Hair Haters Anonymous

My name is Christy, I'm 40 years old, and I hate my hair. I know I
should have outgrown this by now. After all, by this age I should be
able to accept my hair's limitations, but instead of getting easier,
it's getting harder. Here are things that I struggle with:

1) My hair is curly, but not curly enough. If I had a stronger curl
pattern, it would be easier to deal with my hair. Instead, my hair is
kind of wavy/curly, so it looks like messy straight hair rather than
truly curly hair.

2) My hair is getting harder to straighten as I get older. I don't have
more curl, just more stubborn curl. In other words, it takes more work
to make my hair look good than it used to, and I thought it should be
getting easier by this age.

3) My hair is getting frizzier as I get older. Even when I do get it
relatively straight, it frizzes really easily. It also frizzes when
curly, so I can't win.

4) I am allergic to at least one thing in all of the best curly hair
products I've tried. This means that if I wear my hair curly for more
than two days, my scalp and hairline will break out in massive pimples.
(This includes A/G Re:coil, all Devacurl products, and Ouidad Climate
Control gel) One more reason to straighten.

5) Straightening my hair is very damaging, particularly when done with
a straightening iron. Extra bad because I color my hair. But it looks
better---shiny, smooth, touchable. Sigh.

6) My hair looks better long. I just like it better long with my face,
but that means more time straightening.

7) Straightening all the time means I have to carry more stuff with me
when I travel. Shouldn't I just be able to wash my hair and go by now?
Oh, wait, that's for short-haired people. I'm screwed.

I need bangs. Try as I might to go without bangs, my face needs
them. Curly bangs look stupid with my curl pattern, because they look
like horns. I must straighten them.

9) It' not the 80s anymore. Big messy, frizzy hair with bangs was the
bomb when I was in college. Why can't we get that trend back?

10) I read somewhere that after 40 you can go without makeup if your
hair is perfect, and vice versa. This really messes up my vacation
theory. Aren't you supposed to be able to go on vacation with minimal
makeup and wash and go hair? Am I officially too old to get away with
this? Damn.

I don't know the 12 steps to recover from hating my hair. If you do,
please share them.
I'm sorry this is so hard for you. My mom also has super-sensitive skin and is allergic (or develops an allergy) to anything she puts on her skin or hair. At this point all she can use is vitamin E oil for her skin and a mild shampoo for her hair.

I'm sure a lot of people will disagree with me, but have you ever considered getting your hair thermally reconditioned? It's expensive and it takes forever and you may not be eligible bc you color, but it seems like you're essentially fed up with dealing with your hair, so it may be worth it. Who knows, you may eventually come to appreciate your waves!

Speaking of appreciating waves, I think it is really easy to log on to naturallycurly.com and decide that corkscrew curls is the only hair worth having. I know I went through a "But I want to curls ALL OVER!" stage where I tried loads of techniques and products to no (or temporary) avail. It's no use thinking that "if my hair where truly curly I'd be happy forEVER!" It's not going to happen, at least not without a lot of work, and hair should be fun, not work. Besides, look on the straightening board: tons of 3bs and 3cs want to relax to a wave, because it's both more manageable and a little trendier at the moment.

I think it's important to decide that there are more important things in life than forcing our bodies or hair to look a *particular* way, as if we think we're play-doh. There is no such thing as "perfect" hair. A woman of any age can choose to go without makeup or hairstyling if she chooses. Who says one needs either? Who says 40 is the magic number? I wear makeup when I feel like it (often) and fix my hair when I feel like it (occasionally). My sister wears makeup all the time and has her hair permanently up in a bun. My mother doesn't wear makeup ever (even to weddings!) and never bothers with anything other than haircuts.

If you get annoyed by the extra baggage when traveling or resent the time you spend thinking about and fussing with your hair, think about *why* you do these things. If you do it to feel pretty/sexy/whole, you can choose to think of yourself as pretty/sexy/whole even when you don't fuss with your hair. If you do it to look "presentable" learn how to do a french twist, a cinnamon bun or simple braids. These hairstyles are quick with a little practice (my hair is almost down to my waist and all of them take less than a minute - I timed myself just for you!), look fancy, protect your hair and stay put all through the day.

Maybe if you gave yourself a little break from *having* to deal with your hair, you'd be more excited about the days you decide to play =)
2c generally, with a few spirals in front and underneath. Between BSL and waist length when straight, about shoulder length when set free.
Thanks, declaration of curliness. I agree that much of my hang-up has to do with unrealistic expectations. I have no problem accepting that I'm short-waisted, or that my nose is big (though they both took some time to accept). I also know that in my profession (trial attorney) I have to wear suits most of the time. I don't want stick straight hair (draws attention to the nose thing), but I do want some level of predictability. I use velcro rollers to achieve this most work days, but I want to be able to let my hair go on the weekends and for vacations. I just can't do it if the result is horrible skin. I wish I knew how to cure the skin sensitivity thing. My hair can look really good using Low Poo, One C, Re:coil, and Angell, but then the acne starts. I'm just frustrated.
I know this is late, but have you tried plain ol' aloe vera gel for definition, or perhaps aloe and epsom salt water spray for hold and curl enhancing or perhaps Jessicurls line? (I didn't see that in your list of no-can-do's)

Just some thoughts and a hug.

Being at odds with something as image-defining as your hair isn't easy.
2cFii-ish with 3a moments. Always subject to change.

Quote:
(\_/) This is Bunny.
(O.0) Copy Bunny into your signature to help
(> <) him on his way to world Domination.
I'm voting for Bunny.
Thanks, Maybewavy, but Jessicurl gave me the worst breakouts (and stringiest hair) ever. As for aloe vera gel alone, it simply did not stand up to Savannah's humidity---total frizzball. The one time I tried Epsom salts it was VERY drying and did not seem to do much. I really have tried everything. As you can see, I've been on this board quite a while. I think I just have unrealistic expectations of my hair when "curly". My hair simply won't look the way I want it to.
There is a very small percentage of cleansing agents in 100% aloe vera gel. I'm one of those who can't use shampoos either. I also can't use baking soda. But Aloe vera gel does clean it somewhat. Except the hair is not light and fluffy.

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