I started out with curly hair. But somewhere between ages 0 to 5, my hair decided, "Hey, guess what? I want to be straight. I am prejudiced against any curls of hair. Even waves." And I was then gifted with the straightest hair known to man.
My hair is still straight. However, now my hair teases me. "Grow me longer," my hair whispers. "And I will give you curls."
My hair is lying viciously.
Anyway, the main thing is, this came to mind when I was brushing my hair this morning. There was very little frizz coming off my hair, except for one strand which was a ringlet. I got excited. For once, my hair was going to love me! I brushed it, hoping to see it spring back into its ringlet.
No. The strand fell into line with its fellow legions of hair soldiers, and saluted me.
Why are curls so important to me? I'm going to blame stereotypes here. Until recently, I was the most un-Chilean child you could imagine. (I say recently because now my body shape apparently matches the ideal my Chilean relatives strive for and they are quite envious. It's new.) I had skin which darkened rather than burned, yeah. In summer, it was brown, it was smexy. Winter came along, and my cousins retained this pretty brown. I faded to a yellowy colour.
That, right there, is a problem. Jaundiced skin makes you glow, yeah. Not in a particularly appealing way though.
Anyway, skin aside, the hair was an issue. My cousins fit every Latino stereotype that has ever been cast upon my countrymen-to-be. Except for the youngest, who looks emphatically European, my cousins have dark curls, dark skin, and dark eyes. I mean, Daniela has the hair of Cote de Pablo; Tamara's is a bit more crazy, but still. They won't have to use mascara or anything, because those girls have been gifted with naturally dark eyelashes. Daniela is also tall.
Then I come into the picture. Short, yellowing skin, eyes which are a definitive brown, and dark brown hair which is decidedly straight.
Year 8. My father and I are in the car, driving to school. Or work, for him.
"Papi," I said, all thirteen years of charm, "I want curly hair."
My father often goes along with my whims. Sometimes, he actually carries out my whims. This was a one of those times. "I will buy you curlers. Or do you want a perm?"
"A perm?" I asked, wrinkling my nose. "What's that?"
"It's where they chemically curl your hair."
I liked that notion very much.
Dad has not yet come through with this, but he keeps his promises.
Anyway. So now I should probably get ready. I'm just going to detail the process of actually curling my hair:
- Wash hair.
- Comb hair finely.
- Comb toffee hold wax into hair. Into every last bit of hair.
- Spray with sea salt spray.
- Twist into buns.
- Bobby pin buns flat, and tie them down.
- Put on hat.
- Spend a good half hour rearranging curls nicely.
- Spray with hairspray, extra hold, and some more sea salt spray.
- Pray fervently that it is miraculously not humid.