Walking into salons still makes me kind of sweaty. Okay, very sweaty. I’m nearly 20 and I still get flashbacks to my high school days when I would make an appointment at a fancy hair place either named “Alonso’s” or something clever (“clever”) like “Split Ends” to get a sweet updo for Homecoming or Prom. Instead of feeling like a sleek J.Lo or a posh Alicia Keys, my hair appointment would run two hours over schedule and end with the whole salon staring at me as the poor person styling my hair poured every product into my every growing head.
I have curly hair and I have a lot of it.
But besides the once-a-year hassle of getting a haircut for a wedding or another important event where all ladies are supposed to have scared straight hair or soft, emphasis on the soft, curls, I usually didn't mind my hair. Some days I even liked it.
My tolerance for my curls shocked everyone. I was gifted flat irons for my birthday, and Christmas, and sometimes just because. I was told I would be more attractive, I would have more luck with the boys, strangers would be nicer to me, and I would have better luck finding a job, if I would just, for the love of God, straighten my hair. With irons, with chemical, with whatever, as long as it was straight.
Then I went to college.
And everyone went bananas for my curly locks. People told me how cool I was, that I inspired them, that I looked super edgy, all because of my hair (that I didn’t even choose btw). It seemed like my classmates thought I was trying to make a statement when in reality my hair style was a direct result of trying to shower as little as possible to study as much as possible so as to not fail out of my first year of college.
Hair is a weird thing. It’s one of the few body parts that complete strangers feel completely comfortable touching without consent. It’s one of the few body parts that people comment on freely, with sort of mean words like “frizzy” and “poofy,” with no consequences. Every one of the hair products I use is specifically produced and marketed to make my hair less like my hair.
What do you ladies think about hair? Why is it such an important part of femininity? Why are we so invested in hair? Drop me a comment amigas, I need your wise words!