I used to religiously straighten my curls twice a year, so I could flaunt my length and just change things up for a bit.
I moved away from doing this a few years ago, and now it’s been a full two years since I have straightened my hair. I do not miss it. Here’s why.
The Maintenance Naturally kinky-curly hair is already vulnerable to variables like the weather. Is it windy today? Cold and dry? Well, what’s the humidity like? Rain?
I love my hair, but sometimes
I am fairly lazy when it comes to styling. I care more about keeping my hair moisturized and tangle free, than I do about changing my hair style on the regular. I don’t have the time or inclination. Keeping up a temporary straight style means I have to be careful of my edges every time I wash my face (I don’t use makeup wipes). Not only that, I still have to wrap it and tuck it away, so that I can avoid re-applying heat to sections that have reverted or gone kinky. I have to walk on eggshells with how careful I have to be with straightened hair. It’s too high maintenance!
2. The Split Ends The ends of my hair split faster than the sun in a British winter, when I flat iron it. So
I don’t have to get inches of my hair cut off as often now that I don’t straighten it. I do still apply heat 1-2 times a year for a stretched look, but I use a lower heat setting and the tension method.
3. Growing Bored
Whenever I would straighten my hair, right away I would be flexin in the mirror and looking like
But then a couple days later, I’d be bored and missing the volume that comes with my natural curls. I'd be questioning why I even bothered.
4. The Compliments I Received
This may seem brattish of me, but I
I grew to hate getting compliments on my straight hair from people who otherwise never said ish about my curls. I would think oh NOW I’m attractive to you? Oh NOW my hair is acceptable? Among the worst comments would be: “Oh, you straightened your hair! You should wear it like that more often!” At moments like that, I would internally scream in Black power fist, while smiling on the outside like as God is my witness, you gone take this Black birthright on my head because I ain’t goin nowhere. No, I don't think I am allowing others to dictate how I wear my hair. I realized I just don't care that much about the straightness of my hair (see reasons above).
5. Shifting Motivations
When I first noticed I wasn’t so eager to straighten my hair anymore, I searched myself for my original motivations. Sure, I used to think that straight hair = sleek, or formal hair (white European beauty ideals are super entrenched, y’all), and thus would straighten my hair for special occasions. But there were other, more superficial reasons. I realized that I was primarily straightening my hair to revel in my length once or twice a year. But... micro braiding my hair once a year gives me the same opportunity, and is way more flexible!
Micro-braiding gives me all of the length straightening would afford, minus the split ends and high maintenance. It lasts a lot longer, too. The only drawback is the amount of time it takes for installation and take down (~30 hours 😥). 30 hours in exchange for 8-10 weeks of wear is pretty good in my book.
What about you? Do you like straightening your hair, or are you meh on it?