Why do we hate our curls?
If you’re a regular reader here you’ll know that I’m a naturally curly gal. For years I battled the frizz with some decidedly dodgy ‘dos’ that saw me go from blonde urchin cut to burgundy goth through my younger years, moving on to hair extensions and straighteners in my 20s and 30s. I hate to think what all this has done to the quality of my hair!
Thankfully Zoe from Silhouette du Barry, hairdresser to the stars and a good friend keeps my tresses tamed and the fab Boucleme range from Michele Scott-Lynch (I reviewed the range here) is really improving the health of my hair at home. These days you’ll usually find me embracing my curls or if all else fails I’m a big fan of a fabulous hat!
I love hearing from fellow curly-gals so today I’m delighted to welcome Beth who has been blogging at Betty and the Bumps for about 18 months and has the most gorgeous hair that I’m truly envious of!
Beth told me that writing has really helped her to make sense of her new life and identity as a Mum, and hearing that people have identified with any of her posts is the greatest feeling in the world – I can second that! Beth says she is happiest when she’s out and about with baby Gwenn and husband Andrew, dreaming about clothes that she can’t afford and homes she will never live in.
I just know you’re going to love this guest post all about her experience of having curly hair. If you’re on Twitter do follow her at too. Enjoy!
My name is Beth, and I have curly hair.
If you met me anytime between the age of 14 and 30, it’s entirely possible you would not be aware of this fact. I have spent almost half of my life trying to disguise it.
It’s not as if I dislike curly hair, just not on me. I don’t have “nice” curls. Not naturally, anyway. It needs a lot of help and it’s actually easier to straighten it.
You have to treat curls well. You have to pamper them. Once you go down the route of using heat to hide them you ultimately cause more and more damage until wearing your hair naturally isn’t an option. Mine was so wrecked from heat and chemical processing (I’ve been colouring my hair for the last 15 years too) that I had just given up on letting it do its own thing.
Maternity leave was my saviour. For the first time in years I didn’t have the opportunity to go for my 12 weekly trim and balayage sessions. Getting childcare to pop into town wasn’t easy and anyway, it’s such a faff when you’re breastfeeding, even partially, to be separated from your baby for any significant length of time.
It gave it a chance to grow. The length and weight dragged my curl down. Skipping washes meant less exposure to sulphates. Leaving it to dry naturally meant I wasn’t subjecting it to searing 210 degree heat every day.
By the time my leave was over, my hair was long enough to leave it to do its own thing. I still rely on hair oil or serum after washing – I can’t imagine what would happen if I skipped that step – but on a normal day when it’s just Gwenn and I, I can dispense with the hairdryer and the irons.
It’s been a bit of a learning curve though. Last year I wrote my own post about getting to grips with curly hair because, as I said before, I don’t think I have the type of curls that look good without a lot of help and I’m still finding out about new products and different methods. I’m slowly but surely working out how to “do” curly!
Having said all this I still prefer my hair straight in certain situations, especially for work. I feel more professional. And on those days when I go curly, I find it hard not to choose a few ringlets to tong, for better definition. It’s a hard habit to break!
I think, to some extent, I’ll always be a straight-haired girl trapped in a curly-haired girl’s body! I suppose we always want what we don’t have. But now, at the grand old age of 32, I feel just as comfortable when my hair is curly than when I’ve ironed the hell out of it!
I think Beth looks stunning with or without the help of her straightening irons! Are you a fellow curly gal? Do you love or loathe your hair? I’d love to read your comments as always.