An Ode to Thick Hair

When I was very young, my hair looked very fine and very straight, that it is almost insane to think about it considering the thick mane that I have now. Until the age of five, my mother decided to give me the ever stylish bowl cut, complete with matching Osh Kosh overalls and all. Then, during the turn of the millennium, haircuts changed and so did mine. I went from adorable child star to a fade with spiked hair, reminiscent of Lance Bass.

My mom continued getting my haircut like that until I finally took control at the age of 13. During this point, I went through a grunge phase where I avoided getting a haircut entirely and for the first time my hair relaxed, and I noticed it was thick, wavy, and kind of frizzy. I maintained this newfound mess by washing it daily with shampoo, no conditioner, and then slathering it in gobs of gel and hair oil that I would steal from my mother. *Every hair stylist screams. But this was what I needed in order to feel presentable enough to simply go outside. This was my weird effort at trying to manage my hair and make it appear fine and frizz-less.

During adulthood, things started changing again. For example, I started doing a little more research and found products that suited my hair, and helped nourish it as well. I stopped shampooing every day and started using conditioner. I also started experimenting with it and trying different styles because I felt bored maintaining the same fade and pompadour haircut adorned by every male, ever. For the first time, I started realizing that my hair actually worked well with many styles and every hairstylist swooned over my curly mane, and somewhere in between haircuts, I started gaining confidence.

For me, hair has always been directly tied to my vanity, even when it relates to facial hair. Early on, I started to see how my hair was connected to how I presented myself and how others saw me and I realized, how my hair was different from my “gentile” counterparts.

I envied them for their straight, fine, easy to maintain hair, that lay flat against their head. I envied men and women whose hair wasn’t manipulated by humidity. I envied hair that lay flat and wouldn’t frizz when the wind would blow. I envied hair that didn’t have volume because it lay neatly. They didn’t need an army of products to assist them with maintaining a neat hairstyle, they just lived. Effortlessly.

Then, one day on Instagram, I realized what I needed to do. I needed to be more French. I needed to be more like my style inspiration Caroline De Maigret.

SO…I’ve been looking for hair inspiration that embraces my natural wave, frizziness, and thickness. I don’t need to continue to feel like my wild mane is making me lose the love of my life to a person with long straight fine hair, I’m looking at you Carrie Bradshaw. Your ‘boy’ is lovely, Hubbell.

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I could rock the windblown mess that Caroline De Maigret effortlessly rocks because my hair is a windblown mess.

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I could embrace Emmanuelle Alt’s fearless frizz because my hair has fearless frizz.

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I could grow out my wave like Julien Dore grew out his.

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I could love with my thick hair like Lou Doillon loves hers.

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I could be wild like Florent Marchet is wild.

I used to think that this look made me look messy, or like I had no concept of what it means to be “put together,” now I just question why Americans always need to have everything “put together?” This seemingly “put together look” has always placed weird pressure on me to meet a certain standard of “perfection” that leaves no room for things to naturally grow or progress romantically. There is no romance in this type of thinking. It is cold and unrelenting. Not so chic.

This sort of thinking has made me always feel like what I currently had wasn’t enough, but now, I am choosing to no longer embrace this type of thinking.

Maybe it resides within the context of less is more.

Maybe this resides in loving my imperfections.

Maybe this is because I am slowly coming into my own.

It has been about four months since I put unnatural product in my hair. My hair feels healthier, I have a shit-ton more time in the morning, but more importantly, no one has distinctly noticed that anything has remotely shifted with my hair. Like at all. I used to put so much emphasis on my hair and how it looked, but in fact, since changing my routine, my hair has received more compliments than ever before. I think the other thing that it made me realize was how self-absorption is actually, completely delusional.

Does anyone else have a situation like this with their hair? Or anything really?

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