Hair confession time, mine is secretly very curly. This is something that not a lot of people seem to know about me, including my own father-in-law.
But it’s true; my real hair doppelgängers are Original Orphan Annie and Bonnie Langford, circa the 1980s (we’d make a brilliant girl group).
I think growing up you always covet what you can’t have, don’t you? So I always wanted a) straight hair that you could easily crimp, especially using the twirly crimping tool that came with that Barbie (crimped hair! Remember that?!) b) The ubiquitous front quiff all my teenage friends with straight hair had (with hindsight, not such a great look, thanks curls) c) Lovely glossy straight thick hair and a nice straight fringe like little Natalie Portman in Leo.
People would always say my curly hair was beautiful and enviable and I’m sure it was. But while I’d love to say that at some point I embraced my curls, in my mid-20s I saw the light, found GHDs and have never looked back.
And while me – and hopefully everyone – is well past the poker-straight-90s-popstar-Atomic-Kitten phase – thankfully – I’ve straightened my own hair on and off and not worn it properly curly, only vaguely wavy, in a long while. Apart from brief forays on holiday and after having babies. Curls just aren’t me, anymore.
But recently, I’ve really been thinking about straightening my own hair and the impact it might have on my curly haired children.
When pregnant with both my girls the hair colour thing was big question mark, never the thought of curls. Both were born with poker straight hair and I never really thought about it (and not much about mine either…it’s impossible to care when you’re dry shampooed to the max, pram pushing and toddler hand holding and can no longer whip out the emergency umbrella at the slightest sign of moisture in the air).
But both of mine are now blessed with a halo of beautiful, ‘dragged through a bush’ curls they’ll never let me get a brush near. Obviously, I think it’s beautiful. But recently at the hairdressers, one of them turned to me and said ‘I want straight hair just like yours!’ It stung, a bit – like a hair straightener burn to the ear.
And it’s really made me think. What is it teaching them if on one hand I’m saying that their hair is amazing (which is it) but I’m straightening the same feature out of mine out at the same time?
Is there a straight answer to this? I’m not sure. There’s more to life than hair, I know, but like the hashtag goes…#straighthairdontcare…but should I?
More posts…ten reasons I hate the school run and everything you’ll obsess about in your baby’s first year of school (photos are of a VERY small Eliza at about three, I think? I found them on my phone the other day)