Hair is a complicated thing for us girls. It’s something that we’re proud of, and something that we’re willing to spend hours on just to make it look nice. But it can also be the bane of our existence. This is especially true if your hair is curly.
People with straight hair cannot possibly comprehend what it’s like to deal with curly hair. Every day is a battle. We deserve an award.
Here are 21 struggles that every curly-haired girl goes through on a regular basis.
Girls with curly hair face a lot of struggles, to be sure. But one of those struggles is a bit more fearsome than the rest. Most of you know it as frizz, however, we like to call it, He-who-must-not-be-named. Yes, for curly girls, frizz is every bit as villainous as Lord Voldemort. It is a cold, heartless evil that seeks to ruin our lives and achieve world domination.
Maybe that’s dramatizing things a bit, but make no mistake: frizz is an absolute nightmare for anyone with curly hair. Not one of us is safe from it. Once that frizz sets in, the only solution is to wash our hair. No amount of frizz-fighting creams or hairsprays will make even the slightest difference. It’s sad but true.
20. You don’t own a brush, but you do have a large collection of combs
You’re with the gals for a fun night on the town, when one of your girlfriends asks if she can borrow your brush. You burst out laughing. A brush? You’ve never owned a brush in your life.
This may come as a shock to all of you girls with straight hair, but for curly girls, it’s better to leave your hair alone than it is to run a brush through it. Brushing your hair is just asking for trouble.
No, us peeps with curly hair have to stick to combs. We have lots of them. We have fine tooth combs for untangling knots. We have medium tooth combs to brushing our individual coils. We have wide tooth combs for going over our whole head. Forget brushes. Combs are where it’s at.
19. When you screw up, the only way to fix it is to wash it
It took some time to summon the courage to do it, but you finally decided to try out a hairstyle tutorial that you found on Pinterest. The steps looked simple enough, and there were a lot of pictures. You figured that it couldn’t be easier. But you were wrong.
Before you knew it, your hair was one humongous matted mess. Parts were slicked down and greasy, while others were dry and frizzy. Strands were sticking out all over the place. The bobby pins you were using had no effect whatsoever, and your hair simply popped back down in springy coils. In fact, you managed to lose half of your bobby pins in your sea of hair. You’ll probably be finding them for weeks.
18. Hair. Hair everywhere
If each strand of hair you lost was a speck of blood, your bathroom would look like a crime scene every time you washed and combed your hair. Curly girls lose a ton of hair. So much, in fact, that we often think that we are going bald. We find it nothing short of amazing that we have any hair on our heads at all.
Even when we’re done combing our hair, we can still feel loose strands fall on our back, neck, and arms all day long. It’s not unlike the feeling you get when you’ve just have a haircut. You feel hairs on you, even if there are no hairs there. It’s mega annoying. Plus it makes our vacuum cleaners clog up really fast.
17. Your hair always looks like you just woke up
You know the bed head look? Well, that’s a struggle that curly girls and straight-haired girls both have in common. But, for curly girls, nothing we do can ever tame the bed head. Our hair is never actually neat, it’s just varying degrees of messy. Some days, it’s manageable-y messy. Other days, we would have better luck styling our hair if we just rubbed a balloon across the tops of our heads.
So, yeah, “I woke up like this” is less of a boastful phrase than it is an excuse. It’s not like we’re saying it to make you jealous, we just want you to fully appreciate the fact that, yes, even though we spent no less than two and a half hours trying to make our hair look nice, it still looks every bit as unkempt as it did when we woke up this morning.
16. One word: humidity
Curly hair is extremely porous. It’s basically a huge arrangement of thin strands of sponge. So when there is even the slightest amount of humidity outside, our curly hair expands. It looks like this. Scary, isn’t it?
It’s always funny when people tell us to leave our hair natural. Like, that’s cute, fam. Thanks for the suggestion, but, clearly, you have no idea what it’s like living with curly hair. Leave our hair natural? We could achieve the same effect by sticking our fingers in an outlet. Believe us when we say that it’s so much better for us to spend four hours applying hydrating conditioners, replenishing creams, and restorative masks to our hair than it is to step outside and instantly turn into an unkempt Bichon Frise.
15. It seems like your hair grows out, not down
Remember when you used the tickets you won at Chuck E. Cheese to get a slinky, but then you ruined it because you stretched it out? That’s the same principle with curly hair. Not that curly hair gets ruined when you straighten it, we just mean that the slinky was actually a lot longer than you anticipated once you took the “spring” out of it.
Curly hair loses a lot of length. In fact, when some curls are stretched out, they can be as much as six inches longer than they appear to be. As a result, it takes forever and a day to grow our hair out. For people with straight hair, it might only take a few months to grow their hair an inch or two. For curly girls? Well, maybe in a year it’ll look like your hair has grown some.
14. Curly hair rebels when you style it
If you have curly hair, your tangled tresses laugh in your face every time you so much as mention styling it. It scoffs at you, like, “sure, go ahead. Spend three hours jamming barrettes and clips into your scalp. And feel free to wake up early to straighten your hair. I’ll just undo all of your work as soon as you’ve finished.” Curly hair can be such a jerk.
Still, every once in a while, we curly girls will have a good hair day. And, oh, what glorious days are those good hair days. The heavens open up, angels sing, we don’t have one-sided arguments with our hair. Sometimes, a kind stranger will even compliment us on how nice our hair looks. It’s epic, yo.
13. Dime size? More like dinner plate size
Conditioner bottles be like, “use a dime sized amount of conditioner.” Haha. Very funny, hair care product manufacturers. But there’s no need to troll us via directions on the back of your conditioner bottles. We are well-aware that we have to use an insane amount of conditioner just to make our curly hair happy. We don’t need you to make fun of us for it.
If people with straight hair only knew how much conditioner we had to use, they would probably stop talking to us. They’d think we were curly hair-having weirdos (which we may very well be), and we’d all be shunned from society for not using a dime sized amount of conditioner. We should probably not tell them, then, just to be safe.
12. Wet curls versus dry curls
Remember when we said that curly hair is basically just a huge sponge? That’s probably why curls only look good when they’re wet. Only then are they perfectly smooth, springy locks that we curly girls can be proud of. When our hair is wet, there is no frizz to contend with, there are no fly aways that need to be slicked back down, and everything is just as it should be.
Of course, once our hair dries, it does an about-face. Suddenly, it totally forgets that it was a nice, manageable thing that we actually liked. Instead, it turns into this huge, frizzy ball of kind-of curls, and, unless we apply some kind of sculpting product, it will stay that way until the next time we wash it.
11. Your hair doesn’t abide by your routine
Finding the perfect hair care routine is an arduous task that both straight-haired and curly-haired girls can relate to. It takes forever to find the right products. And don’t even get us started on the time it takes to figure out which styling tools work best. Finding the perfect hair care system is a nightmare, but it’s only then that can you expect consistent results.
Sadly, for curly girls, routines are almost entirely pointless. Sure, that new maximum volume mousse stuff that we bought last week worked this time. It may even work next time, too. But will it work next month? No one can say. Curly hair doesn’t respond to your carefully thought-out hair care ritual, and it’s the cause of a lot of grief.
10. People can’t believe it’s natural
“Oh, my gosh! Your hair is so pretty! It must have taken you hours to make it look that nice. What do you have to do to it to make it look like that?” “What do I have to do to make it look like this? Well, I start by not washing it for six days, and I finish up by not even bothering to brush it when I get out of bed.”
It defies the logic of many people that hair can possibly be that curly. No matter how many times you insist that you don’t do anything to your hair, they simply don’t want to accept it. “Surely, you had to use a curling iron to get coils like that. You followed a Pinterest tutorial, didn’t you? Tell us which one it was. Tell us!”
9. Your hair is always a mess
If you wonder why we curly girls are always exhausted, it’s because we were trying to do our hair. You thought it took you a long time to style your straight hair? That’s real cute. No offense, but you have no idea.
It takes us eons to do anything with our hair. And, even after mass amounts of work, it never lasts any real length of time. That’s why we usually just leave our hair the way it is. Since it always ends up looking messy, we get lazy and just let it start off looking messy, as well.
8. Brushing your hair is not the solution
This may come as a surprise to you, but straight hair and curly hair are not the same—and we don’t just mean that they look different. Curly hair cannot be cared for in the same way that straight hair can. People with straight hair can wash their hair five to seven times a week. But people with curly hair? Those scalp oils are a precious resource, baby, so we only wash our hair one to three times a week.
By the same token, while brushes are the styling tool of choice for people with straight hair, your standard hair brush will destroy our delicate coils. So, no. We are not going to brush our hair. We will stick to our wide tooth comb, thank you very much.
7. You don’t want to know what your hair looks like
Other girls primp their hair. They whip their travel size brush out of their purse and they run it through their long, manageable tresses, admiring the silkiness of their mane. It’s disgusting.
We curly-haired folks could never do that. Mostly it’s because when we try to brush our hair, we come out looking like sheep who are in desperate need of a shearing. If we wanted to touch up our hair in public, we’d have to bring our three different styling combs, our curl sculpting gel, some styling cream, some root lifting mousse, and an exorcist. It would be a huge ordeal.
Since it would take a bare minimum of three hours to make our hair look presentable again, we bypass the entire ordeal by refusing to look at our reflection in the mirror. It’s a pretty poor solution, but it’s all we have.
6. “You look better with straight hair”
“I think you look better with straight hair.” If you’re a curly girl, then someone has said this to you at some point. Maybe it was a relative. Maybe it was a coworker. Maybe it was a boyfriend (an ex-boyfriend, because there is no way you’d stay with a man who said that to you).
People think this is a compliment, but it’s actually the opposite of that. It’s a—what’s the word? Oh, yeah: insult. It is an insult. We look better with straight hair, do we? Well, you look better with your mouth closed and your stupid opinions kept to yourself. If we weren’t so afraid of messing up our curls, we would so fight you for saying something like that!
5. Morning tangles
Call it vanity, but there is nothing as luxurious as nestling into a fluffy, cool pillow at bedtime, and feeling your perfectly-combed and shaped curls draped over it. In fact, nighttime is usually when our curls look their best (which is just peachy, since we probably won’t see anyone we know immediately before going to sleep).
But that tame perfection is all an act. We know full well that the hair we go to bed with won’t be the same hair when we wake up. The minute the alarm goes off and our feet hit the floor, our hair turns into a rebellious monster, full of massive tangles, and tiny, impossible-to-undo knots. Morning hair looks nothing like bedtime hair when you’re a curly girl.
4. None of your curls are the same
Uniformity is not curly hair’s strong suit. Sure, to the untrained eye, curly hair may look like it’s all the same. But it isn’t. Usually, curly girls only have one or two perfect curls. Those are the prize coils that put all of the other locks to shame. Every other strand is frizzy or misshapen or just not as springy as those few perfect coils. It’s a constant source of disappointment for curly-haired individuals everywhere.
In fact, a lot of women have mixed hair types. The top layer of hair can be straight while only the layer underneath is curly. Likewise, it’s possible to have Shirley Temple coils on the top of your head, but hair that is as straight as an arrow underneath. There is no rhyme or reason to curly hair.
3. It takes an entire day for your hair to dry
Normal people don’t have to plan their day around their hair. They don’t have consequences to consider when they take a shower. They don’t have to make sure they stay home the whole day so their hair can dry. They just wash it like it’s no big deal and, in no time at all, it’s perfectly dry—and it looks nice.
For curly girls, washing your hair is an ordeal. You can’t just shower before work and be off on your way. You have to make sure that you aren’t going to come into contact with anyone else during the eight to ten hours it takes for your hair to dry. And don’t even think about letting your hair dry naturally. That’s just a disaster waiting to happen. No, you’ll have to pin that hair up in tiny clips to help add some volume to it while it dries, and you’ll have to slather on a variety of products in an effort to tame the beast.
2. People always want to touch your hair
“*Gasp* Your curls are so springy! Let me touch them!” “NNNnnnnnnnooooooooooooo! Keep your filthy paws away from the curls! You have no idea what it took to make them look like this! Even the slightest touch could set off a chain reaction of frizz, tangles, and knots! Hands off the merchandise, please.”
Listen up you people with straight hair: we get how exciting it must be for you to see a naturally curly gal. But please, keep your hands to yourself. Touching these curls will only lead to heartbreak—heartbreak for the curly-headed girl because her hair will get messy, and heartbreak for you because the curly-headed girl will have to exact her revenge.
1. The curly triangle of doom
Ah, yes. If you’re a girl with curly hair and you have ever tried growing your hair out, chances are you are well-acquainted with the curly triangle of doom.
For those of you who don’t know, the curly triangle is what happens when your hair gets so long that the weight of the curls pulls the volume out of the top, making it look straight at the roots. Meanwhile, at the ends of your hair are a series of voluptuous, springy coils that stick out every which way. These curls poof out everywhere, while the hair near your scalp sits flat, creating a triangular appearance.
The end result is that you look like you have this weird, curly, triangle-shaped wig on, and it’s really disheartening. Luckily, by adding a few layers to your hair, you can help combat the dreaded curly triangle of doom.