straightening guilt

This is one of those "does anyone else out there ever feel this way?" posts. This may get long so forgive me... I need to vent. For the first 20 years of my life, I hated my hair with a passion. It was the cause of many tears throughout my teen years, being the lone curly in a family full of stick straight hair. There was no one to teach me how to care for my hair and as a result, I cared for it completely wrong and hated my own reflection for a long, long time. I blame my hair for the reason I spent middle school and part of high school so shy- I felt ugly and freakish and didn't believe I was worthy of male attention. In eighth grade, a friend showed me a flat iron and I was hooked. I destroyed my hair, trying to burn it into submission and only getting fluff, and as a result, decided to give up straightening my junior year of high school. I went curly, cold turkey and slowly began to feel okay that way. I discovered this site my sophomore year of college and went CG shortly after. I have now just finished my senior year of college. I am engaged to an amazing guy and am pretty content and confident with myself....except for one thing.

My hair. While CG definitely got my hair back into healthy shape, I still find myself searching for that product or method that will make me feel beautiful. I so desperately want to love the way I look with my curls, I forbid myself from straightening for 2 years. Recently, I found myself reaching for my Maxiglide after reading about new products to protect my hair from heat. I've also found myself ditching CG, as heat protectants have -cones. My hair has been straight for the last month...and I love it; I feel beautiful. But I feel guilty for loving it; I feel guilty for ditching CG. While I've altered my routine to incorporate knowledge I learned from CG (I stay away from -zanes, use a very moisturizing conditioner, let my hair airdry, and only wash and flat iron 1 time a week, etc.) I still feel guilty for using cones and sulfates at all. A little part of me feels fake- this isn't really what I look like. It goes so much deeper than hair and it's something I think only a fellow curly can understand. The truth is I feel better about myself with straight hair. It's easier- my hair turns out the same everytime I straighten. With my curly hair, I can do it the exact same way each time and never know how it's going to turn out. Why then, do I still have this guilt for not being able to love my curly hair!? Why can't I just be happy with my straightened hair? Does anyone else ever feel this way? Am I just crazy?
3a on top and sides/3b underneath...lots of hair

My HG: Sabino Lok & Blok
put it this way, it's YOUR hair!! and if you like it, then go for it!!! id be a hypocrite if i were to say omg i hate my hair straight, ill never straighten my hair again, cause err yeah right, i know i will, even if it's once a year.

SUE ME! i love brushing it, combing it, letting my SO run his fingers through it, playing in the silky strands piling them up on my head, twisting it and letting natural waves form. SUE ME!!!!!

and if your hair likes the cones and sulfates, rock on! id been using them way back when and guess what? my hair still grew and felt great. now it's in MUCH better condition than it was previously but it wasn't totally trashed. if your hair likes it then go for it.

just don't OD on the heat cause it can kill your hair, but sometimes you need a little change! it won't kill you, i promise
Lady Hasytal in the Land of Product in the Order of the Curly Crusaders

"Trust is knowing your SO would do the right thing in the face of strange vagina." Nej
I go back and forth every DAY on this issue. I guess if my curls could look as gorgeous as those of some other posters, or even some of the people I see randomly in the subway, I'd be happy, but try as I may I just never like the way they look--not really. Some days they look gorgeous but I just can't count on it. When I straighten, I can count on the fact that I'm going to look good.

Look, people change their hair color, they change their clothing styles, their weight, they change up all kinds of things to feel better. Some people get plastic surgery to change their noses or their boobs. You are not "stuck" with what Nature gave you; it makes you unhappy, why not change it if you can?

Nobody has the right to condemn a curly for going straight until they've walked a mile in our frizzy, untamed, brillo-pad shoes.

I recently relaxed after a long internal battle. I finally decided that wearing my hair straight not only looks better (which it does) but also fits my current life and lifestyle better. I still feel a twinge of guilt every time I pick up the flat iron (mostly because I know it's not good for my hair) but I also feel happy because I know I'm going to look good. Yeah, I keep trying for that "perfect curly look" but in the meantime I will wear it straight on occasion.

What a mess!
Modified CG. You'll pry my 'cones from my cold dead fingers! Mixed waves, coarse, below shoulder length, dark brown. I hate my hair but I'm trying to learn to accept it.

Gels: LA Looks Wet Look Styling Gel, Garnier Fructis Wet Shine Gel. Condish: Alberto V05 Free Me Fresia, Tresemme' Flawless Curls, LVPNG, Neutrogena Triple Moisture. Shampoo: Tresemme' Flawless Curls. Silicone Serum: Whatever is on sale, but I don't leave home without it.
I just started straightening my hair and I don't think I'll go back to wearing it curly for quite a while.

I think I look younger with straighter hair, and I don't feel dated. Having curly hair at my age (46) makes me feel like a grandmother. I'm not, and I sure don't want to look grannyish.

I can get out of bed and not have horrible bedhead. When I wear my hair curly, it takes hours, from showering to letting it air dry, for it to look right, and that's on a good day. If there's a significant amount of humidity in the air, it looks terrible anyway. When I have straightened it, it doesn't look perfect the next morning, but it's not frizzy and looks passable with a quick combing. I might even be able to get away with wearing a baseball cap, something I've always envied other women's ability to pull off and I've never been able to do with poofy/frizzy second-day curly hair.

Straight and unfrizzy is not my hair's natural state, but I don't see that straightening it is any worse than, say, wearing makeup.

Last edited by Verity; 09-16-2008 at 11:16 AM.
Do not feel guilty!! I go back and forth beween curly and straight as well, I feel I'm lucky I can do that!!

The truth is, my hair is more reliable when it's straight. I can do different styles with it, get several days of "good" hair without washing it (I know, sounds gross, but my hair behaves better a few days out from wash day)...I could on and on, but I like having the options.

Plus, with everything I've learned about pampering my curly hair, I feel like it's still way healthier now than ever even if I choose to straighten it...

Go for what makes you feel your best!!
3A (I think)

Loving my curls after all these years -- but still trying to figure out what works for me...
I'm not totally cg. I straighten every once and a while (just got it pressed yesterday). I sometimes feel that straight hair is better for certain looks and certain situations. You know what? I don't really feel bad (I fear heat damage a little, but that's it). Here's my point of view. I now (since being natural) see the beauty in all hair types. I no longer feel ugly with my hair in its natural state. And I LOVE my hair and all its versatility. I don't think that u should feel bad because u like straight hair. But I do think that you should allow yourself to accept and love what god gave you. I don't knock girls who only rock straight hair, but I do wish that they could appreciate the beauty in their kinks and curls (at least once and a while). I wear make-up and a push-up bra on a regular, but I still feel just as confident when bare-faced & braless too. That's just my 2 cents.

Last Relaxer: August 2003
Final Chop: October 2004

Photos: : December 2009 Updates

I totally agree with you, I also feel guilty when I straighten. Perhaps because thousands of people obver the years have always said 'people pay hundreds to have hair like yours' so it kinda gets ingrained in you to not change it!!

I only straighten twice a month to limit damage and can usually go about 6 days before it needs a wash, but by the end of those six days, I tend to start missing my curls and their quirkiness and feel quilty for banishing them until my next wash.

I dont think I could ever permanently straighten, though I have thought about it often, but deep down, i do love my curls, they are part of me and do give me a different image to all those 'straights' out there...when i can manage them and if i miss them after a week, thats telling me something.

i guess I have learnt over the years to 'learn to love my hair', I have the option of straightening when i want to look sleek and styled, but have that 'va va voom' with my curls when they are unleashed that straight haired girls just cant get unless having that samey samey perm you always see.
Posts: n/a
One good thing about hair is that it will always grow back. A flat iron won't damage your roots like a chemical straightener has the potiental to do. Wear your hair how you like it.
I dont feel 1 ounce of guilt when i want to straighten. Im tired of some people around here thinking your hair defines you or that by straightening it you denying your heritage. Sometimes you just want a change and its that simple. Its my hair and i'll do as i please with it.
4a hair. MOD CG routine.

Present Loves
-Back on the (rajasthani) henna train! My hair is so much better now.
-KBB hair butter mixed with Hairveda Cocasta oil
-Spiral Solutions Deeply Decadent
It's so good to know I'm not alone in this! Straightening my hair with an iron takes about 45 minutes (Yes, I need a better iron!), but I get so many compliments! Yet, I feel like a fake. I know that people color their hair, wear colored contacts, etc, and I don't judge them, so I'm not sure why I'm so hard on myself.

I've considered going chemically straight (have done many years ago) but am concerned about growing it out as I've got long hair.

At least, know you're not alone.
I feel a little bad when I straighten mine sometimes. I've been chemical free for about 4 years and was heat free from '04 until some time last year. Then I only did it a few times.

I guess I feel like I've come so far with my hair (I'm growing out and have made it to about natural waist length) and I hate to undo all of that.

Plus I've been big on sharing natural hair care info and what not.

I used to be obsessed with straightening. I started dying and straightening in middle school around 12 or so and continued for 12 years. From 14 to 22 or so I would not be caught dead outside of the house without straightening my hair. I remember doing it once, and looking at the picture it was really cute, but the people who worked at the salon with me kept offering to "fix" it since I "obviously didn't have time."


My hair isn't even that curly (I'm more of a wavy and can coax some curl with the right products/techniques). I've been lazy for a while now and just comb it out with a leave in and it's barely wavy that way. But I still feel kinda bad about straightening it.

I hate using silicone and heat. But Change is fun and it's cool to see how long my hair has really gotten.

As a matter of fact, I'm literally in the middle of straightening now. Lol. I blowdried and am waiting a few minutes before I go try out the new flat iron I got yesterday.

I'm just doing it for poops and giggles really. Lol. For some reason I feel like getting dolled up so I'm doing it for girls' night tonight even though we're just having margarita night IN and not even going anywhere.
I guess the straight hair goes with the other out of the ordinary things I'm doing today. Dark nailpolish (which I usually only use no my toes), new green eyeshadow (!!), boots (I always wear flip flops)... I just feel like trying something different.

I think it's good not to feel like you *have* to straighten to be pretty (I lived like that for too long) but one of the great things about our hair is versatility! It's fine to go for different looks. It's even fine to straighten regularly if you like it better that way. Don't feel guilty, but don't feel like you have to do it either. You don't have to do anything. It's your hair.

Just make sure you're taking really good care of your hair and protecting it well and being as gentle on it as possible.

Bottom line: ENJOY YOUR HAIR! Whatever that means to you.
2/f/i, waist length w/ long layers
pwd: hair

~a wave in a sea of curls
Oh, another thing I thought of...

I'm conflicted about getting compliments when I straighten my hair. On the one hand, I always love to hear that I look great... On the other hand, I would rather hear it with my hair natural.

And if I hear "Oh! You fixed your hair!" I want to slap people.
It's not broken, dangit.
2/f/i, waist length w/ long layers
pwd: hair

~a wave in a sea of curls
No need for guilt. Naturally curly people can go back and forth. And straightened naturally curly hair usually is thicker and has more body than naturally straight hair. As many have said, straight also looks better for certain ocassions, etc..

Just enjoy your hair and try to keep it healthy, no matter the style.
"Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people."

"I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then we live with that decision."
- Eleanor Roosevelt (both quotes)

(taking a break from posting starting late august 2009)
After years of going back and forth between curly and straight, I have resigned myself to the fact that I feel and look much better with straight. I have found the "perfect" products (don't hold me to that LOL) and my hair looks silky , very straight, and no frizz for 4 days until I wash it again. I don't feel "guilty" about liking straight better. I have never been able to get my naturally curly hair to look decent, but when I straighten it looks great. Sooo, I think one should do whatever makes YOU feel/look good, not what others think. No guilt here!
I totally could have written this post! In fact, I just posted today in the general discussion about how I'm so tired of my hair. My hair is so much more reliable when I straighten - I know exactly how it's going to turn out. Who knows what it will look like curly?!? I'm so worried about ruining my curls if I decide to straighten for the winter; but I'm tired of spending so much time on my hair.

CG since 10/07
2c/sometimes 3a
Don't feel guilty! Some days it wants to be curly and some days not. Bottom line is that YOU feel good.

Now I was never one to straighten. Took FOREVAH and I'm way too lazy for that. Now however I recently tried my cousins iron for Halloween and LOVED it. It took no time at all. I'm off to pick one up for me this evening for those 4-5th days. I'm way lazy in the mornings so on those later days when I woke up too late to wash it running the straight iron over will give a much more professional look than my usual throwing it back. Even with this one working so easily I will prob. not do it all that often cuz I do love my hair the way it is. I like to mix it up every once in a while and there's nothing wrong with that.
I don't feel guilt. My hair is so cute when its straight. Nothing wrong with change every once in a while.

*goes off to find my sabino and my flat iron*
hi. if you read any of my older posts, you know that i have been transitioning for 1 year. i finally have all the relaxer cut out and have chin length curly was a battle to get it back this way. anyway..i came to the conclusion this week that i like my hair straight better!!! i feel pretty,and sexy.(ive been flat ironing for the past week after just wearing it curly for a few months) when i wear it curly it is a crunchy, hard frizzy mess.even when it comes out good, no frizz, defined curls,i dont feel "pretty". so i know exactly how you feel. i also could of written your post.
im thinking of getting the keritin treatment by coppala, instead of the type of relaxer i had before. i was meant for straight hair. sam
I love it! I love what all of you have to say - and I SO agree - no guilt, just enjoy yourself and how you feel! If I were any good at straightening my hair, I'd be straight more often - guilty? a little... - but straight! Now if I could just find a good flat iron!
Tara - have a curly day!!!

LA Looks Curl Gel, Sauve Naturals conditioners Waterlily, CK, Deva Archangel , LOOB (has its days)...
Deva One - LOVE it!!!!!!!

Botticelli's Flax Seed Hair Gel (a DIY!!!) THANKS Botticelli!!!!!!
Curl Junkie Coffee Coco Creme (LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!)
Shea Moisture Smoothie - GREAT stuff!

for the love of the lens...
Im like everyone else here. I love the smooth touchable soft feel I find with my hair straightened. But then on other days I love the wild unpredictable curls I call my own. I bounce from look to look never being able to decide which I like best. I had this long beautiful mane I was so proud of for styled either way it was a head turner. But after I encountered a failed relationship I wanted to seperate myself from what I deemed as a bad memory and the one way I thought best was to change my over all look and start fresh as a new me. So with that thought I did the worst thing I had ever done...I had it cut short!. Now with a style that has to be blow out straight and smooth or face the odd looks from those around me as I try to make an angled bob look good curly I opt for blowing it out smooth. I long for the day its long enough to embrace my curls once more. Till then I play with it and maybe one day I might get the hang of how to take a bob and go curly with it and still have it look good.

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