had a bout of temporary insanity yesterday...

VerityVerity Posts: 616Registered Users Curl Neophyte
and let a stylist flat iron my hair. It was utterly, completely straight, something I've never seen on myself.

I had to go to my kids' school last night, and the comments wouldn't stop. I normally wear my hair wavy to curly (depending on the season--it curls up much more tightly in warm weather and/or high humidity), so this was a huge change. Still, the comments weren't so much about my hair looking different, but about how good it looked. It made me realize two things: (1) my hair apparently isn't looking that great curly (I like my curls, but a mass of hair around my face overwhelms my small features), and (2) it's so ingrained in some people's heads that straight hair is the only stylish and pretty hair.

It was just a depressing experience all the way around.

Skimming the threads and reading the one about "the backhanded compliment," I realize my post could have gone there.

Comments

  • ninja dogninja dog Posts: 23,780Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I saw a few women get makeovers on the Today show yesterday, and guess what? It was all about straightening their hair.

    It's sad, how people react.
  • hunnybeemayhunnybeemay Posts: 75Registered Users
    I've had the same thing happen. I think it's important to keep in mind that sometimes people just notice that you've done something different and comment on it looking nice because they noticed it. I often wonder if my hair looks not as good curly because I don't always get compliments, but then I realized that I do the same thing about other topics when I notice someone did something different. And most of the time, if I mention having naturally curly hair, my friends say how lucky I am and they wish they had natural body too. But they don't constantly compliment it when they see me. I think it's just human nature to notice a change and say something nice. I wouldn't let it get to you too much. I'm sure your curls look just as lovely!
  • SystemSystem Posts: 39,059 Administrator
    I get the same reaction now only in reverse. I used to relax and flatiron my hair and no one at my son's old school saw me with curly hair. I had to go to the school once and everyone raved about my hair and that they've never seen it look so good. It was just totally different and they noticed it.
  • VerityVerity Posts: 616Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Part of me likes to think you're right, that they were just noticing the change, but the tone of the comments doesn't support that analysis.

    I struggle with curly hair partly because if I let it do its thing, it is voluminous and overwhelms my small features. The nice thing about straight hair on me is that it lets my face show. My eyes look so much bigger and I look as if I might actually have cheekbones. ;-) I think also about one of the teachers at my kids' school. She has hair similar to mine and small eyes, and her hair never really seemed to flatter her face. A couple of years ago, she started straightening it, and it makes a huge, positive difference in her appearance.

    I'm not sure what to do, honestly. I like my curls, but they do overpower my face. In centuries past, women solved this dilemma by wearing their hair up all the time. I'm not sure I want to go that route, and it's not that easy for me to do because an otherwise flattering updo leaves my ears exposed, and that is not a good thing for someone whose ears aren't flat against her head.

    I am really struggling with this right now. I let my hair air dry (what I usually do with it) on Sunday, but it rained and of course it got big and frizzy. Yesterday (Monday), I straightened it just to see if I could. It didn't look exactly the way it did when the stylist did it, but it definitely looked better than the frizzy mess I had left from Sunday. My husband thought it actually looked better than the stylist's version, which he thought was a bit too flat.

    I am torn because part of me enjoyed being complimented on my hair for the first time in years, and feeling younger and more modern. I also like waking up and not having my frizzed out hair. I spent a fair amount of time on it yesterday (30-40 minutes with the flat iron), but today I can just brush it and use the flat iron to touch up around my face. No wetting it and waiting hours for it to air dry!

    I guess I always have the option of straightening it; I don't have to feel locked into wearing it one way or ther other.
  • curlypearlcurlypearl Posts: 12,091Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I have a small face also. Have you thought about having a shorter or different cut? I agree about the time factor though and sometimes I will do a roller set just because I don't have to do anything to my hair for 2-3 days after that.
    2/c Coarse hair med. density.
    Highly porous. Color over grey.
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  • ReddishRocksReddishRocks Posts: 779Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Okay, I'm probably going against the general pro-curl grain here, but hair is just hair. :) If you're happier with it straight, there's nothing wrong with that! It doesn't make you a bad/shallow/unenlightened person.

    As you've honestly examined your motives, and you're not caving to social pressure or the notion that curly hair somehow makes one inferior or whatever... then deciding that you prefer your hair straight is no insult to your hair's natural tendencies or the rest of us. ;)

    Just keep in mind that curly hair tends to be more porous than naturally straight hair, and more prone to heat damage. Make sure you invest in a good heat protectant if you're flat-ironing and blow-drying frequently. And then rock your style! :D Confidence is the best accessory anyway. ;)

    17May09GlenEyriecrop-1.jpg

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  • hipchickhipchick Posts: 350Registered Users
    Verity I have had similar experiences and I too have a small face and my hair often overwhelms it. Some stylists have thinned it to bring my face out more but then I was unhappy that I had very thin looking hair in spots. Others have cut it shorter as a modiified bob which helped a little. Next I am getting a Deva cut and I hope that it is not too heavy. I am going to keep trying to find a curly cut that doesn't overwhelm my features. There has to be a style that would work for both of us. But if you want to straighten that is okay too.
  • SeaofCurlsSeaofCurls Posts: 24Registered Users
    This is one of the reasons why I don't like wearing my hair straight--b/c of the backhanded compliments. I just do not understand why curly hair is so unattractive to some people and why straight hair is deemed so beautiful. Like, what is it? Seriously? All hair textures are beautiful.
    it takes a strong woman to rock natural hair
    Good hair is CLEAN, HEALTHY hair regardless of the length, color, or texture!!
  • hipchickhipchick Posts: 350Registered Users
    One day when I wore my hair straight a coworker said he liked it better that way because it was shiny and fuller and looked healthy. Maybe it's the media going back to the days of Breck Girl's that has made many people think that way.
  • bergasaurusbergasaurus Posts: 375Registered Users
    Today one of my coworkers came in with a blowout and she's normally very very curly, and she got a lot of comments/compliments. A couple of the guys told me I should do it too, and I honestly think they were just curious about how I'd look because no one has ever seen me with straight hair. I had a photo of myself in a straight black wig from Halloween last year and showed it to them...funny thing is, I don't think they liked it on me very much. The "youshoulddoit" comments kinda stopped after that pic. I do look very different with straight hair and I don't think it's flattering on me... I have a big head, and the curly hair helps to hide that fact a bit. (it's not my head, I've just got a lot of hair, yep. Really.)
    I would like to try the sideswept bangs thing, but I haven't a clue how to straighten hair...and I don't have a flat iron, obvi. I can get the Roseannadanna 'do though. heh
    No cones since 08/25/09. Occasional low poo.
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  • RotiniRotini Posts: 53Registered Users
    I have big hair, and big facial features. Big eyes, Normal nose, full lips. So the issue of hair overpowering the face isn't one of my problems. All of my friends love my hair. In fact, whenever it was straight, they would ask,"When is it going to curl again?" (I used to straighten 1-2 times a year) They wish they had my hair and the list of compliments goes on and on. Last Friday, my hair was touched 168 times! (yes, I counted, and no, the number is NOT exaggerated) I've only gotten one mean comment,"When are you going to tame that mane of yours" :angryfire:
    Curly Teen & Loving It!
    Type 3b/c hair

    I find myself with less respect for those who straighten their hair constantly or have relaxers or whatever else is out there. I believe that if your hair is curly, wavy, or straight, your hair is beautiful as is. There are non-damaging solutions for frizz or split ends or whatever. You don't have to burn it flat or fry it with chemicals to look "good." People say love the skin you're in, same goes for hair.
    :wav:

  • VerityVerity Posts: 616Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Okay, I'm probably going against the general pro-curl grain here, but hair is just hair. :) If you're happier with it straight, there's nothing wrong with that! It doesn't make you a bad/shallow/unenlightened person.

    As you've honestly examined your motives, and you're not caving to social pressure or the notion that curly hair somehow makes one inferior or whatever... then deciding that you prefer your hair straight is no insult to your hair's natural tendencies or the rest of us. ;)

    Thank you! I often feel like a heathen here for saying that curls just aren't for everybody.
  • etripolietripoli Posts: 119Registered Users
    Verity I have small features as well. I think most people (especially men) compliment me when my hair is straight because my features stand out more. What proof do I have of this? Well last week I got my hair highlighted and it really makes my eyes stand out. Even though I'm still wearing it curly, everyone complimented me in the same manner as when I straighten it.

    Don't get me wrong, there are those 'backhanded' complimenters out there, but I think most people are just trying to be nice when they notice something different. Personally, I get a bit complacent with my hair and need a change here and there. Straightening it does that for me.

    Whatever you choose to do, you should do it for yourself- whether that means straightening it all the time or not.
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  • anonymous_29030anonymous_29030 Posts: 619Registered Users
    Today one of my coworkers came in with a blowout and she's normally very very curly, and she got a lot of comments/compliments. A couple of the guys told me I should do it too, and I honestly think they were just curious about how I'd look because no one has ever seen me with straight hair. I had a photo of myself in a straight black wig from Halloween last year and showed it to them...funny thing is, I don't think they liked it on me very much. The "youshoulddoit" comments kinda stopped after that pic. I do look very different with straight hair and I don't think it's flattering on me... I have a big head, and the curly hair helps to hide that fact a bit. (it's not my head, I've just got a lot of hair, yep. Really.)
    I would like to try the sideswept bangs thing, but I haven't a clue how to straighten hair...and I don't have a flat iron, obvi. I can get the Roseannadanna 'do though. heh

    I enjoyed reading that - it was really funny!

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