CurlyTeen Scene is a column especially for curly teens. Julia Rizzo is a teenager living in Central New York. When not writing, she enjoys acting, reading and snow skiing. She has loved writing as long as she can remember, and plans to pursue a career in English. She hopes her column will provide encouragement and inspire girls to love their curly hair.
I knew my prom hairstyle wasn’t going to turn out exactly as planned when I found myself sitting under a dome-shaped dryer with hot rollers in my hair.
It was the second week in June and my senior ball was only a few hours away. I’ve always styled my own hair for formal occasions, but I decided to splurge and made an appointment at a salon that’s known for doing updos. It was crowded; my high school wasn’t the only school one hosting their prom that Saturday. I didn’t mind though because the atmosphere was festive -- if a bit chaotic -- as the girls watched their dream hairstyles come to fruition.
I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted, but I made up my mind as I waited. I frequently wear my hair half up, half down, and I wanted her to translate my favorite look into a more formal ‘do. I was a little worried when the stylist sent me off to get my hair put in hot rollers. “What does this do?” I asked hesitantly, “I usually style it when it’s wet … ”
As I sat under the dryer, feeling like I’d been stuck under a beehive, I started to worry. When the stylist turned on a straightening iron, I worried in earnest. My final style took three hours, hot rollers, a straightener, a curling iron and at least three different products. As she worked, I realized that she probably was unsure how to style such unruly hair; so she had to straighten it to curl it!
A full can of hairspray later (I’m not kidding), I had loose, elegant waves -- much different from the tight curls I imagined. When I got home, my grandmother took one look at me and said “You look different. I don’t like it!”
My classmates, however, had a different opinion. I got several comments and compliments about my straighter, tamer hairstyle. I was a little surprised to hear so many. My heavily processed hair was much different from the natural curls that I like so much.
I realized, however, that this new style was different, which was why it garnered much attention. When I was in middle school, I straightened my hair at the suggestion of some of the girls in my class. I received so many compliments that I truly believed I looked more beautiful with straight hair. What I didn’t realize is that people were just responding to the dramatic change in my appearance. They didn’t like my natural curls less; it’s just a shock when someone with so much hair suddenly has tame, flat layers.
I had a wonderful time at the ball, and the evening flew by. Whenever I see the pictures, however, I can’t help but remember all the time I spent in the stylist’s chair. The next time I get my hair professionally styled, I won’t hesitate to share what I know (from much experience, if I do say so myself) about my own hair.
Ultimately, this experience has reminded me why I like my curly hair so much in the first place!
Email your questions/comments to Julia.