No really, why am I doing this to myself? I have thick, curly hair that is (for curly hair) extremely manageable. It is shiny and healthy and I take great care of it. So why, everyday, do I torture myself, take time out of my day to curl it? It is a long process sometimes, it is highly unentertaining to curl hair and I can only imagine what I could spend that twenty to forty minutes a day (not including washing and blow drying) doing! I might even be able to eat something more than a banana and a protein shake for breakfast if I just said screw this and went about my morning with the natural texture of my hair or blow dried straight.
I was curious as to who decided in the history of the world that holding a burning hot piece of metal near their very delicate flesh was a good idea. Come to find out that the art of hair curling is so old that it does not have an exact era it started in. It is filed under “Ancient World.” I can remember reading a book about the Trojan war when I was in middle school and it talked about how the women of Troy would curl their hair before pinning it back from their faces. Troy. Ancient Troy, which means Ancient Greece which means for probably 2,500 years women have been taking their straight hair and transforming it into bouncing, full curls and for what? I feel this all stems from that age old epigram that girls with straight hair want curly hair and girls with curly hair want straight hair (or, if you are cool like me, you have curly hair that you blow dry straight ONLY to recurl it….What is wrong with me?).
I have been contemplating this question for a few weeks now. What drives me (and other women) to spend so much time a day (probably around 10,000 minutes a year) curling my hair?
Is it for the wonderful wind in the hair look?
Who doesn’t want the fabulous hair of Loki????
Is it for the way the curls bounce with every move we make?
Look at all the lovely bouncing of that red mane!
Is it for luxurious volume curls provide?
If only curling your hair instantly transformed you into Beyonce!
Is it for the insane ability to twirl your curls?
Which not only gives off a sassy attitude, but helps keep your curls looking fresh!
I am assuming each girl has their own reason for why they spend such a crazy amount of time and money (curling irons are NOT cheap, nor is good hair spray!). Whether it is wind in the hair, an adorable bounce, the voluptuous volume or the sassiness of a curl twirl, curling your hair is a dangerous art! Seriously, no matter how many times I have curled my hair (every day for the past four or five years probably?) I always seem to nick myself with that iron someway or another every now and then. If you have never used a curling iron, or have one that does not show you the temperature, they are HOT. Mine goes up to 410 degrees, in comparison, most dishes that are baked are only baked at about 350 degrees.
Shouldn’t women who curl their often be used to the high heat and danger of burns though? Why would heat matter? Easy answer to this, we get bored while curling our hair!!!!
The number of times I have been like….
hmmm…. What else could I be doing? Did I turn the coffee maker on? Are my bananas still good? Do I still have protein powder? What dress am I going to wear today? Where are my dogs? I hope they are not doing anything stupid? What was that sound? And the list could go on and on and on forever. I think my brain cycles through more questions and thoughts while I am literally tethered to an outlet in my bathroom than it does at any other time during the day! Ever have the feeling you left the oven on? Try dealing with that while holding an iron less than half an inch away from your head and NOT twitching.
That’s not the only thing that causes burns either! Curling my hair last week, I twisted to see what my fiance was doing, the cord for the iron knocked a flower clip for my hair onto the iron itself, without thinking, I reached for the flower and planted my right thumb directly onto the fully heated iron. Pretty sure I am NOT going to have a thumb print for a little while on that finger. Whoever coined the term “beauty is pain” was not joking around.
The other problem with how hot curling irons get? Some women believe they just crank the temperature on the iron up all the way and go at their hair without a thought about the damage to their hair. Heat is bad for your hair (hence the myriad of hair products that every woman should have), it is damaging, it breaks the hair and if you are not using heat protectors you can and will kill your hair. The other problem is how long you should hold the curling iron to your hair. Not knowing the right heat setting or timing can be bad…
….like, this bad
Yeah, that is her hair still wrapped around the iron as she pulls away. If you have thin or fragile hair, use lower heat settings, if your hair is thicker and coarse than use a higher setting. It really is that simple, don’t just turn it on, crank it up and go at your hair like it doesn’t have feelings (yes, I know hair is dead protein, but it has feelings too!)
The other big thing is to know what your curling iron can do! SIZE DOES MATTER! (get your mind out of the gutter!) There are sizes and styles that do many different things. My favorite is a simple iron that does not have a clamp, this gives me a much more beachy look. I can control the size of the curls or make it a very loose wave and I adore the trend of leaving a bit of a straight tail at the end of the curls, gives it such a relaxed bohemian quality. As much as I love that, I also own a 1inch and 1.5inch traditional irons as well. The 1inch gives me the standard curls or I can go really tight and get ringlets while the 1.5inch will give me some large waves with incredible volume. Pick your iron carefully and don’t settle for just 1 iron, there are no laws against owning every size, shape and style of curling iron in the world. Check out Allure’s article on the 7 curling irons for every type of wave you want for more on what irons do what!
So, here I am, my hair in perfect curls, because the idea of leaving my hair straight literally gives me anxiety (Yeah, my hair is my safety blanket). But, it is also because there is something about curling my hair that just sends my confidence soaring. Having a bad day? It will go away instantly if my hair is perfect. I don’t care about my make up or my clothing, if my hair is in place than my day is on point and I am starting off good.
I just answered this burning question for myself. I do this because I love the confidence and attitude it gives me, which gives me the ability to be all like….
….Yeahhhhhh I look good and I know it!