Myth: Naturally curly hair is ugly and unattractive
Truth: Naturally curly hair is beautiful and easy.
I have often said that the best beauty decision I ever made was to let my hair go curly and that’s still very true. But it brings up my biggest beauty pet peeve - the idea that curly hair is ugly or unattractive or just plain impossible.
From me, you get the truth.
Now that we’re into Adar, we’re going to be enjoying the concept of “v’nahafoch hu.” So here, I’m going to be “nahafoch-ing” all the misconceptions involving curly hair. Here goes…
Myth: Curly hair is hard to manage and takes a lot of time and effort.
Truth: Naturally curly hair is easy to manage. What’s hard to manage is straightening it. It’s even worse when you use a curling iron to add so-called “perfect curls.” I used to blow-dry my hair straight and it would take me 40 minutes just to do that. When I went curly, my styling time went down to 5 minutes. In fact, my entire shower routine - turn on water, enter shower, wet hair, scrub scalp, rinse, apply combing conditioner, comb, turn off water, blot with towel, spritz with spray gel, scrunch - takes 40 minutes. My hair doesn’t need to be dry right away - it’s a myth that you shouldn’t go out with wet hair. However, I do recommend planning to shower and wash hair for times when you can stay home for a while and let your hair dry.
Myth: Curly hair needs expensive products to maintain.
Truth: Yes, there are special product lines just for curly hair and I won’t deny that those products work. But I’m a die-hard drugstore gal and my favorite products are inexpensive, but they give me fabulous results. Considering that I use a lot of conditioner, I can’t afford to spend a lot of money.
Myth: If you don’t use shampoo, your hair and scalp will be dirty.
Truth: You do need to use a cleansing agent, because your hair and scalp do get dirty. But your scalp is skin and gets dried out easily. The hair itself is like fine silk and must be washed carefully. Neither one has to be squeaky clean because it’s not good for them. Note to parents: Head lice prefer squeaky-clean hair. If you use sulfate-free shampoo or a light conditioner and just scrub your scalp with your fingertips and rinse, your hair and scalp will be cleaned of dirt and any other nasty things without getting dried out.
Myth: If you leave conditioner in your hair, it will leave your hair all gunky and greasy.
Truth: The wrong conditioners will do that, but the right conditioners will leave your hair soft and healthy. Conditioners cannot do their job if they’re flowing down the shower drain. The right conditioners for curly hair are thick and slippery but not sticky or oily.
Myth: Curly hair cannot be worn short because it will poof and give a “poodle” effect.
Myth 2: Curly hair cannot be worn with bangs because they’ll poof.
Truth: First, curly hair can be worn any length you want. A good hairdresser will shape it so that it falls just right and doesn’t poof. One of the best haircuts I ever had was a softly layered, slightly asymmetrical bob. The stylist loved it and suggested a tweak to make it work just for me and it was perfect. I loved it for a long time even as it grew out. Second, you may not have perfectly smooth, flat bangs, but a few curls on the forehead can frame and soften the face beautifully. I gave myself curly bangs a few months ago and the difference has been amazing. I did find it a bit amusing though when people would ask me if the bangs are sheitel bangs. Sheitel bangs are not unruly like my curly bangs. But I love what my bangs do for me and it’s not a poof.
Myth: Curly hair gets wild and you can’t do much with it.
Truth: When curly hair is cared for properly, you can do a lot with it. Straight hair needs products and work to give it texture and grip for updos. Curly hair has that texture and grip naturally. If you want to put it into a ponytail or updo, just gather it, twist as needed, anchor it, and you’re done. If a few curls slip out, let them - it looks youthful and feminine.
Myth: Men prefer straight hair.
Truth: In my experience, men prefer healthy, flattering, feminine hair. My husband has never seen me with straight hair except maybe in old photos. Natural curls are beautiful and romantic when cared for properly. In fact, when I advise women about shidduch dates, I advise straight-haired women to wear their hair more tousled instead of stick straight.
Myth: Curly hair cannot fit under a sheitel.
Truth: I wore a sheitel once for my sister’s wedding (she wanted the women to wear hair) and at that time, my hair was long and curly. I gathered it into a French twist and fastened it with 5 (yes, five) hairpins and put the sheitel on over that. After photos, a processional, and a lot of dancing, the wedding ended, and I took off the sheitel and my hair was still in place.
Myth: Curly hair is not professional.
Truth: If the curls are cared for properly, they won’t look too wild. And even if they get a little wild, it’s easy to pull them back or into an updo.
Myth: Curly hair needs to be chemically straightened.
Truth: Curly hair never needs to be chemically straightened. I’m not a total purist on this and I do think that straightening your curly every now and then is fine. Sometimes it’s fun to look different, and as long as you’re caring for your curls properly, it’s OK. But straightening should always be an option and not a default. If you care for your curls properly, you won’t need to straighten them all the time because they’ll look good.
Myth: Curly hair is ugly or unattractive.
Truth: Curly hair is beautiful when cared for properly. If anyone still thinks it’s ugly, they’re the ones whose heads need straightening. Just clean gently, use lots of conditioner, and wear your curls proudly.