Most of the curly girls that I know have been asked at one point or another “Why don’t you straighten your hair more often?”
When I’m asked, I generally deflect the question with a smile and a polite “I just prefer my curls.” While “I prefer my curls” is the theme of this column, there are several other reasons I forgo the straightening iron. While no casual inquirer would want me to list them, we’re devoted curly girls here and you'll agree that there are all sorts of reasons why we don’t “straighten our hair more often.”
In contrast to my usual reasons for keeping my curls (mostly centered around self-confidence and self-acceptance), here are some of the other reasons (perhaps a bit shallow, perhaps a bit silly) for shunning the straightening iron.
1. I’d rather sleep in!: When I started writing this column, I was a sophomore in high school and I loved staying up late. Now, I’m a sophomore in college and going to bed at eleven is a luxury, not a pain. Every chance I get to hit the snooze button is appreciated, and if I miraculously find myself with an extra 45 minutes in the morning, I’m going to walk to my favorite dining hall and order an omelet. Standing in front of a mirror with a burning hot object next to my scalp and neck for an hour is not high on the list of pre-class priorities.
2. My curls hide my cowlick: I have this absolutely ridiculous cowlick right in the middle of my forehead, perfectly aligned with my widow’s peak. When my hair is curly, this quirk is fairly well disguised. When I straighten my hair, however, my hair veers up and away from my widow’s peak, making me look like I have an “M” protruding from my forehead. Lovely.
3. My breakage: I’ll admit it. I’ve spent one too many days with my hair in a bun, and I have a bit of breakage to show for it. My curls usually disguise the breakage around the crown of my head. But when my hair is straight, the smallest bit of damage is glaringly obvious. Suddenly, a piece of hair that once demurely curled at my temple sticks straight up like some sort of alien feeler. Not attractive.
4. Who likes the smell of burning hair?: This one goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway. The smell of hair being straightened makes me all sorts of unhappy. I feel like it’s olfactory proof that I’m damaging my hair. And I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the steam — or smoke — that rises off the straightener.
5. I refuse to fear the rain: Ithaca, NY is not known for its number of sunny days. Rain, sleet, snow, hail, if it falls from the sky it will hit Ithaca at some point during the month of March. The weather, in addition to being generally damp and gray, is also unpredictable. It’s common to walk into a building in the sunshine and walk out an hour later into a downpour. I refuse to become of those girls cowering under her copy of the campus newspaper because she knows that the rain will destroy her straightening efforts. Although wind will always be my worst weather enemy (it reduces even the most well-styled curls into a head of frizz), I will never fear the rain. The absolute worst thing the rain can do to my curls is make them look a little soggy!
So there you have it, some of the not-so-deep reasons why I “don’t straighten my hair more often.” From my love of the snooze button to my fearless acceptance of Ithaca’s weather, my day just goes smoother when I rock my curls!