How to get past disliking your hair?

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I am thinking maybe it's just a phase I am experiencing, but lately I have had a strong dislike for my hair. I think it's because the people I communicate with seem to have an anti-curly hair or anti-long hair viewpoint, for their own reasons.

In the past few weeks, I've attended events where I have been (drum roll) the only curly sitting at the table (or even in the room!) or the only dark-haired curly. Today I was at an event where all of the other women were blondes with straight hair. I felt like an odd duck.

Even though I toss it back and forth, I have liked my hair a lot more now compared to my teen years. I used to kill it back then-- heavy heat use, straightening, heck even using so much product and heat that it reeked of burning hair, and gunk at the same time! Yuck!

Now that I am older and married, I have appreciated my hair for being what it is-- HAIR, that happens to be curly, dark, and long. All things my husband likes. I also live in an area where it's typical to have straight and lighter-colored hair, so that's definitely part of it.

Another thing I've realized is a lot of people are often in denial over how political curly hair can be. I am not black, so I won't start speaking on behalf of the black community but I do know in their community wearing hair natural is definitely political. Even in my own ethnic community, having curly hair is political as it's typical for women to have straight hair. When a person regardless of their ethnic background chooses to wear their hair naturally curly, they are making a political statement even if they don't mean to! At least, that is how other people perceive it. People sometimes do not respond too kindly, saying it needs "taming," it's not "professional looking," and even better yet, "straight hair is sexy, curly hair is ugly."

I've been thinking a lot about these issues and how it's affecting the way I perceive my hair. I realize what I've said here is somewhat controversial, but my intent isn't to debate, but to discuss since we are all curlies. How do you deal with some of these issues, or other issues I haven't mentioned?
I think this is where you need to pull out your self confidence and ignore what you think everybody else thinks of your hair. Now, if you personally truly don't like it, then that's another story that you will have to figure out.

I didn't like my natural hair through life, just for the simple fact that I didn't know how to deal with it. I loved it straight, but not the untamable waves that I had. Once you find what works for your hair, this is where you start to love it.

I used to be embarrassed if I wore my hair out in public without doing anything to it.. granted it didn't look that great, because I didn't know what I doing. But now I walk out in confidence and think that everybody wishes they had curly hair. Fact of the matter is, the majority of this world has some waves or curls, people just hide it. I bet a lot of people look at us curlies and think, "I wish I could get my hair to do that." I know I did when I was in my straightening days.
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2c-3a - coarse - normal-high porosity - high density - growing out to donate

NP/LP: KMF Whenever Cond./ YTCucs, Giovanni TTTT
RO/LI: Sevi Pumpkin Seed DC / CJ Argan & Olive Oil, KCKT, YTBbs
DT: Coconut Oil + scalp massage
OIL/STYLER: SM Elixir / KCCC, SS CEJ
COLOR: henna, amla & indigo
As a guy, it was even harder to feel like I could go against the grain. I do have a couple things that inspired me to go natural. I resisted having curly hair for 20 years, wearing it short and cropped (even buzzcut at times) but when I got to my early 30s I saw a few guys around me lose their hair so I thought, "I've lost some but still have a lot, maybe having curls isn't so bad." Started wearing it longer at age 33 (I'm 41 now) but went through a phase where I'd blowdry it and use a round styling brush to give it volume. However, as time went on I found it actually took more work trying to tame the curls than it did to let them do their thing.
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2B always with potential of white man's fro

http://www.naturallycurly.com/curlta...-my-album.html

"Curls aren't just for girls"
I agree, I am similar. I struggle because I loved when my hair was straight. Now sometimes I love my curls, sometimes I hate them. I do always feel out of place though. I am trying to accept feeling out of place as something unique about me. I can make my hair look like straight girls hair, but they can't always make their hair look like mine!

As I get farther into my CG progress, I am beginning to figure it out more and I am enjoying my hair more. It helps, like you said, that my husband loves it curly too.
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Hair Type: Combo of 2A, 2B and 2C ... with a weird straight underlayer
Fine, normal porosity, normal elasticity.

Currently using:
Low Poo: Yes To Cucumbers Color Protection Shampoo
Cowash: VO5 Moisture Milks
Styler: KCCC
Gel: Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Gel, Tigi Bed Head Creative Genius gel

Started CG 9/10/13
I think you should collect pics of gorgeous curly hair and look at them often - make screen saver slide show on your computer, pin them to a cork board, tape them to your bathroom mirror. Try to watch tv shows and movies that have curly actors. Buy Curly Girl or Strictly Curls or Better than Good Hair or Curly Like Me or other similar pro-curly hair styling books (I forgot the name of the one by Diane DeCosta) and keep in the bathroom...skim thru it every morning before you get ready.

Also invest in a great haircut and products for your own hair so it always looks its best.
3b (with 3c tendencies) on modified CG

When I stopped straightening my hair and started embracing my naturally curly hair, it was like entering a museum and stumbling across a rare Salvador Dali painting (I started thinking curls are amazing). But I was aware that many people in the room weren't a fan of Dali's work. Some people just aren't down with curly hair and never will be. And they have a right to feel that way. They have a right to find one thing beautiful and something else, not so much. So what did I do? I found environments where more people appreciate Salvador Dali
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3b/c?

Ringlet Fandango! ... Where curly ideas roam free

* 2 blogs this week: Pictures of My (Sorta) Big Chop! AND Turn a Nightmare Product into a Dream* My Albums
What strikes me is what a great role model you are for the rest of the 65% of the people in those situations who also have curly, wavy, or kinky hair; and of the 98% who aren't naturally blonde.

That said, I can understand where you're coming from. It used to bug me no end that the same people who had oohed and ah'd over my curls when I was little turned around and expected me to have smooth, perfectly tamed hair which only bent in a little at the ends (and this was before blow dryers and non-lye straighteners, when jumbo rollers were 1" in diameter, and before electric curling or flat irons,). After trying to sleep with my hair rolled on brush rollers, then orange juice cans for years, and having become a confirmed insomniac, I finally resorted to sleeping with a stocking over my freshly washed hair every night, and my hair still curled.
Peace,
Morgan

Baby Fine 3B, low porosity, normal density and elasticity
CGing since July 2008
I get what some of you are saying about being confident about my hair and not giving in to other people's views. It does get difficult at times, even with getting older. You'd think by now I'd get over it, but every now and then it picks up again.

When I got through my teens I learned how to properly care for my hair which did help a lot. Now, I know what my hair needs are and can style it so it looks great, and I often do consult pictures of great looking hair for inspiration. It still bothers me how much I stand out at times. I know people see standing out as a positive thing, but sometimes it doesn't seem that way to me. One thing I do thank my lucky stars for is being married-- I've noticed a lot of men swoop toward the straight-haired blondes or other light-haired variations, and I'm lucky that my husband likes my hair!
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When I stopped straightening my hair and started embracing my naturally curly hair, it was like entering a museum and stumbling across a rare Salvador Dali painting (I started thinking curls are amazing). But I was aware that many people in the room weren't a fan of Dali's work. Some people just aren't down with curly hair and never will be. And they have a right to feel that way. They have a right to find one thing beautiful and something else, not so much. So what did I do? I found environments where more people appreciate Salvador Dali
Originally Posted by Korkscrew
Korkscrew, I know I sound like a broke record but you are on point as usual. You could definitely be a "curly counselor." LOL All kidding aside, reaching that epiphany is a great feeling. Getting there is most of the battle. My epiphany reaches a new level every time someone asks if my hair is natural or permed. It means I have hair others would pay to get. I think participating in this forum (not just the curly men forum) has helped me too.
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2B always with potential of white man's fro

http://www.naturallycurly.com/curlta...-my-album.html

"Curls aren't just for girls"
I'm having similar issues. I'm white, with dark hair, but I live in the Deep South, where 'beautiful' women have straight blonde hair. Even my Deva-trained stylist has heavy blonde highlights and straightens her hair, because it's 'easier.'

I'm a professional woman (attorney), and this brings up more of the same issues. I'm uncomfortable wearing my hair curly to court or to an important meeting. It seems frivolous and silly in those serious surroundings. I've been reading about African-American women's hair issues lately, and I can relate to some of it. But somehow, a black women with unleashed curly natural hair reads Strong, Self-confident, and In Your Face! My 3a shoulder-length curls make me look like a brunette Shirley Temple.

I'm newly married, and though my husband would never say anything negative, I can tell that he preferred my hair when I kept it shorter so it couldn't curl much, or if I straighten it. This whole thing is very confusing to me. I've worn a pixie cut for many, many years, and before growing it longer and finding CG, I didn't even realize my hair WAS curly. I just thought it was frizzy, dry and unmanageable. Now at 48, it's like I have a brand new head of hair, and I'm not sure I like it.
I'm not sure I've ever got past my dislike of my hair but I have managed to accept it as I've got older and I'm comfortable enough with it, I suppose (totally different to when I was younger, especially my school days).
I never feel like I'm standing out or making a political statement, nor have I particularly noticed men's preference for straight hair. Maybe I go around in my own little bubble and these things are happening but I just don't notice them. Who knows?!
I'm sorry you're struggling with it all.
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3b in South Australia.
I'm having similar issues. I'm white, with dark hair, but I live in the Deep South, where 'beautiful' women have straight blonde hair. Even my Deva-trained stylist has heavy blonde highlights and straightens her hair, because it's 'easier.'

I'm a professional woman (attorney), and this brings up more of the same issues. I'm uncomfortable wearing my hair curly to court or to an important meeting. It seems frivolous and silly in those serious surroundings. I've been reading about African-American women's hair issues lately, and I can relate to some of it. But somehow, a black women with unleashed curly natural hair reads Strong, Self-confident, and In Your Face! My 3a shoulder-length curls make me look like a brunette Shirley Temple.

I'm newly married, and though my husband would never say anything negative, I can tell that he preferred my hair when I kept it shorter so it couldn't curl much, or if I straighten it. This whole thing is very confusing to me. I've worn a pixie cut for many, many years, and before growing it longer and finding CG, I didn't even realize my hair WAS curly. I just thought it was frizzy, dry and unmanageable. Now at 48, it's like I have a brand new head of hair, and I'm not sure I like it.
Originally Posted by ButterCurl
Per your avatar pic you have very pretty hair

When you mention feeling silly w/curly hair in a courtroom (professional) environment, you make me think of some of my favorite intellectual heros/heroines who happen to have some of the curliest hair imaginable. It starts with noble-prize winning scientists and then there are attorneys, surgeons and one of my favorite journalist/writers: Malcolm Gladwell.

Maybe I have a hard time swallowing the idea that curly looks silly because I've been exposed all my life to so many of my Jewish contemporaries who are curly, brilliant, hip and powerful ... not forgetting the many who are non-Jewish too. I honestly think it's worth noticing positive curly role models when we're having some thought that curly hair - our own God-given manes - should be left at home when we enter some or other modern venue.
3b/c?

Ringlet Fandango! ... Where curly ideas roam free

* 2 blogs this week: Pictures of My (Sorta) Big Chop! AND Turn a Nightmare Product into a Dream* My Albums

Last edited by Korkscrew; 10-19-2013 at 05:50 PM.
i hate my hair all the time but i really hate it when its short so i learned my lesson last year to never cut it again and with it being longer dont hate it as much. do I wish i had straight hair on the daily? yess. But once my hair is as long as water lilly's on youtube, ill be fine because the longer my hair gets, the less curl i have.
It's really unfortunate to note that a hair color can determine if someone is attractive or not. Their face could be stunning, but the hair color could be wrong? That reminds me of how it is sometimes to live where I do, and I am a northerner. I grew up wondering if I should dye and straighten my hair.
Thanks y'all. It IS ridiculous that one hair color or texture would be 'good' and all others would be 'bad.' Just as dumb as if one skin color was acceptable and all others were not. Visual conditioning can be VERY powerful, even when it's false.

I'm not entirely sure what nuances lay beneath the word 'silly' when I used it to describe a curly hairstyle in the courtroom: non-serious, romantic, girly, feminine.... As I brainstorm, I think maybe curls on a woman express (to me) a softness or femininity which isn't considered valuable in the professional world. Or maybe it makes me feel uncomfortably vulnerable, or feel that I look vulnerable whether or not I am.

I have a 20 year old curly son who's always hated his hair. If he thinks any of this, I suddenly see why he struggles. I've always loved his curls, but that annoys him. (Fortunately, I guess, I didn't grow my hair out and find my curls until after he left for college, so I didn't 'poison' him with my own curly-ambivalence. Though come to think of it, he might have felt better about his curls if he hadn't felt like the odd man out in Curl-ville.)
Thanks y'all. It IS ridiculous that one hair color or texture would be 'good' and all others would be 'bad.' Just as dumb as if one skin color was acceptable and all others were not. Visual conditioning can be VERY powerful, even when it's false.

I'm not entirely sure what nuances lay beneath the word 'silly' when I used it to describe a curly hairstyle in the courtroom: non-serious, romantic, girly, feminine.... As I brainstorm, I think maybe curls on a woman express (to me) a softness or femininity which isn't considered valuable in the professional world. Or maybe it makes me feel uncomfortably vulnerable, or feel that I look vulnerable whether or not I am.

I have a 20 year old curly son who's always hated his hair. If he thinks any of this, I suddenly see why he struggles. I've always loved his curls, but that annoys him. (Fortunately, I guess, I didn't grow my hair out and find my curls until after he left for college, so I didn't 'poison' him with my own curly-ambivalence. Though come to think of it, he might have felt better about his curls if he hadn't felt like the odd man out in Curl-ville.)
Originally Posted by ButterCurl
ButterCurl, I can totally relate to how your son feels because that was me at his age. I went through it by wearing mine short (even buzz cut) for 20 years. Then when I turned 33 (I'm 41 now) and saw other guys my age lose their hair that was reason enough for me to embrace my curls. I also must say that going to other threads on this site (not just the curly men forum) has helped me as well. Right now, I wear my curls with a lot of confidence. I never thought I'd say this but I am "a proud curly."

"Curls aren't just for girls."
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2B always with potential of white man's fro

http://www.naturallycurly.com/curlta...-my-album.html

"Curls aren't just for girls"
My apology for the hugely long reply. This topic strikes a personal note for me

Thanks y'all. It IS ridiculous that one hair color or texture would be 'good' and all others would be 'bad.' Just as dumb as if one skin color was acceptable and all others were not. Visual conditioning can be VERY powerful, even when it's false.
Originally Posted by ButterCurl
Earlier you mentioned black women and how you feel they're perceived as strong and confident w/natural hair (so apparently they can "pull it off", despite society colluding to have them straighten it). Many of my black sister kinfolk have a secret: not all of them are confident when they wear their natural hair (all the more brave of them), or didn't start out that way. Instead they "fake it until they make it". It's a wise choice born from all the unsolicited, unholy crap they are bombarded with from every direction on the daily. And not just about their hair. If you, with whatever background you have, want to wear your naturally curly hair - whether you're in a courtroom or isolated in an underground bunker - acting confident will allow you to actually attain real confidence and it can set an example for others to relax and let their (real) hair down too IMO

I'm not entirely sure what nuances lay beneath the word 'silly' when I used it to describe a curly hairstyle in the courtroom: non-serious, romantic, girly, feminine.... As I brainstorm, I think maybe curls on a woman express (to me) a softness or femininity which isn't considered valuable in the professional world. Or maybe it makes me feel uncomfortably vulnerable, or feel that I look vulnerable whether or not I am.
Sounds like maybe (?) you're concerned that the image you have - powerful, capable professional - will be undermined by something you feel highlights your "lesser" gender, in a male-dominated field. If so, understandable, right? ... Cause it's not just some imagined attitude. It's real.

As someone who has worked in professional milieus dominated by males (I still do work in one), I understand your need to be taken seriously as a woman. I've found that yes, some people may initially "feminize" me (stereotypically), possibly in part because of my curls, but something interesting happens too: They learn how strong and competent I am, despite the fact that they suffer from a stereotype, and then if they persist in misjudging me, it tends to hurt them in the long run. Under-estimating a fellow professional is never wise IMO. Have you seen the HBO series "Damages" (legal drama)? ... The conflict between the characters Ellen Parsons and Patty Hewes illustrates this point pretty clearly.

I have a 20 year old curly son who's always hated his hair. If he thinks any of this, I suddenly see why he struggles. I've always loved his curls, but that annoys him. (Fortunately, I guess, I didn't grow my hair out and find my curls until after he left for college, so I didn't 'poison' him with my own curly-ambivalence. Though come to think of it, he might have felt better about his curls if he hadn't felt like the odd man out in Curl-ville.)
If only we could hide our negative attitudes so easily. If you weren't saying positive things about your own curls, and weren't wearing them (or were wearing them super short), but you were praising his, that's still a message of ambivalence IMO. That said, I bet we could agree that no one person is likely the sole reason for his attitude about his hair. He has a whole society to help him along with that, as do we all, unfortunately.
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3b/c?

Ringlet Fandango! ... Where curly ideas roam free

* 2 blogs this week: Pictures of My (Sorta) Big Chop! AND Turn a Nightmare Product into a Dream* My Albums
You have a lot of wisdom, Korkscrew. Thank you! I'll keep working on faking it til I make it.

I'll let myself off the hook about the son's curls, though. I really didn't know my hair was curly before he left for college.
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You have a lot of wisdom, Korkscrew. Thank you! I'll keep working on faking it til I make it.

I'll let myself off the hook about the son's curls, though. I really didn't know my hair was curly before he left for college.
Originally Posted by ButterCurl
Korkscrew, I second what ButterCurl says, you have enormous curly wisdom. I think the "fake it until you make" was/is largely true in my case. At first, I wasn't enormously confident wearing it longer but I faked it and the next thing I know, my confidence soared. I also think that participating and exchanging posts on this site has made me more confident as well. In fact, when I first started wearing it longer eight years ago, I was blowdrying it and styling it with a round brush. My hair had plenty of volume and wave but not necessarily curl like it does now.

I think the epiphany that I reached was when one day I asked if my hair was "natural or did I get a perm?" At first, I was threatened by that since guys getting perms is so 1983. Then, the more I thought about I said, "That's a compliment. It means I have hair others will pay money to get."
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2B always with potential of white man's fro

http://www.naturallycurly.com/curlta...-my-album.html

"Curls aren't just for girls"
I also "faked it till I made it," too! I remember in high school straightening the living life out of my hair, flat ironing, and trying to make it look just like the other girl's hair. Finally I stopped, as I was killing it off and didn't care to spend all that time constantly fighting with it. I started wearing it curly and showing up to school with it like that (when I wasn't lazy ) and would still get comments like "you should still wear it straight." Then suddenly, I went to college where other girls would tell me I should lock my room or they'd steal my hair under cover of night. Sometimes I think it takes others to remind us of what we have.

I agree with you Korkscrew! I've met Jewish women (I'm assuming you are? Unless mistaken) who've lamented about their curly hair and then have met other Jewish women who saw their hair texture as a strong representation for their heritage and refused to straighten it or dye it lighter. If we all let go of our bad attitudes, we would be a lot happier and more content with our appearances. I'm Indian and most Indian women do not have curly hair. Straight hair is the norm and the ones who do have curly hair straighten their hair. I was seen as strange for a long time for growing it out long (very traditional) but wearing it curly and not lightening it.
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