Curly Hair


It seems to be a part of the human makeup to want to change or improve upon whatever we have, no matter how wonderful. The grass is always greener and all that.

Women with dark hair bleach it blonde, blondes dye it red and when natural colors become passé, they streak it green or purple. Men with heavy beards scrape their faces smooth every day for sixty years. Virtually hairless men deliberately leave a fraction to look more manly and rugged.

Until I was in my mid-twenties, I detested my curly hair. I got bad haircuts and bad perms trying to make my curls go away or at least curl symmetrically. The California Girls of the Sixties all had long, smooth, straight locks and I wanted the look.

Curly hair has a determination of its own. One day it’s glamorous and the next day, inexplicably, it’s a riotous mess. One learns to live with it and there are tricks.

Curly hair gets riotous in the wind

Curly hair gets riotous in the wind
on the Sea of Galilee

A curling iron, believe it or not, will smooth and tame a curly mop. When it has all been coerced into a semblance of order, there is hair spray—lots of it. Certain shampoos make a significant difference and when nothing else works, a good wash will straighten things out for a day.

When all else fails and there isn’t time to get wet and then dry, there are clips. When one side flips up and the other side flips out, the most unruly side can be clipped back in a jaunty, deliberately asymmetrical upsweep. No one will guess it was born of desperation.

I’ve recently come to the conclusion that men are a lot like curly hair. Perhaps I could apply that to people of both genders. However, the experiences that brought me to this conclusion are with my husband.

My spouse has a mind of his own. One day he’s sweet and attentive and another day, inexplicably, he’s sour and grumpy. I’ve learned to live with it and there are tricks.

A sweet disposition and kind words often soothe and tame a sour temperament. When my husband is calmed and well-fed, a pecan pie fresh from the oven can set the mood. When nothing else works, sometimes a foot massage can straighten things out for a day.

When all else fails and there isn’t time to bake, sometimes I have to take a break. After a few days without me, Honey’s generally sweet as sugar. I get to see some friends or relatives and they may never know my visit was not born of a pure motive.

As I get older, wiser and more experienced, I truly “blove” my curly hair and feel quite advantaged to have it, though it may often be untamable. Ditto and more so for my untamed man.

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About janets123

Children's writer, newspaper columnist, essayist, poet, storyteller
This entry was posted in Short Takes on Life and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Curly Hair

  1. Fun blog! Who would have thought to draw that parallel! But then on vacation, once upon a time, I ran into a big, burly, long-haired, curly-haired man. It made my sisters laugh when I described him. Thanks for retrieving the memory for me.

  2. Roberta says:

    Janet, thank you for this blog. It is so nice to know that SOMEONE really understands! Just a few days ago I was bemoaning my curly hair, calling it my greatest “handicap”, and so wishing I had silky smooth, long, glisteny, no-maintenance, care-free Scandanavian blonde hair instead of my impossible-to-work-with frizzy curly Jewish hair!!! Perhaps your blog explains why my marraige has been the way it has. If I had stunning Scandanavian blonde hair, would my marraige have been easier? Perhaps only my hairdresser knows for sure.

    • janets123 says:

      There are a bunch of us out there, Roberta, disguised as people with bad perms! 😉 I’ll bet your hubby likes your curls as much as mine does. He just forgets to say.

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