The life of a curly haired person can be a lonely one. I’ll just wait here quietly while you get your tiny violins ready.
Seriously though, I was born with white, curly hair. Wait, no, back up, I was born with NO HAIR but by the age of 2, it was abundantly clear I was going to be the only white girl in Queensland with an afro.
The problem with my hair isn’t so much that it’s curly, I share that genetic “blessing” with hundreds of thousands of people. No, my constant source of annoyance is that I’ve got this almighty and unforgiving frizz that accompanies it.
When I was about 10 years old, I gained underground access to my first ever Dolly magazine. This coincided with my mother offering me fifty bucks to chop my hair off as she “liked me better that way”. Firstly, I’m not even going to get into how questionable it is to offer your daughter money to look more like a guy, but I will say this, I am easily bought and with my confidence that the short haired model in Dolly and I would be total twins, I accepted the challenge.
Short story, I ended up looking like a brunette Ronald McDonald. That’s also the long story.
There were no defined curls, I did NOT look like Molly Ringwald in 16 Candles and I can tell you this much – Fifty bucks can never buy you enough Chicken Twisties to take away the pain of being called a boy by your school Principal.
As time went on, my hair grew back. Slowly, painfully and now, with added Frizz! Oh how I would look lovingly at straight golden hair and jealously think they had it all, meanwhile I was making my own personal contribution to eroding the Ozone layer with the copious amounts of Final Net I was applying, desperate for some kind of control.
Then came 1988 and a little golden haired young lady came along that changed the hair landscape of my adolescence. I’m talking about Kylie and the spiral perm. That’s right, all of a sudden – curly hair was a thing! A good thing. Oh but wait, frizzy hair was still out. So too, I quickly discovered, spiral perms for people that already HAD curly hair.
As I got older I grew complacent with my hair. Forgetting how abominable it could look until I was handed a photo and wondered who the wild woman of Borneo was standing at the back and then realised with horror, ‘That’s Me!”