One of the benefits of getting older is that not only do I worry much less what people think of me, but I am also starting to love myself and the way I look a little more.
It’s a tough thing to admit that I don’t always like what I see in the mirror and I definitely have days where I want to wear my duvet and not leave the house, but I am trying very hard to not always let that voice in my head get so loud.
For years, I have always hated my hair. It was curly, it has been curly from birth and I ALWAYS wished it was straight. I used to look at other girls, other women, colleagues, friends and literally anyone with straight hair with envy. Straight hair always looks so neat and tidy. It could be teased into gentle waves, have a poker straight fringe and pony tails looked cute. My hair has always looked messy, it has always grown down, but also out. I hated it.
Until I was about 26-27 I wore it short as that is how it had been since I was a kid and I started straightening it the second I could get my hands on straighteners. I toyed with having it long mid-teens, but I had no clue what to do with it, so it ended up as a fluffy pineapple atop my head.
My mum wasn’t very girly and as a lifelong sporter of short curly hair herself she used to scoff at people with long hair, perpetually wondering why they would grow it long and then tie it up. (One of many odd things she thought).
I have been to countless hairdressers over the year and I have yet to find one that could cope with curly hair. I ALWAYS got it blown straight as if I was ever feeling brave and asked them to dry it curly, I came out looking like an 80s fluffball
So in the mid 2000s I found out about a treatment called opti-smooth with claimed it would permanently straighten my hair. I couldnt believe it, but was at the point of frustration, where I was willing to give anything a go!
The treatment was over £250 and took 4-5 hours. But these were the results:
Their claims were true, my hair was straight, even when wet – it was a MIRACLE! The treatment lasted until my hair grew it out, which was usually about 10-12 months at which point I had to have it done again. I carried on doing this for a good few years, until I had it done one time and it didn’t take.
I didn’t notice at first and then one particularly bitchy colleague said to me “Do you know your hair is curly at the back?”, I ignored her, but checked with M when I got home, who assured me it was straight. But then we saw my then tiny niece who asked me “Auntie Gill, why is your hair curly at the back?”. So back I went to the hairdressers, who re-did it for free, but it still didn’t take. 😡
So since about 2013 I have reluctantly let my hair go curly, only really feeling comfortable with it in last 12-18 months.
I just sort of realised one day that my hair is NEVER going to look neat and tidy in the same way that straight hair does and that’s ok. I’ve also started to use some better products to look after my hair, making sure to use good conditioner and serums to tame the frizz. I also don’t wash my hair that often, perhaps once a week and my hair copes fine with that.
But mostly, I tell myself that my hair is my hair and I am ok with that. Age has done that for me… lucky me.