I’m happy to say that I had my second curly hair cut. It was just a trim, though with us curlies (wow, that’s the first time I’ve put myself in that group) every little bit counts and an inch off can seem like ten!

Though my hair is shorter than I’d like because the ends were frayed and dried up, I’m thrilled that for the first time in almost seven years, the curly hair on my head is longer than the straight.

The plus side is that months ago this was a phase I could only dream about; the downside is that it looks a lot worse than I anticipated. Now I have waves that reach a few inches below my ears with about three to four inches of straight ends. It doesn’t sound like much but it looks awful. Just imagine a long piece of rotini pasta on top of a piece of spaghetti. And the back just seems horrible.

It reminds of this girl I was friends with in grade school. She had a head full of adorable, brown Little Orphan Annie ringlets in kindergarten but by first grade her mother had taken her to a salon that relaxed hair. This was 35 years ago, long before anyone had muttered the words “thermal reconditioning” or “Japanese straightening” so who knows what kind of chemicals they were stirring up and slathering on her hair. And I have to say that the results weren’t pretty. Her hair was stiff, dry and dull looking. While most kids had messy hair that moved with the wind or when they swung from the monkey bars, hers moved as one piece like a helmet. But it was the back that always looked so strange to me. (Because her name came right before mine in the alphabet, I sat behind her in class for four or five years and thus had lots of time to analyze it.) Just weeks after she had it relaxed, the back would be half curly and half straight with the fried, rough ends that made it look lifeless and dead. Plus, all the chemicals they used erased any bit of shine.

And guess what? That’s what mine looks like now! (Maybe this is what I get for mentally criticizing her hair all those years.) When I was getting it cut a few stylists asked me why I didn’t just cut off the straight ends off, but I’m just not ready. If I did that, my hair would shoot up into the horrible, curly bob I got by accident in tenth grade. According to Lorraine Massey, the straight ends and length create gravity, which makes the curls appear to grow down rather than out. For now I’ll rely on that gravity, some hair gel and a few ponytail holders to keep me on the straight and narrow as I dream about the day when my straight ends are lying on the salon floor.