The best gift you’ve ever been given.
Several years ago, BV and I went to Tuscany after Christmastime with my friend E, and her then-partner. She’s one of those girls who always looks well put-together, with great accessories like a bright yellow bag that I would never think to pick up myself. She also somehow managed to do terribly intricate looking braids and other fun hairstyles on herself. I doubt I’d be able to do on my head or anyone else’s, even if I could look at it.
I, on the other hand, do one hairstyle pretty much every day. Ever since I got a decent haircut for basically the first time in my life in college and learned that I had CURLY hair, not just annoyingly wavy hair, that’s been it. I shower, I put in DevaCurl product (the last thing I still have to buy on Amazon because I can’t find it anywhere else here), I go scrunch scrunch scrunch, and that’s all I do. It air dries, and anyone who’s had 8am class with me has seen me with thoroughly damp hair.
Some days it looks pretty good. Some days I look like a drowned rat. I can go six months between hair cuts but one day I’ll look in the mirror and say “OH GOD I NEED TO GO IMMEDIATELY.” Small problem, considering my stylist books up three months in advance because she’s amazing.
Back on that Tuscany trip, we got to talking about hair, and she volunteered to give me some fun braids too. I’m pretty sure I haven’t let anyone do that to me since the Girl Scouts in elementary school, or my mom. Both my sister and I had braids every single day back then. We both had long hair, and braids helped avoid tangle disasters… mostly at least. I avoided braids for years after that though, it was just a little too ‘childhood’ for me.
We talked hair strategies, straightening, products, all that kind of girl business. In college I had several of my friends attack my head with flat irons before nights out. Why does every girl swear that “no really, this one will straighten even your hair!” They don’t. Or they do for about 10 minutes until you hit the air, or a drop of rain, or anything else that brings at least one kink back. After that it pretty much just looks flat, since my hair is also incredibly fine. I would’ve fit in well in the 70s, but that’s about it. And no matter what, there was always the frizz. The products, the gels, the sprays, and the utensils, the heat, the steam, nothing stopped the inevitable frizz.
Other girls had sleek, long manes that swung. Mine laid flat, until the teensy baby hairs started floating back up towards the sky. Frizz is the enemy… isn’t that what we learn from all those magazine advertisements?
But that day my friend said something to me that has stuck ever since, and it sounds silly, but it is probably one of the best gifts I’ve ever gotten.
“That’s not frizz, those are romantic tendrils.”
ECS, you are a treasure. Thank you.
How amazing would it be if everyone could take something they don’t like about themselves, something that they’ve spent years fighting, and almost rebrand it like that? It’s not a flaw, it’s a feature!
Especially for women who constantly feel like they aren’t “something” enough… not thin enough, not tall enough, their hair is too long, too short, their nose is too round or feet too big or who knows what. Rebrand that shit.
I was listening to a podcast the other day and two of the women were talking about straightening treatments. They both have curly/wavy hair but haven’t worn it that way in years, instead spending (to me) insane amounts of money on regular Brazilian or Japanese straightening treatments. I know that’s their choice to do that, but my lord, I thought what I spend on my DevaCurl stuff was a lot.
The word ‘frizz’ was thrown around quite frequently during their discussion, and in my head I was just yelling “romantic tendrils! romantic tendrils! It’s not really that bad!”
Think about it ladies (and everyone else… we’re inclusive here). How, and what, would you rebrand about yourself? Leave it in the comments, if you want to help someone else out.
Gratuitous shot of a VERY good curl day. Mountain water is everything.
Editor’s Note: This is part of a 31-day challenge series for the month of May, which will possibly now extend into June to compensate for the vacation gap, in which I aim to spend at least 15 minutes writing about whatever strikes my fancy. Results may vary.