Like a lot of women with curly hair, for the longest time, I despised my hair. To say they were unmanageable would be an understatement. I envied people with straight, glossy black hair. I also envied those huge manes of semi-tight ringlets because that kind of hair has a defined personality. But my hair decided it’s best to keep me guessing and be something absolutely unique. Even today, when I have come to embrace my hair in all its “glory”, there are moments when I wish they were different.
Curly hair comes with a lot of struggles. While some are unique to each individual, a lot of these problems are quite common for everyone with curly hair. Here’s my journey with curly hair which I’m sure you will relate to if your hair is curling and coiling in every direction too.
Trying to figure out my hair type…and then, my curl type
For over two decades, I never knew whether my hair is curly, wavy, or something in between. Because my hair was having an existential crisis and couldn’t figure out what it wanted to be. Finding out my hair type, and later, my curl type, was more difficult than solving a Class 10 algebra question, and I sucked at Math, so you can imagine my struggle.
It was hard to love all my hair, all the time
I loved certain sections of my hair and hated the rest. That’s what happens when you have super-cute curls at the tips of your hair and the rest of your hair is a semi-wavy, kinda-straight limp mess.
Hairbrush vs my hair was more intense than the Battle of Panipat
I have always read you should not comb your hair when it’s wet. Nobody ever told me that was meant for people with straight hair. I’m sure you can guess where this is going. As my mom and the internet told me, I waited till my hair dried completely to brush them. But the brush always got stuck in the middle. Then, detangling my hair from the brush took another hour or so. Combing was no better, because ta-da, curly hair doesn’t discriminate, and any form of comb or brush is guaranteed to get stuck in dry hair.
Straightening my hair remains a waste of time
There is no better way to waste time than straightening my hair. Because one, they never become completely straight, and two, they don’t stay straight for more than five minutes. I will spend a good 30-45 minutes straightening my hair only for it to start curling from the tips in five minutes. And I don’t mean the good kind of curl that people with straight hair somehow manage.
Just like my period, frizz is a constant in my life
Curly hair tends to be dry most of the time. This is also something nobody told me for over 25 years. So, without the right products, frizz and I are practically best friends. Now, add humidity to the mix, and woo-hoo, it’s a party on my head! That’s not how I wanted to add volume to my hair. Sometimes, even with the right products, this “friend” of mine finds its way through.
Hair gets stuck in the most random places
As if my hair getting stuck on t-shirt buttons wasn’t enough, it also gets stuck on sports bra hooks, doors, bags, metro seats, earphones, and much more. Detangling my hair from said objects is not a quick job, which means, in my impatience, I often pull out my hair rather than detangle them. Another issue I don’t think I will be able to solve in my lifetime.
The hair was, is, and always will be in a bun
What are good hair days? Do they even exist? Well, for me at least, they are too few and far between, especially in the suffocating heat of India. This means that my go-to hairstyle is a bun. Going to the office? Hair in a bun. Meeting friends? A bun. Going on a date? A bun again. Do you know what the best part is though? I can’t even have my hair in a bun for a long time, because it starts hurting.
Yes, my hair literally hurts.
My hair sheds more than a dog’s and that is no exaggeration. At any given point in time, walk into my room and you will find hair everywhere. From the floor to my pillow to even my study table, it’s like a tell-all of what I’ve done through the day. In fact, there is more hair everywhere in my house than on my head. If someone hugs me, they leave with remnants of my hair. This is why I can never get away with a crime, my DNA will be everywhere.
Some people have mutual funds, I have haircare products
Now that I have finally come to understand that I have curly hair and my hair needs particular products, the struggle has only increased. Why, you ask? Nothing in life comes easy, my friend, so why would haircare? I now need to follow an elaborate routine to make sure my hair looks semi-normal. This means that I need a lot of products, especially conditioner, and that seems to be running out faster than I can say ‘conditioner’. This also means I need money. A lot of it, because curly haircare ain’t cheap!
Curly hair is a lesson in patience
Patience – now that’s something I have always lacked. But thanks to my hair, I have had to learn a bit of it. Anything to do with curly hair needs immense patience. Washing your hair? This is a four-step, 40-minute-long routine. Detangling your hair? Now, this is where the real patience comes in. Because it will take you a lifetime and then some. By the time you detangle one section and move on to the next, the first section will be tangled again. And the circle continues.
Also, flies can get stuck in your hair and hairpins can disappear in there till your next wash day. If that isn’t a struggle, I don’t know what is.
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