Laura Windvogel is a fashion designer and blogger, here she tells us how she came to terms with her uncooperative curls:
Like all curly haired girls, I yearned for straight hair that would ripple when I released it. However, all I had was a tough, unyielding bunch of curls that refused to do act in a civilized manner. Finally succumbing to frustration, my mother had my waist length hair chopped off to a GI Jane-esque style. But instead of looking like Demi Moore, my flat chested eleven year old self was often mistaken for a boy.
Nothing influences a young girl as much as her hair. During winter my sister and I would synchronize our hair washing schedules with the absence of rainy days and inwardly curse the humour of Cape Towns wind that has no mercy.
Growing up I conformed and tried to have straight hair but as time progressed I realized this was a fruitless desire. So I embraced my curly heritage and tried to make it work for me. I formulated a steady hair regiment, conditioning my curls to keep them tight and shiny.
Many friendships have started with a simple, “I love your hair, how do you do it?” Even though my reaction to questions like these have become slightly rehearsed, I still appreciate the compliments however inappropriate they might be at times. I mean you, Mr. Long Street Window Washer, “Little baby Curly. Let’s give it a whirly! “
Hair has the capacity to turn you into a social outcast, give you a confidence boost and make people look twice. It’s the most temporary way to re-invent ourselves again and again and dissolve into giggles when we look back in retrospect. Personally I try to forget the year I tried to mimic Halle Berry and straighten my 5 centimeter long hair. I thought I was the spitting image of Halle in Swordfish, but really I was more Oprah circa 1989.
Despite my adolescent hate of my kinky hair I would despise having a boring coiffure. Excluding the occasional loon grabbing a handful of my curls because they are convinced it is a weave, I love strangers approaching me and asking questions regarding my hair. I find it funny when acquaintances fail to recognize me with my hair tied up and being known as ‘the girl with the big hair’ isn’t half bad. Sure, I can’t really wear hats, but bargain shopping is a breeze when you’re mistaken for a Rastafarian-liberal hybrid!
Hair is a transient thing. It can be there and gone in the metallic flash of a pair of scissors only to resurface later, undaunted. So take advice from your hair. If you make mistakes brush yourself off and return, undaunted. Don’t be afraid to make important changes. Whether you’re changing your hair colour or your job. Changing either can seriously change your general outlook on life.
Embrace your hair, its shortcomings and all. Incorporate it into your identity, recognizing it for what it truly is, an extension of who you are, you’re ‘that red head’, ‘that girl with the curls’ or simply ‘the blond’.
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