When I became immersed in the college lifestyle last year, it became imperative for me to figure out a routine that would work with my hair. It’s impossible for me to actually tame my hair — a delusion I believed in for a long, long time.

I’ve learned in the past year and a half that in order for my hair to fit into my lifestyle, I need to let it have its own style.

Ah, early mornings and eight-o-clock classes—possibly the single most horrid aspect of college life, both as a student and as a practicing curly girl!

Very few students voluntarily get up at this hour to go to class. But looking awake and presentable can seem like an impossible task. I know people who have scheduled classes starting at 2:30 in the afternoon, just so they don’t have to get up early.

In my eyes, this seems a little excessive, but then again, I’m a morning person, so what right do I have to judge? Nothing short of an adrenaline shot will help them early in the morning. Even for me, walking to my Shakespeare class at quarter of 8 in the morning is not the most appealing part of my day.

But the biggest downside to waking up at the crack of dawn is the daily battle with my hair. Options for curlies with a time constraint can be difficult.

Choice No. 1 consists of showering at night and going to bed with wet hair. Bad idea! I wake up looking like Little Orphan Aimee, minus the red hair and little dog named Sandy — tight curls, frizz and completely untamable. A ponytail or a trendy little hat are the best solutions on those days.

Then there’s the slightly more functional choice No. 2, which consists of taking a shower an hour before class starts and trekking across campus with semi-wet hair in windy/snowy/ rainy weather. Sun isn’t a frequent visitor to Upstate New York, and even when it does decide to show up, it’s usually accompanied by wind. Any of these weather conditions effectively ruin the hair for the day, and up it goes into the ponytail. It’s on these days that my fabulous braiding skills come into play. If I don’t want to deal with the wild curls, I’ll do some twists or French braids with an off-center part.

The best alternative, option No. 3, includes showering at night, letting my hair partially air dry, and setting my hair in a high “pineapple” ponytail. It’s not too bad in the morning, except for the slightly uneven curl pattern. Half my hair has longer, more stretched out curls, and the curls that were at the top of the ponytail are tight and coiled from not having any weight on them. Once I wet it down a little and spritz on some leave-in conditioner, it looks pretty good. It usually needs a little spray gel to keep the flyaways down when hurrying down the hill from the dorm to my class.

I have to take into account how much time I have before classes, what I did the night before, if I have ballet class that day, (which means it needs to be up”> and the weather. Once all these factors have been plugged into the equation, I know how to work with my hair.

Cozy Friedman

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