My mother has the straightest hair that genes can provide.
And then I was born. She had no idea what to do with The Curls. Oh, The Curls. She tried brushing them, which is a rookie mistake. Then she just cut my hair shorter and shorter. Another mistake. Finally, she gave up once I entered junior high and my hair was in a permanent pony tail.
The girls with the straight blonde hair and the wavy brown hair mocked me. “Why is your hair so weird?” they would sneer.
By 8th grade, my curls turned into the ringlets that I am more familiar with, but it was still a nightmare to maintain them. Everyone started to coo over my “new” curls. I endured them begrudgingly.
In high school, I let my hair grow and grow and grow. I don’t know why or even how I dealt with it, but I did.
Enter college. My high school boyfriend broke up with me, so I did what any girl would do in that situation: I chopped it off. Ten inches of those curls disappeared. A classmate stood in shock when he saw me and whimpered, “But…why?” It had to be done.
I have since tried several other hairstyles for my curls, but it has remained a battle.
There are times when I love my hair. It is funky and different. It is the Lovely Anomaly.
But lately I have felt weighed down by my hair. It overpowers my tiny, lithe frame. It screams for attention while the rest of me wants to hang out unnoticed.
C adores my hair, I know that. And others pine for that naturally-red, naturally-curly look that would cost more than I’d ever dream of spending at a salon. My friends say they couldn’t ever imagine a version of me without the curls, and to an extent, I agree. I can’t fathom having anything other than The Curls, but lately I feel like this hair just isn’t me.
When I look in the mirror, I feel lost in the ringlets of my hair.
How can I become untangled?