I am a naturally curly-haired person, which means I constantly field the question, “Do you ever straighten your hair? It would look so pretty!” What exactly are you insinuating with said question, new acquaintance?
The honest answer is, “No. I actually really love my curly hair.” And that’s the truth. Granted, I don’t love it all the time; I don’t love it in the rain, I don’t love it in humidity, I don’t love it when it doesn’t cooperate, but I’d always rather be curly than straight. (And let’s be honest, who has good hair in humidity?) My hair was curly when I was a baby, got straighter as I grew up, and curled again when I was about 12. Gotta love raging pre-teen hormones.
I’m moving to a very humid climate on Thursday, and I haven’t straightened my hair in nearly 3 years. I have only gone to work once with straight hair; it was during my first year teaching and a brutally honest coworker and friend later told me to never, ever do that again. “You look young enough,” she said. “We like curly-haired Becca better.” (A guy I was quasi-interested in at the time LOVED my hair straight, though.) Anyway, I figured now was a good time to demonstrate, once and for all, that I do in fact look better with curly hair. And my coworker is right – I already look young for my age, and straight hair only exacerbates that insecurity.
The above photos are from a pretty average curly day in the summer. It was about 80° Fahrenheit and I’d spent a lot of time outside. I don’t love my hair in these photos, but I’ve got to be honest, it probably looks like that more often than I’d like to think. I really don’t mind that it’s uneven at the bottom. My hair grows painfully slowly (I haven’t cut it in at least 2 years) so any unraveling, unruly curl that makes it look longer is fine with me.
I think I look like I’m 12 with straight hair. And I think I look like I’m 14 regularly, so 12 is a bit of a blow. I am astonished, though, at how long my hair is. I had no idea! As my former roommate used to say, my hair grows “out, not down.” Looks like she was right. If I straightened it regularly, I’d definitely need a trim because the bottom looks a little sad.
My students have always bugged me about why I don’t straighten my hair. Last year I told my 76 freshmen that if they all earned an A on their next essay, I’d come to work with straight hair. We all knew that wasn’t going to happen. They told me I’d be their favorite teacher forever if I straightened my hair for the last day of school. My response to that was, “This hair? In June’s humidity? Are you out of your mind?” (So now I’ve straightened it in August and that’s clearly a much better idea.)
The moral of the story is, I don’t straighten my hair. I happen to like my curls. The end.