It Takes Me Like Two Hours To Straighten My Hair Every Day, But What Choice Do I Have?

Some curly hair is gorgeous. Mine is all of the antonyms for gorgeous.
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Maria Jose
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Some curly hair is gorgeous. Mine is all of the antonyms for gorgeous.

My curly hair is my number-one beauty complaint and my ridiculous excuse for virtually everything: why I’m late (it takes me two hours longer to get ready than it takes my straight-haired friends), why I’m single (the first thing Patti Stanger tells her curly-haired clients is to straighten their hair), and why I couldn’t make it to the gym before work (what, and show up to the office looking like Einstein’s hairstylist’s other client? Thanks but no thanks, sorry I’m not sorry, sue me).

It can’t actually take me two hours to do my hair. Ev-er-y day. That’s absurd. But it definitely seems like it takes me that long. I’ve decided to settle this once and for all and time myself, and hope that any curly-haired compatriots that read this share their tips (and heartache? Or triumphs!) to cut my styling time in half. Or thirds. Fourths would be great!

Bringing back the crimped look, sans crimper.

Bringing back the crimped look, sans crimper.

I think curly hair is beautiful. I just haven’t figured out a way to make it to work for me.

While my sisters’ hair lifted off the pillow like satin every morning, mine went through a pound of mousse, a hair dryer, a round brush, a paddle brush, leave-in conditioner, braids, hair clips, water, water--Jesus Christ, this water’s not doing anything and I’m already late--and a few dozen bobby pins, until I just settled for a ratty bun on top of my head. And those were the days before morning swim team practice. I can’t even.

And I’ve tried LE EVERYTHING. I’ve gotten it chemically relaxed and keratin-treated twice, respectively, which are aaaamaaaazingggg while the results last. Relaxing doesn’t entirely pin-straighten your hair, so it still looks natural and wavy, but it adds manageability and bounce and glossiness. Now that I think about it, I wonder why I haven’t done it again.

I mean, it’s a pre-tty, pre-tty penny, and the chemicals can’t be great for your hair, but considering how often I straighten it, probably well worth it, right? One sec while I go book an appointment.

OK, back. Next Saturday at noon. CAN’T! WAIT! I’ll write about it.

The issue with relaxing, however, is that your hair continues to grow in curly while the rest is still just chillin’ there all relaxed and whatnot, so eventually you have to manually straighten it all anyway. But the roughly two to three months it lasts are great.

The keratin treatment was fine, too, except it left my hair smelling musky and feeling greasy and heavy for a few weeks. But again, compared to my usual? An improvement.

In any event, for now, my hair is long, curly and very, very heavy on the volume, with the ends tapering off into limp, stringy strands. (Sorry to brag.)

Transforming it into something I deem presentable is a multi-step, multi-product, and (I’m pretty sure) two-hour process.

BLOWDRYING (EMPHASIS ON DRYING...UGH)

After towel-drying my hair so it isn’t dripping wet, I spritz some CHI 44 Iron Guard Thermal Protection Spray all around my head in an effort to prevent as much heat damage as I can.

I blowdry on hot and high all over, just to generally dry the area before it starts to frizz. I don’t even do my hair in the bathroom in case the air is still humid from the shower.

Time: 6 minutes.

WEIRD COMBO TOOL TIME

I separate my hair into sections and use the Remington Wet 2 Straight. This tool is both efficient and roommate-friendly; it’s silent, so you’re not waking up or annoying anyone with an ugly noise, and it also isn’t blowing hot air into your face and shoulders or burning your scalp. But it doesn’t really do your hair. It just “dries” it and “straightens” it, but it leaves my particular head of hair looking dull and frizzy, hence the third step.

Time: 32 minutes.

IRON AND SHINE (I SWEAR I DON'T MEAN THAT AS A PUN)

I straighten my hair using my ghd iron. It’s pink, which is important. Separating into sections again, I run it through my hair piece by piece, curling the ends in slightly, so as not to channel Morticia.

Then, I apply shine-boosting product. A little Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Cream and soon I have what (I hope) makes me look like just a girl with straight hair that rolled outta bed and didn’t spend her whole morning doing this. Just a fun, cool, laid-back chick who’s just totally chill and easy-going and rolls with the punches.

Time: 16 minutes.

I've found that pulling on my hair doesn't really help straighten it.

I've found that pulling on my hair doesn't really help straighten it.

Total time: 54 minutes! That’s LESS THAN HALF of the LIE I’ve been unknowingly telling people!

But still. That’s almost an hour. Not cool, hair.

Listen, I know a thing or 12 about beauty, but this is my Achilles heel. Tell me what works for you, my frizzy, curly comrades!