I just got the haircut I’ve been waiting for. The one I couldn’t imagine eighteen months ago when I consciously decided to go curly. The one where the last of my straight hair—which were literally dead ends—got snipped away. I was just going to Lorraine for a little trim, neither of us realizing this trim was “it’! But once she started snipping she realized that the straight ends could go. Sure, my hair is a little shorter than I’d like and I loved the length before, but it looks a lot healthier, and most of all, it’s free from the shackles of the straight hair, hair that was just dragging it down. ( I swear the ends—which were a curl with a long straight stem attached—looked like question marks, as if my hair was asking me, “Why? Why did you do this?) I liked those straight strands because they gave my hair length, but I saw a few recent photos myself and was stunned at how bizarre it looked to have a few inches of straight hair hanging from long strands of curls. And those strands were so chemically straightened, so lifeless, that I couldn’t even curl them with my finger and gel to make them remotely match the rest of my hair.
So it was a choice between going a few inches shorter than I’d like (though as a curly girl we know every inch counts because our curls tend to spring up) or a weird ‘do. One thing that pushed me over the edge was being approached by a mother at my son’s soccer game who said she’d been watching my curls grow out for the last year. (I didn’t even know who she was, but she was watching my curls?) But then she said, “And now what a funky hairdo you have! Straight on the bottom and then curled on top.”
At this point, I am not going for a funky hairdo. I just want my good, old curls back. So there you have it. Lorraine says it’s still not the shape it will be because how she cut it was dictated by the straight hair, but she thinks it will be there in January just as "Curly Girl," the book we co-authored, is released. (The hair gods work in mysterious ways!) As Lorraine was cutting she said, “You’re going to really see how your hair changes, how much you love your curls and how freeing it was.” And that’s when it hit me that, like most things in life, going curly is a journey, not a destination. Because although I thought I had arrived at that destination with the snipping of those straight strands, I’m actually just starting, today in fact, to live life as a curly girl again. In some ways it feels new and strange to be part of the clan of curly girls; in others it feels like I never left.