As a magazine writer, I’ve done enough stories on weight loss to know that gradually shedding pounds, rather than crash dieting, is the best way to keep that extra flab at bay for good.

I recently realized that gradually going curly is the best way to keep the chemical straighteners off my strands for good, too.

However, I didn’t think this would be the case at first. After all, I’m typically not the slow and steady type. When I decide to do something, I want to do it today. (Actually, yesterday!)

real simple magazine

So I felt the same way when I started the journey to going curly. I didn’t want to wait weeks or months to see results, I wanted to see them A.S.A.P. If I’d had my way, I would have gone to bed straight and woken up curly.

Of course, changing your strands isn’t as easy as repainting a room and I can’t control the rate that my hair grows. As a result, I had to be patient –something that’s not part of my nature - over these last months as my natural strands emerge. Sometimes it’s slow—painfully slow- and frustrating. But I will say that it’s this gradual growth that has made me see that I really do want my curls. (What’s that expression about anything worthwhile taking time?)

As you can see from this blog, I haven’t always been sure that taking the curly route was the way to go. But over this journey little things have happened to make me certain. A few months ago, I was photographed for a magazine article (Real Simple’s February issue). With hair that’s half curly and half straight, the stylist decided to blow it out. I was hesitant at first, but once she promised not to use shampoo or a flat iron I said ok. When I told her I had a big party the next day she said, “How lucky that your hair will already be done!” At first I agreed and was psyched about my free blow out. But as the day went on I saw that I didn’t like my hair so straight. I was actually excited to wash it that night and get my mismatched strands back. (A huge step since back when I was blow drying my curly hair, my whole schedule revolved around eeking several days out of a professional blow out.)

Then the article came out and though friends keep saying how great they think I look, I can’t stand the photo because my hair looks so, well, straight. Also, over this time I’ve gotten to see other women with hair like mine eventually will be and feel that pang of envy. I know things happen for a reason and this long wait is helping me feel confident about going back to my true roots. I now know I will not miss my flat locks something I wouldn’t be certain of if I’d been able to get my curls back in a snap. In a way it reminds me of when I was pregnant and I realized that one bonus to those long nine months was the ability to mentally adjust to the eventual change in your life, something that would be too harsh if your little bundle of joy arrived any sooner. Of course, now that I’ve learned this lesson, I’m hoping the stork will deliver a full head of curls any day now!