When I was 12 years old and just started High School, I decided – for God alone knows what reason – to have my hair cut really short. I still don’t really comprehend what possessed either the hairdresser or myself to take the scissors to my jewfro; not only because I wasn’t really cool enough to have that short, indie hair rocked by my peers some years later, but I certainly didn’t have the jaw line of K-stew as highlighted by her newly shaven locks. No, it was because I had curly hair. And so for the next year I sported short, blonde curly hair and for the next decade or so wished that my hair was straight.
Of course, the truth is even had I not undergone this traumatic haircut I probably would have wished for straight hair because it seems as if every celebrity, every model, every reality TV star is blessed with sleek and shiny straight hair. In fact, as I sit here writing this article I am struggling to think of one shampoo advert that doesn’t feature a model at the end wishing their smooth and oh so straight hair – at most there might be a hint of a wave.
In fact, when Halle Berry recently sported her natural fro to the Oscars it caused quite the stir – she even felt compelled to explain why she had gone natural. As if that’s a thing. And I won’t even mention the damage done by a certain ex-boyfriend who made it inordinately clear that there wasn’t room for both him and my curls in any given room; if he was to stay, they had to go.
So for the past few years I had my hair straightened once a week at the hairdressers (I still cannot understand how women blow-dry their own hair, what sort of wizardry is this?) and it was just about fine. It got a tad borderline the last few days, but I just about coped. Until, I started exercising regularly – which, of course, made my hair greasy and I found myself in a bind. Because the truth was my hair really didn’t look nice curly, the curls were frizzy and large and didn’t do many favours. I had no idea how to take care of my curls because all hair care routines, products and professionals assume that everyone has straight hair. Which, in a city as cosmopolitan as London, is ludicrous.
Thankfully, I was finally told about the Curly Girl Method – a revolution created by Lorraine Massey that tells us ‘curlies’ how to care for our hair. To avoid sulphates and parabens, to deep condition regularly, to scrunch out the crunch – the list goes on and on. I decided to go natural out of necessity, but I stayed out of love. Listen it didn’t happen overnight and it took me a while to find both a method and products that worked for my hair, but I am now proud of my curls – they look great and I am able to manage my own hair without having to rush to the hairdressers once a week – and if that doesn’t qualify me as a fully-fledged adult I don’t know what does!
So if you have curly hair and feel stuck – check out the curly girl method! Try to find products that work for you. But, most of all, don’t be afraid to go natural, we are also, most definitely, worth it.
Words: Helena Baker