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Personal Stories

Curls & Coils

I waited for my best friend to arrive in hopes that she would tell me my hair looked great and to stop worrying, but my teacher found me first. I said hi to her as I always did and waited for her to say hi back, but instead she said, “Hi! What’s your name?” She then proceeded to ask me if I was a new student. My teacher hadn’t recognized me

Hey! It’s Tiffany, creator of In the Write. Below is my story on my naturally curly hair.


I was six years old the first time I had my hair straightened. My older sister used a flat iron to crush all my dark brown curls into long straight strands. She had spent hours parting my hair into what seemed like hundreds of sections, spraying oil and heat protect-ant on each layer, and then running them over with the hot iron. By the time she clamped down on my last curl I was both sweaty and excited. I ran to the mirror to take a look and found a completely different person staring back at me. My usually large and frizzy hair now lay flat and limp, falling all the way down my back. And to the horror of my sister I grabbed a spray bottle and drenched my hair with water, causing my natural curls to quickly bounce back to their original state and destroying all her hard work.

The first time I actually wore my hair straight was in kindergarten. My sister once again had spent nearly two hours parting and ironing, parting and ironing, and parting and ironing my hair. I walked into school and took a seat at the circular table where my name tag had been for more than half a year. I waited for my best friend to arrive in hopes that she would tell me my hair looked great and to stop worrying, but my teacher found me first. I said hi to her as I always did and waited for her to say hi back, but instead she said, “Hi! What’s your name?” She then proceeded to ask me if I was a new student. My teacher hadn’t recognized me.

Throughout the next couple of years in elementary and middle school I would occasionally have my sister fix my hair straight until I was old enough to use the flat iron myself. I never straightened it regularly but each time I wore my hair straight I was treated differently. I’d always get comments about how I looked prettier or that my hair looked better this way. Many people even told me I should wear my hair like that all the time. In seventh grade, a girl who was normally cruel to me said that she “actually liked me now” since my hair was straight. I didn’t understand how my natural hair caused her disdain but I soon grew used to these types of comments and wanted to wear my hair straight more often. I never truly learned how to properly care for my curly hair. I went through phases of wearing bandannas in elementary school, then I sported butchered bangs that were way too short and straggly, and then finally my go to hair style in third through sixth grade: a low frizzy ponytail caked with hairspray. This way I was able to control the frizz a little bit.

Most of the time my hair caused me to be self conscious and I truly struggled with it. It wasn’t until I was in high school that I finally started to figure out how to handle my hair. I didn’t know that you weren’t supposed to wash it everyday or how important product is. I didn’t know about bonnets or gel or deep conditioning. I’m still learning it all and some days I still want to rip my hair out when it won’t cooperate, and that’s exactly why I created this “Curls and Coils” section of the blog. Most people who have curly or coily hair grow up not knowing what the heck to do with this crazy thing growing out of their heads. Fortunately, some of us (not me quite yet) have figured it out, so I am hoping that in the “Curls and Coils” section we can share our hair journeys, stories, tips, tricks, and everything else that comes with having curly hair and maybe we can help some other curly people out too.

Even if you don’t have curly hair you can still read these stories and you’ll likely find some funny ones too. Most of us curly girls and boys have dealt with people throwing wrappers or straws in our hair without us knowing, burning chunks of our hair off from straightening it, or having really, really bad hair days. There’s plenty of other things that likely happened to our hair that we didn’t even know was possible that we simply have to laugh at and move on from. So, I hope you enjoy this section and if you want to share your curly or coily hair story, send me a message and I’d love to share it!

*This post was originally published in January 2020. The “Curls & Coils” section has now been collectively combined into our “Personal Stories” section.

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