Chronically Curly: The truth about curly hair!

By Kate Bugden
I. J. Samson Junior High
St. John's, Newfoundland

Curly hair is no walk in the park, folks. Owning a wild, poofy, messy mane of hair is hard work! Can you imagine waking up to what resembles a deranged cat, sitting there on your head, every morning? I do exactly that!
So maybe you think I can run a brush through my hair once or twice and then "pow" I'm ready to go. Ha! For starters, I can't even run a brush through my hair. If I did it would get stuck and I would lose hopes of actually finding it to get it out. Then, when it does come out sometime next week, my hair would be so huge I would resemble someone who just got her hand jammed in an electrical socket. (Think: Bride of Frankenstein).

I have to use what the stylists call "rakes". Rakes are stupid-looking, comb-like devices used to fluff up or define curly hair. They are boring, but sometimes come in handy. Like that day at the mall. Ah, yes, the ever-so-fateful Saturday shopping bonanza had gotten under my skin. And it showed through my hair. As I stood in front of the mirror in the ladies room, I looked at hair from hell. One side was longer than the other, static patches had erupted like volcanoes, and my curls just weren't curled like they should have been.

After recovering from the fact that a person's hair could actually do this type of thing, I practically threw myself into a stall, and frantically began searching through my bag for any sign of help. Tissues, lipstick, and spare change were being shoved aside by my
flailing hands, when there, like a tranquilizer for that deranged cat, was a rake, in all its glory. Holy choral music rang in my ears as I began fixing my hair, as it slowly turned back to normal. Wowee, what a rush.

In my case Grease is never "the word". True, curly hair hardly gets greasy, frankly because it is as DRY as a bone. This is not exactly good. Along with the dryness comes the frizz. God forbid. My hair has become so frizzy, it's been hard to tell there were even any curls under there!! I remember in one Phys. Ed class, my poor hair was particularly frizzy and immense. In a group with my friends, I had to jog on the spot. So there I was, doing my thing. Suddenly, my friends burst into peals of laughter and began pointing at my scalp. Apparently they were laughing at how my hair bounced, and how it seemed to have some kind of insane life of its own. Now I tie it back during gym. Anyway, moving on...

With the dryness and the frizz enters the moisturizing shampoo, deep conditioning, (conditioner is a must!), hot oil treatments, scalp massagers, lightweight mousse, liquid gel, the famous 3 Minute Miracle. Finally, (no, we aren't finished yet!) with all of the above there are split ends and tiny little knots. Yes, knots. Knots that are impossible to get out and result in a trim every month at the hair salon. Coincidentally, once I left it a couple of months before getting a trim. Large, repulsive, nauseating knots hung near
the end of my hair. Just picture that sad-looking disturbed cat again, with no sense whatsoever for the word "groomed". Needless to say, it was not pleasant.

Curly hair is similar to a plant. It needs water to survive. Every morning, I shower my curls, but I've got to use warm water, of course. Hot water dries out the scalp. A spray bottle filled with water is a necessity for overnights where there is no access to showers or taps. When everything seems utterly abominable, that flyaway piece of hair, that threatening patch of frizz, is when I thank the styling products. (Hurray for Salon Selectives!). But we must not go hair spray happy. Your hair will be weighed down and go limp. Or even worse, totally flat on top, resulting in a pyramid type look. Be

After all these hair shenanigans, someone says, "Oh, but it always looks nice," Yeah , when it's not raining, humid, windy, or snowing. But the comment it greatly valued! Don't get me wrong now. I do appreciate my hair when it looks good, which is relatively often, but there is a HASSLE ladies and gentlemen, a large, complicated one. So the next time you come by a person with beautiful curly hair, that's perfectly in place and intact, shiny, and defined, let me tell you, it's a wig!!