So you want a character with curly hair.
In the realm of fiction (and other mediums, I guess), the majority of characters have straight hair. There are a few characters out there who have sorta wavy hair but can still be manipulated like straight hair. The smallest group is the characters that have thick ringlets you see on an Irish dancing costume.
I would be part of the last group. For all of my years, I’ve had thick curly hair. And while it gains a bunch of attention (especially from older ladies), it can be a royal pain in the ass.
So. My mission today is to debunk some myths and give some tips for characters who have curly hair. Let’s go!
- Curly hair is deceiving: it’s funny to see people reactions when they pull on my curls. Their eyes widen as they realize that my hair is longer than they’d anticipated. This phenomenon happens because the hairs don’t show their true length and make funny shapes. While it looks like my hair barely reaches my shoulders, it’s actually down to the middle of my back. Keep this in mind, especially for you artists.
- It is a pain to straighten: A lot of people I know always say “oh, you should straighten your hair!” Well, it would take at least two hours to get it as straight as what most people see as straight hair. And no, I’m not spending that insane amount of time doing stuff with my hair when I could be doing other things, like checking my tumblr. And I’ve heard that getting a reverse perm does very nasty things to hair so how about no to that either.
- People will ask questions: This happens all. the. time. I’ll be at the store and someone–usually an older lady–will come up to me and ask, “Is that hair natural?” And when I say that it is, they’ll compliment me and say “oh, I wish I had hair like you.” Ahahahaha no. Tell me honestly: would you like hair that you can’t really style and you never know if your hair is going to look nice? No? I thought so.
- It’s hard to get perfect: This is what irritates me the most. Curly hair is a very fickle type of hair. Either it looks good … or you have an afro. It takes a while to find something that works decently, and that usually fails after a while. It’s been five years since i decided I was going to actually try to tame it, and I still haven’t found the right products
- Products cost a lot of money: Curly hair is fickle and is very reactive to different chemicals. It’s best to have shampoo and conditioner that is meant for curly hair, because it contains various chemicals that help natural curly hair. And then there’s the after products. Mousse, creams, gels, you name it. There will probably be money that is wasted on useless products because they don’t work.
- Combs, not brushes: I learned this from a waiter at the Hard Rock Hotel in Orlando. Brushes are detrimental to curly hair. When you yank a brush through curly hair, it makes it way more poofy. I switched to combs and it has made all the difference. In short: combs :) brushes :(
- Take pride!: If someone is born with curly hair, it’s not likely that it’ll magically straighten with time. Curly hair is a lifelong journey of irritation, frustration, and eventual acceptance. People accept their fates after a while, and this is a very small thing. You learn to work around the curls, know its ups and downs. To be totally honest, I like my hair. It’s different and it’s mine. It’s taken a while to accept, but I have and it’s made me enjoy my life even moreso
And that is it in a nutshell. I know it isn’t complete, but it’s the main points. Don’t be afraid to be diverse with hairtypes. Hopefully I’ve helped some people out there in tumblr-land :)
With love and chocolate cake,