i often get a variety of questions about my hair.
"has it always been like that?"
"what products do you use?"
"is it REAL?"
"can i touch it?"
"you MUST hate it."
and when i say often, i really mean:
every time i leave the house.
while 90% of the time, these questions are in the form of compliments, it's utterly and totally hysterical because i can generally tell when they are coming. forget eye contact or men staring at my breasts, i get the "hair stare," meaning, a normal human being will stare at the curls on top of my head, as though they are ringlets in colors of psychadelic purple and robust red, like i am wearing a clown wig or something of the like. then, there is a noticeable illumination, when the person realizes, "geeze, i think that's really her hair!," only to be followed by a compliment or comment. i have heard it all: lioness (you know who you are), 2-for-1 perm special (you ALSO know who you are), and my particular favorite, from my favorite author, Bréne Brown:
its fair to say that there have been some bad stories, too, and my mother can most certainly vouch for me in this arena. random people reaching out and groaping my head in the middle of anthropologie (among other places); times when haircuts have gone wrong, very wrong; and conversations that get really awkward, really fast, because really, and truly, both of my parents are white and i don't know what else to say, it's a mutant gene? sometimes i have to defend the authenticity of my curls and that seems like the downside to this physical trait (which generally i consider blessing).
i've taken a few leaps, such as:
- posing as a model for my art major roommates in college (above)
- getting my haircut at Ouidad in New York City (i was hoping they were looking for a model! its fair to say i'm still hoping...)
- taking a leap and got my first real pseudo-afro style last year (and i still love it!)
- rocking hair accessories like it's nobody's business (especially my prized ban.do, thanks to pw)
all of this is to say that day in and day out i make full claim to these curls, and i think that's what attracts people the most. i don't think it's that my curly hair is really all that more curly or vivacious than yours (though I'm sure you're shaking your head right now saying, "um, yeah, it is!"). And while your curl questions and your curl love is so flattering to me and much appreciated, I want to communicate THIS to those of you who are asking: you, too, can have a vivacious head of curly hair. however, you will have to make the decision to honor its erratic nature, to embrace the inevitable bits of frizz and to let go of the control.
so here is my question for you:
what advice do you need concerning your [curly] hair?
what is/isn't working?
what questions do you have?
how do you handle your curls?
i would love to open this forum to discussion about curly hair, it's majesty and it's out-of-control-but-beautiful nature. i am here to answer your questions, and my stepmom, alicia, who is a professional hairdresser, and i are planning some fun hair-centric posts (with videos!) for the near future. please leave your thoughts, questions, and inquiries in the comments section. i promise to check and respond to all of them!
your curly haired queen, Stephanie