Posts Tagged: African American

Curly Hair Bias

curly hair bias

My hair is naturally curly/wavy and has been since I was a baby. My mom’s hair is naturally pin-straight and I have literally never seen her without a perm. I grew up in a household that revered curls, had a long string of boyfriends who adored my curls, and have never gotten anything but praise for my own voluminous curls.

When I cut my hair short and began straightening it, I got some comments and e-mails lamenting the loss of my curls. I am about 6,000% happier now with short, straight hair than I ever was with long curls and don’t foresee going back anytime soon. And over time I’ve realized that despite the near-constant influx of praise for my curly hair, I never actually liked it. Never felt like myself in it. Even though I never got anything but positive feedback about my hair, I never enjoyed it or felt like it suited me. I felt like it was the most dominant thing about my appearance, that it overtook nearly everything else about me, engulfed me, even eclipsed me. Also my curls were delicate and unpredictable. A stiff breeze or a shirt pulled over my head would completely change how my hair looked for the remainder of the day. It drove me nuts that my hair took such intense and constant babying to look good. My current ‘do is reliable, predictable, blissfully boring. read more