Tag Archives: the curly girl handbook

Her Hair was Often Snarly

Recently I changed my author photo because I had a hair epiphany. For the first thirty years of my life, my hair was a constant battle. Now, post-epiphany, my hair causes me no trouble at all in what feels a bizarre unreality. Who would have thought?

So the saga starts with the fact that I was born with a full head of gorgeous (or so everyone told me) blond curls. Perfect strangers loved to say to me as a child, “Oh, I wish I had your hair! You’re so lucky!” Um, yeeeeah, if your hair involved being held down and having a brush ripped through it while you screamed, you would not consider yourself so lucky. Naturally, I resisted all brushing attempts.

My hair made good dreadlocks, or large mats right behind my ears, like a Persian cat someone let outdoors. My mother tired to manage it by snipping it off periodically, but that’s about as far as she got. As I got older, I made attempts, but after the 3 hour ordeal of untangling it, I usually was so tired of struggling with my hair, that I would not bother for a week and then have another ordeal. I kept planning to cut it, but that would involve going to a hair place, and I didn’t want to when it was tangled and since it was almost never untangled… well, it was a self-sustaining cycle.

So I embraced the persona of this lovely little card by Terrea L. Bennett of Friday Harbor, WA. I sort of found a balance with my hair at medium length and wetting a brush to get it through my hair every morning and it was a decent compromise, but depending on the weather, my hair would snarl, sometimes more sometimes less, as the day went on.

Then, one day my aunt, who’d always in my mind had wavy to straightish hair, showed up with her hair cut short and in curls. When I asked her about it, she talked about some book she got at the library and doing weird things that included no shampoo and not brushing it. Not brushing it, hah! I’d tried that… but not sans shampoo. So I went ahead and tried the book, figuring I didn’t have much to lose.

Surprisingly I learned a ton about my hair, which pretty much did what the book said it would when I followed the direction.  Leaving me quite impressed with “The Curly Girl Handbook” by Lorraine Massey.  It’s never been easier to be curly-haired.