AHA Moment: Confession of a Curly Hair Girl

"Straighten your hair, and you might be happy for a day. Learn to love and care for your curls and you'll be happy for life!" - Lorraine Massey (Author of the Curly Girl: The Handbook)
I'm Ruthi.

I'm a Curly Hair Girl!

And I WASN'T proud of it!


Growing up in my part of the world was a traumatic experience. I am talking about my crowning glory which by the way is definitely lacking in glory.

Don't get me wrong, I had two wonderful, supportive and loving parents. I have two superb, caring and delightful brothers that any sibling could ask for. And I live in a home full of respect, trust and love for one another. In other words, I had a very normal childhood full of happy memories except for ONE.

I.
Have.
Curly.
Hair!
Aqua Net Era: A lot of us Curly Hair Girls got away with it because it was the 80's. It was our Golden Era which ended right after the "Material Girl" went down the Top 10 in the Music Billboard.

Okay, I know this is ridiculous. But hear me out first.

From where I came from, if you have curly hair, you are ostracized by the society. It was like you were born with disability. Or worse, you are cursed!
If frizzy hair and knits go together, they're probably related. Both my brothers have curly hair too.
We all hate it.


I am not being over-dramatic. In fact, this is the story of my life.

Blame it to the Filipino culture that sees beauty in shiny frizz-free pin-straight hair. The definition of Filipina Beauty in my world is everything but curly hair (and dark skin). And the obsession of my tribe in straight hair can go beyond any hair product commercials that sensationalize the straight hair norm. So, I was doomed from the get-go.
College Graduation: The cap was able to cover (partially my curls) but not for long.

I was cursed.

But what can a curly hair girl like me do to fit in and not be ostracized?

Be straight!
After receiving my diploma.
I wasn't happy to pose for the photo without the cap on revealing my Bird's Nest Do.

So I did!

NO. Not that kind of straight that means - being a good person and knows-no-evil-kind-of straight human being. I was a mean girl back then too. But that is beside the point.
Freshly chemically-straightened hair.


Anyway, back then I tried so hard to be a straight-hair girl. I tried to get rid of my curls or waves by straightening my poor hair. I subjected it to years of abuse and damage by blow-drying it. Flat-ironing it. Re-bonding it. Relaxing it. I did everything in my power and budget just to get that pin-straight mane that everybody is raving about.
I chemically have my hair straightened for as along as I can remember.

My hair ritual became a lifestyle. And my lifestyle became a vicious cycle that it didn't only break my spirit but my bank account as well. The primary reason why I need a job.

Yes, it was that awful.

And I was that desperate.

Why?

Because Filipino men like straight-hair gals - PERIOD!

Well, I believe.

But then I could be wrong and my hair-state-of-mind can be challenged anytime by any philosophical non-curly hair person reading this to prove I was wrong. But still I stand my ground and firmly believe that there are only 2 things in a girl's vocabulary that have great value - hair and men.

What?

Wait!
This is how happy I was every time I get my hair get this straight.


Now, I admit, that's too over-dramatic.

But I'm only speaking for myself. Who knows? Somebody could also be on the same boat as I am. And yes, I am rooting more on the hair issue for vanity's sake than on the other. And with regards to men, I was convinced early on that I was for the international market  hence, I married a Mainer.

No one knows how important it is to have a straight hair than me and my tribe. There was a time that I was convinced that the reason I didn't get that high paying job was because the girl who got it has a straighter hair regardless if I got 100% score in the test and I had more job experience than her. It was like High School drama all over again.
Freshly flat-ironed hair.

Back in my world, guys don't care if your IQ is 1000 because they can't see it through the thickness of your frizzy-moisture-deprived black stringy hair how smart you are. And for those ZERO IQ frizz-free-well-moisturized long shiny black hair girls, bird-brain guys are easily blinded by their hair appeal. So, no curly hair girl can win in this battle.

What's my point?

Hair. Matters

In my experience growing up as a curly hair girl, no one but a curly hair girl herself can understand the struggle. We curly hair girls only understand each other because we all go through the same experience. Too bad no curly hair girl wants to admit that she is curly. That's why we all straighten our hair. And that's why back then, there was no such thing as Curly Hair Girls Club or something to that effect to have a support system to help each other's ego and boast our confidence to believe that beauty is more than the strands of our hair.
The flat-iron is my BFF.

It was not until I emigrated to US that the fate of my hair and dark skin took a 180 degrees turn. All of a sudden I begun to see the light in the end of the tunnel but not as quickly as I landed at the Portland Jetport.

It took awhile before I was convinced that my hair is pretty. I still don't see why my frizzy hair craving for moisture is pretty at all. For me, humidity in any part of the world is still humidity... and it's my NUMERO UNO enemy.
Humidity is my enemy. Good thing the lavender gives me a good reason to smile.

For the longest time, I used to tell people with long pin-straight hair how I love their hair and wish I had theirs.  On the contrary, here in the US people would approach me saying the same things with my curls. Life is indeed mysterious, I supposed.
Flat-ironed after an hour hair regimen.

Now, I'm still not 100 percent convinced that my hair is that pretty. I still spend a lot of effort taming the mane. I still spend a lot of my resources in getting the looking for the hair products to so I can at least run my fingers through my hair without having a cut. And that is why I have to take a second job to pay for my vanity and insanity.

I even dream that one day, someone will invent a pill (like a vitamin) or a magic potion that can make my hair straight in just one dosage. Or a cheap hair product that will make my hair straight with just one application. A Law that will  make HUMIDITY illegal.
This is the I GIVE UP hairstyle. Can't fight humidity.


But for now, I am just happy to be a part of a curly hair girl community who support each other and gives each other tips, tricks and guidance on how to deal with our curly hair. You Tube and FB have been blessed with these kind-hearted curly hair people who are unselfishly sharing their beauty secrets to help our moisture-lacking hair follicles have a life of its own to have a frizz-free day, everyday.

And for now, I'm keeping my second job to pay for all the hair products I need to tame and manage my curls and be a happy curly hair girl who's not afraid of humidity.

And after all these craziness about my hair, I am convinced that my hair is not what makes me... ME.

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