Ugh, really. I really do.
While not long, my hair is super thick. It puffs out, no matter how much I try to tame it (e.g. pomade, gel, you name it). I swear, if I just let it run wild, it would become an Afro. Oh, the horror!
And it’s crazy, having crazy frizzy/wavy hair. Funny enough, my hair wasn’t like this when I was little; it was thin, it was straight. It wasn’t until around fourth grade when my hair decided to take off in another direction.
As an Asian-American, I envy my peers (meaning, other Asian-Americans) who have the “typical” Asian hair, aka thin, straight, long, easy to manage without having to use a lot of products to maintain it. Can pull off different hairstyles easily, while I struggle to stuff my locks into a ponytail. And don’t bother having me put my hair up in a French braid; it won’t work, it’s not going to happen.
For a while during my teenage years, I actually took measures to tame my wild hair mess. I would go to my hairdresser to get my hair straight-permed, which required four to six hours of subjecting myself to a seat, smelling the nasty smell of the chemicals being put into my hair and then having it straightened with a straightening iron. The effects would last about six months to a year, after the natural roots had grown out. Then it was back to the hair salon for another round of perming. I did that between the ages of fourteen and seventeen, I believe, then stopped because:
1) It was getting expensive; each session isn’t cheap (for mine, it was $200-plus),
2) I don’t think that continually putting chemicals into my hair is a good idea in the long run, especially if they can potentially permeate through the scalp and into the brain. Maybe I’m just exaggerating, but having chemicals on your body doesn’t sound very assuring.
3) It was getting pointless. To preface this, I was very self-conscious/insecure about my hair during my adolescence. That is because I’ve been called out by my peers about it, not necessarily in a mean way, but just as a curious comment. But I didn’t like the fact that they were pointing it out, and so I wanted my hair to look “normal,” whatever that meant.
After a while, though, I began to care less about appearances. Like, having frizzy/wavy hair shouldn’t be something to be ashamed of. Although I don’t love it, it’s a part of my identity, a trait that I share with my mother, my sister.
And so I stopped doing straight perms and let my hair roots grow out. Pretty soon, it went back to its ol,’ wavy self. But interestingly, when it grew out, it was…tamer. Less crazy puffy, the curls softer and more relaxed. And I even got a few compliments from my peers on that, which pleased me.
Now, the thing is, my hair looks pretty good when it’s well-maintained, e.g. washing, using gel, getting it cut every few weeks to months. Ideally, it looks best a few weeks up to a month or two. But after three months, it starts to get heavy: on the back of my neck, on my shoulders. And it’s just a royal pain.
That being said, my current hair is in that super puffy, thick wavy stage and I definitely need to schedule an appointment with my hairdresser (who I have been going to since I was little, considering that the hairdresser and my mom know each other pretty well). The problem is, however, is the fact that I will be in the apartments for the next couple weeks, and so I won’t be able to go home (the hair salon is located in my city, that’s why). I don’t think that my hair will pose a problem for the next two weeks, but it will be a burden. I am hell-bent on getting rid of half a pound of my hair; I’m not joking.
My message is, then, is that although we have so-called “norms” in terms of hair types and hairstyles, work with what you have. Whether it’s straight, curly, wavy, thick, thin, etc., it’s your hair, and you’re entitled to it. No one can take that away from you.
…and with that, I wish you a *hairy* day! 😉
– The Finicky Cynic