It wasn’t until I was three that my hair started to sprout.
Up until then, a sparse mass of curly locks crowned my little head – nothing substantial enough for a barrette or elastic band to secure it in place.
While the other little girls in Kindergarten had long, shiny hair that flowed past their shoulders, my mousy mass of spirals was always an unruly mess, much to my mother’s dismay. Despite her many attempts to smooth it down with a brush, or crimp it (yes, I am a child of the 80s) my hair just couldn’t be tamed.
In high school, I decided I didn’t only just despise the fact that my hair was wavy, the boring colour had to go. As my friend and I approached the hair dye isle of the grocery store, visions of silky blonde locks danced in my head. I decided right then and there that being as blonde as a Barbie doll would solve all my hair problems and teenaged insecurities.
Boy was I wrong.
“What did you do?” My mom asked when I walked in the front door with tears streaming down my acne-peppered cheeks.
Yes, I was blonde. However, my friend had run out of bleach half-way through the process. Parts were orange, others green – I looked like a broke-down citrus fruit.
My mother managed to fix it, only temporarily, by applying a box of red dye from the drug store. I hadn’t planned on being a red head for my first day of Grade 10, but I wasn’t complaining. It looked pretty good but the dye was quick to fade and my hair, which was in pretty bad shape from all the processing, was beginning to look like straw.
To make matters worse, I had to wait two whole years for it to grow out. On a good day I resembled the infamous comedian Carrot Top. Not exactly a desirable look for a 16-year-old girl.
In my 20’s I was introduced to a life-changing device, the hair straighter.
It took a long time to get it slick, but I was happy to sacrifice time to achieve the straight hair I had always desired. But as they say, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Ladies, this is especially true with hair straightening.
After years of subjecting my hair to the abuse of a flat iron, my once healthy(ish) locks had been once again turned to lifeless, lacklustre straw-like strands.
Now, as a busy, frazzled mother of two young girls who barely fits in time to shower, I’ve decided to let my hair go with the flow, quite literally.
At 32, I’ve been forced to embrace my natural curls and have even grown quite fond of my crazy coif.
Both of my daughters, one a fiery red head and the other born with mousy brown hair just like mom’s, have curly locks that can’t be tamed. Wherever they go, strangers comment on their curls and tell them “they must get that from their mother.”
Seeing my girls with their curly mops has given me a whole new appreciation for the hair I was born with. It has also made me realize it’s a huge part of my identity. Now, when I wear my hair straight, I feel as though I’m taking all the little kinks and quirks out of my personality.
Now if only I can learn to embrace my dimples. Unlike Molly and Zoe’s adorable dots that rest high on their cherubic cheeks, mine are located down south and around the back.
Kristyl Clark is the publisher of She’s a Valley Mom. After the maternity leave of her second daughter ended two years ago, Kristyl decided to leave her full-time job to stay at home with her two little women. When she isn’t up to her eyeballs in mountains of pink laundry, fishing keys out of the toilet bowl or drowning her sorrows in a glass of wine, she keeps herself busy by working as a freelance writer for various magazines, newspapers and online publications.