The other night, I asked my five year old to brush his hair while it was wet, before he hopped into bed. He looked exasperated and said, “But Mommy, it will still be puffy in the morning.” I felt so bad for him at that moment, knowing that he has his entire life ahead of him, with my hair.
I have naturally, big, frizzy hair. As an adult, I have had a lifetime of learning how to control it and now have it down to a science. I can have curly-hair days or straight-hair days, but they are both time consuming and require a lot of effort.
Then, I started thinking about how my life of hair rials had given me valuable tools that even came in handy during my weight loss journey.
1. Don’t let others' opinions knock you down. When I was in junior high, my younger sister (by 5 years) and I ran into each other one night in the dark. When she saw me, she screamed. Then, she cried. My parents woke up, lights were turned on and only then did I realize that she screamed because she thought I was a monster. My self-esteem shrunk, despite the size of my hair. I now know that just because she thought I was a monster didn’t make me one.
2. Be prepared, but go with the flow. I have two different sets of products and appliances for each of my hair types. Curly hair days have to have a morning washing and about 45 minutes styling time, which involves a couple different breaks from the heat of the hair dryer (with diffuser). Straight hair days work best with night washings, about an hour styling time, and involve the hair dryer, round brush and straightener, at 180 degrees.
As much as you prepare, though, there are some things you can’t control. For my hair, it’s the weather. When it rains, I frizz. When it’s dry, I flop. I always bring along a rubber band for when the unexpected rain shower turns me into a frizz poodle.
3. Sometimes, there is just no substitute. My hair products are the tried and true that work for me, after years of searching. A couple are costly, but not all of them are. I have to use what works and this is when substitutes are not acceptable. I also have a straightener that was about $100. I’ve spent probably close to $1,000 going through the cheap ones (and breaking them) before I realized that quality mattered here.
4. Dream big, but know your limitations. The 80s were like a carnival for my hair – and I didn’t even have to tease. Banana clips were my friend, as was AquaNet. However, sometimes, you have to know your limits. If your hair is already big, there is no need to EVER pull out that crimper – NOT EVER. No matter what your friends are doing or how cool you think it might look, don’t do it! And if you experiment, I beg you, don’t go out in public!
5. Be true to yourself. I know that I have to think about my hair a LOT more than most and I really wish I could wash-n-go all the live-long day. But that’s not who I am. I was born this way for a reason. After a lifetime of fighting against my hair, I now love the fact that it allows me to be schizophrenic.