Sunday, July 19, 2009

Oxymoron: Straighten to curl

You know how you always want what you can't have? Well, when I was young, I wanted curly hair. Maybe it was because the dolls I played with had pretty ringlets and I wanted to be like them, but I'm Chinese. My hair's straight and it was never going to be curly, no matter how hard I tried...and believe me. I tried.

I remember the first time I ever got a perm. I must have been about 7 or 8 and it was an awful experience because I came home from the salon and cried because my dad hated it as soon as he saw it. I think I went back crying the same day to the salon and my mom's friend who did my hair relaxed it for me and undid the damage, so to speak.

Through the years, I've tried various ways to achieve those perfect curls...perms never did work - I was ever hopeful each time but finally swore off "permanent" solutions after the perm from hell in high school. It's funny since I can't even remember now what grade I was in but it was horrid and I thought my life was over because my hair was poofy and fried. But I did live.

I tried curlers too - the old-school pink sponge ones. I'd roll them in my hair carefully and hopefully before bed but again - big, frizzy poof. Velcro rollers were good for giving my hair body and a bit of a wave, but never the ringlets I craved.

Curling irons didn't seem to work too well either because while my hair came out curled, it was only ever the ends that were curled, no matter the size of the barrel - 1" or 1.5".

It wasn't until I got my haircut last summer the day of my friend's wedding that I finally got the ringlets I always wanted as a kid. Eva styled my hair afterwards and curled it with a straightening iron. Yeah. That's right. A straightening iron gave me curls. Oxymoronic, right?

I went in for my semi-annual-ish haircut yesterday and she styled it again with the iron. I wasn't crazy the first time since the curls were a little too tight, but this time around, they were just right. This is me, right after my appointment - I took this in the change room since the salon was so busy and I didn't want to hold up Eva's chair with her next client waiting:

I thought for sure my perfect curls would be goners when I woke up this morning since I threw my hair up in a loose bun before going to bed but they survived another day! If anything, they looked even better:

So I've decided maybe it's time I invest in a straightening iron for those days when I feel like being a kid again. I've seen some in professional hair & beauty supply shops here but am going to wait and see what the prices are like in the US since I've got a trip planned to Philadelphia the next long weekend in a couple weeks. My little mental shopping list is slowing growing!


joyce said...

The curls look fantastic. I definitely like it better on the 2nd day. I can relate re: trying to get those perfect curls. I've always wanted to figure out how to get big loose curls/waves but every time I try, it becomes a poof and it makes me look like I'm a 40 yr old Asian mom. hah

The Lone Beader said...

I wanted curly hair when I was a kid, too! After much begging, my mom let me get the 80's perm that every girl had. LOL. Now that I look back on that, I really like my boring straight hair much better. If I could get my curls to look like yours, though, i might change my mind! ;)

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