Don't run away from your curls...
I realized recently that it’s official. I have swallowed the curly Kool-aid and am really a curly girl. This shouldn’t sound like a major revelation for someone who has been growing her hair out for 18 months, but it is. The truth is, even when I decided to actually go curly (which was six months after my last straightening) I wasn’t committed heart and soul. I ‘d joke that after all this waiting and work, I’d probably go back to straight and kept my flat iron and blow dryer in their usual drawer for months. (The latter is relevant because the flat iron and dryer were taking up a prime piece of bathroom drawer real estate.) But recently I realized I am truly a curly girl. And this goes beyond the fact that I cringe at the mere mention of shampoo (I can’t even walk down that aisle at the drugstore), never brush my hair (just use my fingers when its slathered with conditioner in the shower) and check Lorraine Massey’s Curly Girl Facebook page religiously. I find myself using curl lingo— curl love and curl knowledge, but most of all what really got me was that I’ve become one of those people who tries to convert unnaturally straight girls back to their curly roots. This spring at my kids’ little league games, I couldn’t help myself whenever I saw a curl longing to escape a blow out or spotted another mom with a halo of frizz masking what I knew were gorgeous curls. And this didn’t just happen at little league—in fact, I find it happening everywhere. I can’t keep my curly mouth shut. I have to ask these women about their curls and then urge them to give their curls a fighting chance.
...drink the kool-aid and embrace your curly hair
I remember one woman I interviewed for Lorraine’s updated version of "Curly Girl" (out in January!) who told me that she got asked about her gorgeous curls every single day. It happened so often that she printed up a card with the Devachan website and phone number because she was tired of digging through her purse for a pen and paper to write it on. I’m almost there! I just know how freeing it is to not be confined by a blow out. To not care if it rains or have a sweaty workout. I’m not saying my hair looks good all the time—it doesn’t, especially since I’ve still got two textures of hair on my head—but I know there is a light at the end of the curly tunnel. I know that once my curls are all in and I’ve snipped off those straight, dead ends, I will feel more like myself. Already I feel free from blow out appointments, flat irons and blow dryers (yes, I finally tossed the iron and stashed the blow dryer til winter for use with a diffuser) and shelves full of products promising to tame, flatten and reign in my curls. Throughout this process to become a recovering curly girl, Lorraine has been my curly sponsor and I just know I have to pay it forward by helping others. I’m especially aware of helping under-age curlies who may be hating their hair as much as I did as a kid. So whenever I see a little girl with curls, I make sure to tell her how pretty her hair is. After all, if I can help one little girl avoid the hair agony I experienced as a kid, it’s worth it. And I guess my curl-love has trickled down not only to friends and strangers, but to my eight-year-old daughter. One day, when I was on the phone with Lorraine working on the book, my daughter wrote me a note on the dry erase board she was using for her homework that was filled with curly lingo. Who cares that she didn’t finish her math problems that night—I had a little curly convert to help spread the word!