All comedy stems from pain.

This particular article was actually intended to be an over-the-top satirical tutorial on getting the hottest, latest, killer(est) new look by washing, conditioning, and then drying your hair. Get it, because that’s just regular maintenance, not a real hairstyle? 

Source: Sony BMG Music

Okay, okay, I’ll admit it, no one is ever going to think I’m as funny as I do myself. But drafting my initial run of what you’re reading now got me thinking—what is the threshold for what constitutes styled hair?

Coilies like yours truly don’t usually go right from washing and drying hair right out into the world. I have to comb, moisturize my roots, leave-in condition my strands, comb some more, and twist right out from the second the T-shirt comes off my head if I don’t want to deal with a clean, yet incomprehensibly tangled crunchy mess later. That’s just upkeep.

But since I’ll undo my hair later, revealing a still kinda damp twistout... did I style it?

No heat, styling products, or effort that wasn’t already 100% necessary to keep my hair healthy goes into what I just described, but we’d still call the result by an actual name. Or is that just the coily way of “wearing your hair down”?

On the other side of the curly spectrum, wavies that might not have as much to do once the cleansing basics are over with, if you did follow a multi-step routine like mine, would you consider your hair to be styled when all was said and done? Do you delineate between your air-dry fly and your dryer diffuser + scrunching action hotness as undone vs did?

Wavy + Curly Bun Option

Further complicating the question, if you’re doing something less elaborate—say afro puffs, or a quick ponytail, have you styled your hair by virtue of adding an accessory to it?

Check out these totally work-safe buns (okay, THERE’S your painful humor) for a minute.

Curly + Coily Option Bun

The dichotomy here seems simple enough: Eye of the Tiger there in the green photo above is simply moving hair out of the way before she crosses herself some country, while Definitely NOT a city Vampire has a legit chic, undead style.

But let’s introduce their mutual friend Enviably Walkable Workplace Distance.

How would you categorize her coif?

See where my questions are coming from?

What are your thoughts, curlistas?

Is glamor the deciding factor? Effort and time? Destination? Or something else completely?

Share your theories in the comments, I’m curious!

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