“You have curly hair?!” shrieked my friend of one year, Milena, when I told her the truth about my locks. “Yeah. It’s true. I totally do. I just straighten it all the time,” I said with a sigh. For the most part, I’m an open book, but the one thing people tend to not know about me is that the Leonora with the sleek, angled bob is, in fact, a curly-haired freak. It’s not like I purposefully keep it secret; it’s just that I never wear my hair that way. Ever.
Don’t get me wrong, I adore women who rock the curls like Blake Lively, with her loose, goddess-like waves, and Taylor Swift, with those cute ringlets. Unfortunately, my natural mane looks nothing like this … not even close. Let my hair air-dry and it looks like a mess of limp waves. If I sleep on it wet, I wake up with a crazy, scrunched-up mess that almost stands up by itself. “You look like a mad scientist,” my sister once told me when I groggily wandered into the kitchen one morning. I must have inherited some weird mixed gene. My mother, on the one hand, has a full-on Jew-fro that reaches three inches high on good days; my father has normal guy hair with just a touch of a wave. This combination somehow gave me a head of hair that doesn’t quite achieve mom’s bounce (some parts in the back are even straight). I’ve tried just about everything to style it—hot rollers, curling irons, bedhead looks, beachy waves. In the end, I just look like I haven’t washed my hair in about a week. (And not in that cool, dirty hipster way.)
As a result, I’ve been armed with John Frieda’s Frizz-Ease, a round brush, and a blow dryer since the age of 12. For a while, I had long hair, which I either blew out after each wash or put in a tight bun. When I cut my hair to chin length a few years ago, I made the look even sharper with the daily use of a flat iron (yeah, not too great for your locks). Probably only a handful of people have seen Curly Leo.
I don’t really know who that girl is, come to think of it. I only know myself as the person with sweeping bangs who looks back at me in the mirror. I do start to wonder if the continual transformation makes me a different person. Is it bad to hide who I really am? Something tells me that it is wrong, that Curly Leo would give off a more confident and relaxed vibe. But in the end, I still find the straighter girl to be more attractive.