Hi you curlies! You know, quite often I have people come up to me and tell me that I have amazing hair… that my curls are beautiful…and how lucky I am to have hair like this! “Is this your natural hair? People die for a perm like this!”… Lol! And this is form women with all kinds of hair… especially those with lovely straight hair – the kinds all of us would have wanted to have, at some point or the other! Lemme admit it… it feels AWESOME!
At the same time, it makes me think about all those other girls with curly hair, who come up to me and say the same thing… with just one little addition… ‘my curls aren’t nice… yours are very nice’… And that saddens me… it really does! Coz curls are curls are curls! They just have to rock… there are no bad curls! And then again… I know exactly what they mean… I’ve been through it!
Most Indian girls with curly hair have a problem leaving their hair open! When I was growing up, back in school and junior college, straight hair and hair straightening was the biggest rage ever! Relaxing, re-bonding and all kinds of hair straightening treatments had hit the market, making all of us swoon over and long for those ‘poker straight’ locks! Even Priety Zinta ended up straightening her Dil Chahta Hai curls and that was it… the end of it! I remember always tying my hair into ponytails, never wanting to reveal how they actually looked and oh yes, that farewell party where I dared left it open and got called everything from a crow’s nest to a broom! I remember how my ponytail (back in school) was used, by the boys sitting behind me, as a pen stand and a dustbin for pencil shavings… It made me fume back then, though now I look back at it and realize how much fun it was! Lol!
Anyway, so all that done, the moment I stepped into college, on my 18th birthday, I got my hair straightened! I thought it was the most awesome thing in the whole world…! Suddenly felt like all the models and actresses n possibly even started behaving like one (someone later told me I was quite ‘unapproachable’ with straight hair! ) However, lightening struck when the curly hair started growing back and I was left with half n half hair! The only option left then was to straighten them again! And so, the cycle went on for 3 years… rebonding after rebonding, until one day, I went to Sapna Bhavnani at her Mad O Wat hair salon, and she (God bless her for that) chopped off my entire hair into a boy cut! “Let it grow back, scrunch it with leave-in conditioner and never touch a comb to your hair!” Those were her very words… and I followed them like some sort of a ‘hair bible’… (still do!)
And then when the curls finally grew back, I began to love and cherish them more than ever before… and well, I guess all the love finally began to show on them. They were finally getting the respect they needed from me and they rewarded me by looking fabulous, getting me all the compliments that they do!
If only I had realized this earlier and worn them with the confidence that I wear them now, the re-bonding torture would never have happened.
So when girls come to me, and say they hate their curls, it really saddens me. Curly hair, have a unique quality of giving one a very chic, trendy, fun and fashionable look if they’re worn right, no matter how hard or soft or thick or bushy they are! Unfortunately, in India, kids with curly hair have to hear things like “arre kaise baal faila rakhe hain… bechari… bade bure baal hai… ganja kar do isse… shayad seedhe baal aa jaaye” (Look at how messy your hair is… poor thing, such horrible hair she has… why don’t you shave it off, maybe she’ll grow back straight hair).. I don’t know about you… I certainly have heard this a million times since childhood… And somewhere, it sticks! You start to hide them in pony tails and pins and lose the confidence in wearing them the way they are supposed to be.
My simple pledge to all those of you who hate your curls… gather the guts, be brave and just let them fly… don’t try and comb them out… just let them be and they’ll make sure they make you rock! (Read my post on ‘curly crimes’ to know more about treating your curls right.)
PinkPepper tip: In case it’s too bold a step for you to just let your curls all out, all of a sudden… try ironing out ‘only’ the front layers of your hair that fall on your face. Leave the rest of your hair back and curly. It makes you look neat, and helps you (and everyone else) slowly get used to seeing you with your sexy, curly open hair