First of all, I’m not sure there really is a “flow” here. My hair just sort of “is.” It’s something I’ve learned to accept. For the majority of my life, I have battled this unruly mane.
As a child, my mother fought the battle for me with products like Dippity Do and No More Tangles. I remember the times when the battle became too much for her, and she took me to the beauty shop to have it whacked off. Each time, I cried over the loss of my hair, even though it was never the long silky head of hair that I pretended to have lost. My mom fondly recalls the time I wore a towel on my head for days, brushing it and flipping it over my shoulder as if I had Cher hair. If you lived in the 1970s, you remember the fabulous hair that Cher had… That was my fantasy hair. And THAT was never happening.
Move along to my teenage years. They started out pretty rough. My family still didn’t own a good blow dryer, so I had to make do with my mom’s dryer which resembled a shower cap with a hose attached to the back. Yeah… not an ideal styling tool for these tight curls. I sometimes used my dad’s hand-held dryer for men, but it was meant for short hair. Still, it was better than nothing. As I learned to style my hair with heat, my mom realized the need for a real blow dryer. I’ll never forget the first dryer that was purchased for ME– my very own bright yellow Conair. It immediately became my best friend.
As styles changed in the late 1980s, I was thankful for the spiral perm. Most of my friends were trading their straight locks for long curls, and I realized that God had given me a free perm! I rocked the 80s with big Texas hair at the end of high school and throughout my college years. Thank you, whoever invented that spiral perm! You created a style that became the great equalizer for me. I could suddenly hold my head high (but not as high as my Spritzed bangs) and look like my friends.
My young adult years were met with frustration, and the struggle resumed. Since I couldn’t successfully style my hair in the trends that cycled through the next 20 years, I just played around with hair color. Oh my… Red, super blonde, dark brownish-black. You never knew what to expect when I left a salon. Oh, and I might have owned a straightening iron or two. That’s really all I care to say about that. I’m just glad it’s over.
I’m now in my late 40s, and I’ve learned to love my curls. Yes. This is the first time I’ve admitted it. I’ve stopped fighting them. The curls are here to stay as long as God chooses to bless me with hair. People who don’t like curls are usually kind enough not to mention my hair, much kinder than kids were when I was young. These days, I enjoy compliments from people who claim to like my hair. My husband just grins when we’re out somewhere and someone asks how I fix my hair. The curly ones even ask for the complete list of styling products. It happens nearly everytime we go somewhere.
I intend to age gracefully. I have always admired women who grow old with a natural style. I’m not sure exactly what the future holds, but I do know that I hope to relax and enjoy the happy things in life. Struggling to tame my curls is not going to be something that drags me down as I get old. I’ll spend that extra time painting my nails.