Does Everyone Actually Hate My Wavy Hair?

Every time my hair is straight, I'm bombarded with, "Oh, my god, your hair looks amazing!" and, "You should wear it straight more often."
Publish date:
October 3, 2013
hair, curly hair, confidence

That's me earlier this week in all my wavy-haired glory. This was my hair routine that morning: Wash (ugh, I HATE washing my hair), run a wide-tooth comb through my tangles (one of the reasons I hate washing), work some John Frieda Frizz-Ease in there (old school!) -- and bam, I'm done.

I swear I like my waves. Really I do. Most of the time. Look how smiley I am in that picture? But also I'm way too lazy to blow my hair out straight myself.

I don't even think I've seen my hair dryer since I moved to a new apartment last spring. But if you wanted me to, I could write out "How to do a blow out at home" for you step-by-step as I have in many a story over the years.

I am a fan of a good blowout -- it just has to be done by someone else. And I've noticed something over the years: Every time my hair is straight, I'm bombarded with, "Oh, my god, your hair looks amazing!" and, "You should wear it straight more often."

When I broke my hand this winter and couldn't wash my own hair without much labor, I went to Drybar every four days. People really liked my hair, if not my big old cast.

I don't disagree that my straight hair looks good. It's really pretty and it's definitely manageable in a way that my curly hair is not. My hair never looks the same two days in a row, unless it's straight. And I can go almost a week without washing it if I don't work out.

But is the subtext of all those very kind words, "Your hair is kind of a hot mess the rest of the time"? Does straight hair = pulled together and wavy/curly hair = messy? Kind of seems that way to me.

I haven't even always had curly hair. When I was a wee one (seen here in our seriously '70s kitchen rocking my mom's Frye boots) my hair was pretty much straight.

When I went through puberty, it turned into a curly ringlet situation that was actually pretty great. This is my senior photo (what's up, class of '94?) that still hangs large in a hallway at my parents' house in Indianapolis. (Apologies for the glare.)

Now, at 37, it's the wavy mix you see in that first shot above. But it's times like this when I get the most compliments:

And I guess I buy into it. Yes, I wear my hair wavy the majority of the days of my life. And, hey, it fits in with my boho-infused style most of the time. (Really I'm just a Midwestern Deadhead at heart.) But whenever I have a big presentation, a job interview, a fancy event to attend, etc., I'm at Drybar first thing in the morning getting all the curl taken out.

I'm not that extreme -- I have friends who I didn't even KNOW had naturally curly hair because they've never, ever let me see it. (I've obviously never been on a beach vacation with them.)

As a result of the positive reinforcement I get every time I wear my hair straight, I've started to equate it with "better" and "more attractive." I'm sure there's a little bit of Hollywood influence in there, too. I mean, it's not often that you see a ton of unruly curls walking down the red carpet, and when you see them onscreen it's often because the character is harried. There seem to be a lot of negative stereotypes associated with curly hair, which is a bummer.

But listen, I'm not going to sit here and tell you that I promise I won't get a blowout for the next big thing I'm invited to attend. Because that just wouldn't be true. Um, I might even get one for the wedding I'm going to on Saturday. Ugh, so I guess that means I'm part of the problem?

Curly girls: Do you straighten when you're trying to look "nice"? Does your straight hair always get way more compliments than your natural look? Have your curls mutated throughout the years like mine have? Talk to me.