Curly hair is beautiful and I am proud to have it. That said, having curly hair is difficult in a way that straight-hair people can never understand. Having curly hair would probably be fine if we could just accept as a society that curly hair is different than straight hair but JUST AS GOOD.
Here are ten curly hair problems… only girls with curly hair will understand! Boys with curly hair, you have it much easier, so I’m sorry if you feel this doesn’t apply to you. Also, I would like to touch your hair some time. Let me know if that can be arranged.
1. Boys try to run their fingers through your hair
It looks so sweet when a guy runs his fingers through a girl’s hair, but it is never, ever going to work on me. Please stop. Your fingers are going to get stuck. Oh my god. I tried to warn you, didn’t I? This is not my fault. Get your fingers out of my hair.
2. People think there’s only one kind of curly hair
Sometimes people tell me I don’t have curly hair and I get REAL heated. Many people think there’s only one kind of curly hair — you know, the curliest kind — and if you don’t fit that, they call it “wavy”. Ugh. I don’t have wavy hair.
I’ll admit, I don’t have SUPER curly Keri Russell-style ringlets, but when you tell me I don’t have curly hair, you’re negating the years I spent trying to come to peace with my hair. I will not respond kindly to this kind of treatment, okay? Look at that beautiful head of hair I have. Those are CURLS.
3. It takes years to learn how to do your hair
Most people in my family have straight hair, so I had no guidance. Most of us curly girls living in a straight-hair world have spent years trying to style our hair like it’s straight, and it just doesn’t work. Flat ironing every day. Extensive brushing (never brush!). Too much gel. Your teen years are basically devoted to fighting your hair. It shouldn’t have to be this way, you guys.
4. Products are more expensive
There are definitely products that are great for curly hair, and there are plenty of salons with hairstylists who understand how to cut curly hair … but they’re always more expensive. Sure, my hair looks like a million bucks, but c’mon, I don’t actually HAVE a million bucks! Man, that pun was so bad I’m not even sure if it counted as a pun but I could not resist going for it.
5. People say curly hair is “unprofessional”
In general, if you’re going to a nice event, you’re expected to straighten your hair because curly hair is seen as “wild”. This is even more insidious for black women, who shouldn’t have to deny their natural hair texture when they go in for a job interview. Curly hair isn’t any less professional than straight hair. Don’t tell me my hair is “messy” or I will do something much more unprofessional to you, i.e. murder. (Murder is very, very unprofessional.)
6. It never looks the same twice
I’m an actor and if I’m wearing my hair natural, we’re going to have a very hard time making it look consistent from one day to the next. I have no idea what my hair is going to look like in the morning. Some days are curlier than others, and everything is dependent on how long it’s been since I washed my hair. Day 1 hair is NEVER going to look like day 2 hair. NEVER. Everything affects how my hair looks: what shampoo and conditioner I used, how humid it is, whether or not anyone touched my hair, if anyone breathed on it — you breathed on it? Well then you ruined it. This is all your fault.
7. “Ugly” characters in movies have curly hair
Now this really gets my goat. If you have a character in a movie who starts out “ugly” and gets a makeover, I guarantee she goes from curly hair to straight hair. In Pretty Woman, Julia Roberts isn’t loveable until she has straight hair. Same for Anne Hathaway in The Princess Diaries. Cameron Diaz played “ugly” in Being John Malkovich by wearing a big curly wig. Hollywood, I love you. Please stop.
8. People telling you how to do your hair who DO NOT KNOW
If you have anything but gorgeous curly hair of a very similar type to mine, don’t give me advice. It’s probably wrong. Dear God, why have so many people told me to brush my hair? NO, straight hair person. I should not brush my hair, because I will look like a cast member from The Lion King. No, that is NOT awesome. I wouldn’t expect you to understand, you spaghetti-haired fool.
9. You need at least a 24-hour warning if you have to style your hair
Everything depends on what I did right after I washed my hair, and if you want me to style it, I’m going to have to wash it, let it dry, and straighten it — it’s gonna be a whole thing. I can’t just run a straightening or curling iron through it willy nilly whenever I feel like it. This hair takes planning. It has demands.
10. Not enough curly hair role models
Where are our role models? If I ever hear again that I look like Medusa, Hagrid, a witch, or Pippi Longstocking, I will actually murder someone. I mean it. A second murder threat in one article shows I mean business. More Solange, more Lorde, more Shakira, please. Full disclosure, I used this Lorde photo because it’s pretty much exactly what my hair looks like and I think we should start heaping love and praise upon exactly this type of hair.
Any curly girls out there feeling these problems? Don’t get down, curly hair is still awesome. It’s the people who don’t get it who suck. Tell me your curly hair woes in the comments below!