“Your hair is distracting”, “Your hair looks so bad”, “I can no longer follow you [because of your hair]”. These are all comments I’ve received, but maybe not because of what you were expecting. I am begging you not to skip to the below section, but to read these first few paragraphs because they are part of such a bigger picture and will lack so much context. I hope what I share gives insight and helps people to have more compassionate responses to others.
My Curly Hair Journey
I love my natural curly hair! Despite growing up with societal pressures to straighten it and seeing so few people rocking their curls, I gave up the regular straightening of my hair in high school and haven’t touched a straightener in the past 5 years. That actually has a lot more to do with a stylist who told my mom she really didn’t want to chemically straighten my hair in early high school because it would permanently damage my hair. I’ve had problems and so many times have felt like life would be so much easier if it was straight, but it’s a unique aspect of me that I’ve come to embrace. It’s why my site is named what it is.
That being said, we travel a lot for work. We can work 12+ hour days from anywhere from 3-5 days (and sometimes more). I’m not complaining, I love it, but I also love my sleep and curly hair is a lot of work. A routine to wash curls and style can take 2+ hours and then you have to be so careful after. On these long travel days all I want to do is sleep, it’s what my body needs. It helps me do my job better. And let’s not forget there are so many factors that make situations like this even harder: if I accidentally forget a product, end up sleeping on my hair wrong, or the issue of how travel causes climates to constantly change that affects hair.
So I started to look for a solution that would allow me to get much needed rest while still being camera ready for all the blogs, vlogs, and social media posts we did. I wanted to save time. I wanted to get enough sleep. In the end, that solution became wigs. I could throw a wig on and immediately be able to walk out the door having slept in. I didn’t have to worry if I slept in the wrong position and I could pack less on trips.
Finding What Works For Me
I searched to find curly wigs that matched my hair type. I watched hundreds of videos, browsed hundreds of sites, and looked everywhere for a wig that looked as similar to my hair as possible. Well, once again my hair is unique and I love that for it. It just means I couldn’t find the exact replica of my own hair. I also have always wanted long hair. Curly hair notoriously takes forever to grow. For every 3 inches it grows, you end up only growing 1 inch in length. I saw all these girls with straight hair getting extensions and even talked with just about every salon in my area (and I live in the big city of Dallas) and couldn’t find anyone who did curly extensions (I did end up finding this brand that does curly extensions and will film a video soon! – Sharing our affiliate code and link for anyone who wants to try them. Use IrresistibleMe_Jessica. for 5% off. ).
That being said, since I already wanted extensions and because of the options around me, I decided that a longer curly wig would be what I enjoyed. I found a few options and did a few test runs. They were perfect and I loved the sleep I was getting.
Now, I’m all about transparency. Do people have curls like my wigs? Absolutely! But I wasn’t going to pretend it was my real hair. I shared in my stories to be fully open about my wig journey. I share my life with my community and I was also having fun with these wigs and wanted to share in the fun with them. Some people asked honest questions because they wanted to understand, and I appreciate that. I was open with them. I love my hair, but with the travel schedule and being on camera constantly, I really needed rest rather than spending hours doing my hair.
Many people were supportive, but many people were not. I started getting comments about how my hair was distracting. How I looked [insert so many horrible names here]. How they could no longer follow me if I was going to keep wearing my hair like that. That my wig looked sooo bad. It tore me apart so I stopped posting. And I know they were only commenting that because I had been vulnerable and they wouldn’t have known otherwise. I know because I’ve had a large number of people who wear a wig compliment my hair and then be surprised when I told them it was a wig. I’ve had people question if my hair was real (more on that later), look really close and then say “ oh yeah, it is”. I’m sure I have bad wig days and it’s a little more obvious, but that’s okay. People see straight-haired peoples’ extensions sometimes. It’s nothing I’m ashamed of. Well it’s nothing I’m ashamed of until people try to shame me for it.
I Almost Got Rid of All My Hair
One comment in particular hit really deep. I had been having a really rough and long day. By now I had stopped sharing anything about my wigs because I was so tired of the comments. Only people who had been following me for a while knew. We were traveling and didn’t have any shooting and I was in the car doing a story. I had my natural hair back in a low bun behind my head. All you could see was the top of my hair. It wasn’t bad, but I promise, it was nothing that even showed my natural hair. Someone responded thinking they were being kind saying how much they liked my natural hair better as I was currently wearing.
But it was the final straw that day. I had never once said I didn’t like my natural hair better and my hair in a low bun where you can’t see anything but some top head frizz was ia no way indicative of what my natural curls look like (which yes are beautiful). I had been dealing with so much other online bullying as well as personal emotions and physical exhaustion from another long week of work. I got home and grabbed a pair of scissors ready to chop it all off. People were so invested in my hair. MY hair. I was tired of people having such strong opinions of my hair and in a moment of desperation I thought if I could just get rid of it, people couldn’t say anything. My husband talked me out of it and held me while I cried.
Yes it was a small comment, but it was just another comment among a long slew of others trying to force their desires onto my life. I was desperate to do anything to reclaim my life and live by my own terms without people trying to police the smallest of my life decisions.
It’s My Hair
I hope anyone reading this thinks twice about their words. I stopped sharing for so long because of the comments I received, but I want to be honest with people about my journey. I want to be able to wear my natural curly hair and not receive negative comments. I want a life where I can do whatever I want with my hair: where a wig one day, where it naturally the next, dye it pink, whatever and I don’t have to worry about people attacking me.
My Curly Hair Routine
Now I really hope you read the first part, however long, before getting here. It’s so vital and if you didn’t, please go back to that. Yes, I now wear wigs, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love my natural curly hair and love styling it when I have the time to do it. I’m going to share what I do for anyone who wants to rock their curls!
First off I can’t recommend enough to find the right stylist. What works for my hair might not work for yours. If you’re in Dallas, I highly recommend Erica at Cross Co Salon. It can be a bit of investment, but the way she looks at all curly hair types and accommodates her cuts and styling to their individuality makes all the difference. She also does curl coaching during the cut so you can leave confident and informed with the knowledge you need.
If you don’t live in Dallas, my biggest suggestions are these. FInd someone who:
- Mostly specializes in curly hair
- Isn’t just deva curl certified, but also who is constantly getting new training (I love that Erica never stops her education, has multiple certifications, and learns from other curly hair experts)
- Will teach how to maintain your curls
When I wear my hair natural, my favorite curly hair technique is in this video. The products may change, but the technique is the same. I’m not a big fan of talking about products. They vary so much curl type to curl type and styling method. However, I will say cleansing your hair from build up and deep conditioning masks are a curly girl’s best friend.
1. Wash out conditioner and apply leave in conditioner to soaking wet hair
2. Grab a small amount of the styler that works best for your hair and work through still soaking wet hair (important!!)
3. You can run your fingers through your hair until the product is fully applied or brush through your hair.
4. Grab small sections of your hair and twist them into curls. Now squish out all the excess water.
5. Diffuse for most volume!
6. Wait until hair is fully dry and then pull apart curls into smaller ringlets.
What Not to Say to People With Curly Hair
People often mean their questions with the best of intentions, but curiosity does not mean that everyone owes you an explanation. Don’t make someone either feel obligated to say yes to not come across as rude or have to set up boundaries to tell you no. Your life will not change if you get the answers to the burning questions below.
- ”Can I touch your hair?” No, you cannot. Your hands have oils and dirt that are bad for my hair. You might run your hair through my hair in a way that breaks up the curls.
- ”Is that really your hair?” “Is your hair natural?” “Is your hair real?” Yes, it is. No matter the answer, that is what I’m going to say if you ask me in person. I don’t know you; you did not read the full backstory of why my hair is the way it is, and I don’t want your next prying comments. And truthfully, even if you did, I do not owe anyone that information. Also, imagine you ask the wrong person that. Imagine someone who is wearing a wig who has lost their hair to chemo or something else and is feeling self-conscious already about their hair. Why do they owe you the answers to those questions? Why put them in the awkward situation of them feeling obligated to lie or telling you the truth at their expense of their comfort just for your curiosity.
If you like someone’s hair simply saying, “I really like your hair,” is sufficient enough. Now maybe some people don’t mind if you ask the questions above, but you have no way of knowing who does and who doesn’t mind. There are so many less controversial questions to ask. Save everyone the awkwardness and find another question to ask.
If you read this long, thank you! Hair is such an emotional thing and I appreciate you taking the time to read mine. I hope it’s provided some insight and I hope you will find grace in moments that people need it.