And then, sometime later in the day, I will catch my reflection in a mirror and realize that something, somewhere went tragically wrong. When that happens, it takes all of my self-discipline to resist the urge to say to everyone that I meet, “I can assure that my hair did not look this way when I left this morning.”
6. We always have a ponytail holder within reach.
There aren’t many things you can count on with curly hair except for this: Having a back-up plan is always a smart strategy. Most curly haired girls’ back up-plan of choice? That ponytail holder they carry in their handbag or wear on their wrist like a sacred bracelet. I am fairly certain that a curly girl invented the messy bun and that curly girls everywhere will keep it in style forever.
I spent years trying to coax my curls into a curtain of straight locks that would then, instantly, turn into what looked like a mass of cotton candy as soon as I walked outside on a hot southern summer day. Finally, I decided I wanted to trade those hours I spent trying to change my hair for something that was actually better: acceptance. My curls may not do exactly what I want them to, but they always reflect who I am: unique, free-spirited, and always responsive. And for that, I am grateful.
But while I may be rocking my curl pride more freely these days, one truth still remains: please don’t touch them.More On