Having naturally curly hair is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, curly hair is beautiful and distinctive, and it makes fancy updos as easy as a ponytail and some strategically placed bobby pins. On the other hand, some members of the general public regard curly hair as an open invitation for rude questions and backhanded compliments, all of which get real old real fast.
The worst offenders, however, are the people who say the following 11 things to curly-haired women:
1. “Who does your hair? You should book an appointment with my stylist. She could really help you out.”
Now, this might be fine to say to a curly-haired person if said curly-haired person came to you asking for help with her hair. But if you decide to say this to someone out of the blue, as my coworker did to me three times last year, it’s off-the-charts rude.
2. “Your hair isn’t that long. It would probably only take, like, 45 minutes to straighten it out in the morning.”
Bear with me as I unpack all of the many, many things that are wrong with these two sentences. First of all, it is almost impossible to determine how long curly hair really is when you’ve only seen it in its curly state. Secondly, only 45 minutes? Only 45 minutes? That is an enormous amount of time, especially in the morning. And believe it or not, it takes some women upwards of two hours to properly straighten their hair. And finally, it wouldn’t matter if straightening my hair took all of 12 seconds—I just don’t want to do it!
3. “I can’t believe you’ve been wearing your hair curly for so long!”
This one is both annoying and funny. Like, I’m not “wearing” my hair curly. It is curly. This is just how it looks as it grows out my head.
4. “I have curly hair too, but I always get up in the morning to straighten it.”
Wow, cool, very awesome. But also, how sad for you.
5. “My cousin has curly hair, but her curls are a lot more defined/less frizzy/springier than yours. I’ll ask her what products she uses and let you know.”
There is a shocking number of people in this world who don’t seem to understand that curly hair grows in many different textures. And enough with the unsolicited “advice,” already!
6. “You know there are treatments you can do that would make your hair straight for, like, six months at a time.”
Like, yeah, of course I know that. I wasn’t born yesterday, nor do I live in a commune cut off from the rest of society. But here’s the thing: I don’t want to make my hair straight. Not for one week, and certainly not for six months.
7. “I just want to touch it!”
I used to agonize over this when I was in high school. People would want to pull on my curls, and because I was an insecure teenager, I felt weird about being like, “No. This isn’t a petting zoo.” Then I’d wind up with a frizzy, tangled mess of curls, and I’d be so pissed about it. Now that I’m an adult, it’s much easier to say no, but damn, I would love to go through the rest of my life and never have anyone ask to touch my hair ever again.
8. “I can’t believe you brought conditioner and styling cream on a camping trip! Ha ha ha ha! I didn’t even bring shampoo! You’re so high maintenance!”
Oh, wow, you’re such a cool, easy-going girl, and I’m such a total psycho! I’m also rolling my eyes so far back into my brain that I’m pretty sure they’re going to get stuck back there!
9. “What does your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife think about your hair?”
Why do you ask? Is there something inherently unattractive about curly hair? And to be honest, I don’t really give a flying you-know-what. Love me, love my curly hair!
10. “You’d look so pretty with straight hair!”
I blame all of those silly geek-to-chic movies for this one. Like, look what happens when the weird, ugly girl straightens her hair and throws out her glasses! She turns into a mega babe!
11. “Why do you curl your hair every morning?”
Cut to my face like: