In our new series, Curly Hair Chronicles, the women of The Huffington Post share their strategies, struggles and successes with maintaining wavy, coily and kinky-textured hair. Taste senior editor Kristen Aiken sounds off below on her fiery red mane. Read on to find out how Kristen overcame comparisons to Carrot Top and defeated her cowlicks.
Carrot Top was at the height of his career during my adolescence, and for that I will forever loathe him.
When you're 14 years old, it's bad enough to have braces and bad skin. It's even worse to play the trumpet, be a foot taller than everyone else, and be able to massacre the boys in gym class volleyball. The last thing you want is to draw comparisons to THIS GUY. Having curly red hair will do that.
Hair is just strands of protein that sprout from your head. You can cut it all off and it will grow back. It shouldn't be a big deal. But it holds this mystical power that somehow influences self-esteem, giving you the confidence of either a Troll doll or Nicole Kidman in a Chanel No. 5 ad. If you're not born with straight and glossy hair, a lot of days are Troll doll days.
Admittedly, I don't have the worst hair. Some days it decides to be ringlets, others deep kinks, and on the lucky days, just waves. I can always count on having at least 15 cowlicks, which I'm convinced are the devil's mark on me. (Also, is there anything grosser than the thought of a cow licking your forehead?) But really, it could be worse. My hair is just a stubborn jerk with multiple personalities and the propensity to make me look like a crazy person. I try to avoid people like that, and likewise, I too mostly avoid my hair.
I learned all about the damage of straightening from my mother, who in college ironed her hair straight with an actual iron and ironing board. And my own vain attempts at eliminating my curls have always been like an endlessly frustrating game of Whac-A-Mole: One curl gets smoothed down, and another pops back up. My philosophy, after years of trial and error, has become this: Give it five minutes of my best effort, and walk away.
This usually means either smoothing it with a giant-barreled curling iron, or throwing it up in a knot. This also means I get more time every morning to watch SportsCenter, go for a run or actually spend more time with the real human beings I love and care about -- not my blow-dryer or a straightening iron. I just accept that at the end of every day, my bangs will turn into wings and I will look ten times crazier. Let's just pretend I'm going for the "fiery redhead" thing and call it a day. Just don't call me Carrot Top.
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