Oh, how often I have heard the words: “I wish my hair would have those curls, it would be so much easier!”. This is the type of ignorance rampant in the minds of straight-haired folk. The only suitable response is “Oh, honey…”. Having heard this exact sentence earlier this week once more, I feel the need to publicly set some corrections.


I have been blessed with what have been called “a squirrel’s tail”; “an explosion in a mattress factory” (thanks, dad); hair that apparently makes me “look like a lion” and leads to me being called “Curly Sue”. Fabulous. Hence, I spend a disproportionate time of my life taming the beast residing on top of my head. Making lists is kind of my thing, so here’s a list of reasons why having curly locks is just so much, much more troublesome than people would believe:
  1. No – you DON’T JUST WAKE UP LIKE THAT. Morning curls (the hair-equivalent of morning breath) is not fabulous. No. It frizzes. And springs in every direction. It doesn’t just roll off your shoulders in goddess-like fashion. It goes everywhere and some parts curls while some parts have straightened themselves magically while sleeping and other curls have broken up and now resembles something a bird would be comfortable nesting in.
  2. It costs a fortune to maintain. Shopping for your hair becomes a hobby – you constantly research new products for your dryness-prone curls. You stand in the store for hours deciding which brands would most be appreciated by your fuzzy friend. On top of that – regular conditioner just don’t cut it. Buying 2-1 shampoo and conditioner? Please. Keeping your curls happy requires dedication, money and an entire basket full of products – anti-frizz, mousse, conditioning masks, leave-in conditioner, regular conditioner, the exact right brand of shampoo that won’t weigh them down, special combs, a diffuser, a straightener, heat protection when straightening your hair, the list goes on.
  3. Massive, bushy curls are not corporate. How often have I been criticized for not letting my curls be. Recently I had to explain to my SO why office curls don’t work: A massive bush of free and wildly untamed curls represent something – they represent passion, freedom, wild abandonment. While this is perfect for backpacking to Cape Town, it doesn’t do you any favours in corporate. Are these really the things you want to be associated with in your corporate office? No. I’m not propagating power-dressing, but I’m being realistic. You don’t want your colleagues to necessarily know this part of your identity. Which brings me to my next point.
  4. Curls become part of your identity. People have very strong associations with wild curls. And very strong connotations to it, strangely. As mentioned, curls bring about a sense of wild, adventurous and free-spirited abandonment. If this is not something you associate with your own identity, it becomes a crisis. And you spend hours on end flattening the damn things.
  5. Your calendar starts to revolve around your curls (this is very real!). Maintaining curls (or getting rid of them) is very much time consuming.  You plan your evenings around time to wash, dry and straightening your curls. For certain activities you can let your curls be. For others, you need to factor in three extra hours to get rid of them. You calculate the time you can go to bed and have to get up again, around time it will take to straighten your hair. Or wash them. Or treat them. Or dry them.
  6. The same goes for weather forecasts – curly people are dependent on weather apps. Oh, it’s going to rain tomorrow – guess we’re going natural. And you automatically gain an extra 30minutes of sleep. On the other side – having spent hours perfectly straightening them is ruined by as little as a bit of humidity. A few drops of rain and there goes hours of work up in fuzz.
  7. You can’t just pull them into a bun for a quick fix. Have you ever tried tying an octopus into bun? Me neither, but it has to be similar to getting curls into a bun. You have a thousand ends going everywhere but where it’s supposed to go. Not to mention the little curly bits around your temples that will then apparently try to escape from your head, standing upright making you look like you have feelers on your face. Same goes for trying a quick braid or ponytail.
  8. You coordinate your outfits according to your hair. Not all outfits go with curly hair! If you planned on wearing a maxi dress with beaded sandals and a headband, you’re going curly. A pencil skirt, black heels and a chiffon top with a pretty ruffled collar – better smooth out those puppies.
Despite all of this, we probably wouldn’t trade our curls for anything! We have best of both worlds – we can straighten them any time we want and going curly is as easy as wetting them. Besides, it makes us look like Hermione and we win right there.