Posts tagged ‘condition’

Embrace Yourself!

How about a little show and tell story? This is a story about my hair, and it is a bit of a sob story. Here is my picture at the age of 2 in 1971 with my older sister, Monique, and younger brother, Eddie. Can you guess which one I am?

My sister has always had stunningly gorgeous, very dark brunette hair. She could wear it short, or easily grow it very long. She had just the perfect balance of waves and thickness.

In the early 80’s when the style was “preppy,” she could wear perfect wispy bangs and draw the rest back with a stylish pink and green ribbon headband. On lazy mornings, she could sweep it all up in a ponytail, simple and elegant.

When hair styles went bigger and wavier in the mid 80’s, she got a body wave perm. Monique could then style it any way she pleased: full and wavy, or blow dryer straight with curled ends. Yes, I thought my sister had the perfect hair, and I was always green with envy.

I was born with very little hair, and the little hair I had the nurses immediately shaved off. After my delivery, I had some breathing issues and severe jaundice that led to having an IV being placed in my scalp. After a few months, my true hair started coming in. My hair had the appearance of yellowish downy feathers like what you see on a baby duck.

As I got older, and my hair grew, my mother tried several things and consulted with many women at the local beauty shops. At the age of 2, she gave me my first home perm in hopes of giving it some curl and control. I can remember at times standing next to my Mom in the checkout line at the grocery store, or at church, and someone would ask her, “What happened to your daughter’s hair? Bad perm or something?” It always amazed me how people would make these comments and think I didn’t understood what was being said, or that I wouldn’t feel badly about their statements.

I have many memories of my Mom trying to brush my hair out in the morning before school. My scalp just grew accustomed to the pain. It was no use complaining. I just had to accept it. I usually would avoid looking at myself in the mirror as well. In the morning, my Mom would slick it down with Vaseline and water and pull it tightly into a pigtail. By the end of the day, it would be bursting out of the pigtail all over the place. One big frizz ball.

When hearing the story of the Ugly Duckling, I truly believed that I was that duckling.

While growing up, I learned little by little how to try different techniques and products to make my hair look better. Luckily, by high school, I could actually make my hair presentable. It would take a lot of time and work. I usually would wake up at 5:30 am to have enough time to wash, blow dry, set curlers, and style my hair. And usually, if I went out again after school, I would need to re-wash and re-style my hair. .Seriously, the amount of time and energy I have spent on my hair is staggering to think about! And the end product still left me self-conscious and embarrassed.

That is until March of this year, when something inside me couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t torture, blow dry and fight against the hair God gave me one more day.
I believe it was nothing short of divine intervention that sent me to NaturallyCurly.com and Lorraine Massey’s book, “Curly Girl.” Without a doubt, these two sources of information have changed my life and given me a new found love and appreciation for my hair.

I only wish I had learned to be comfortable and confident with my hair before now. All those years of despair, feeling like an outcast and believing I had a flaw that made me different from other children. All that time thinking I was an ugly duckling waiting to become a swan when in fact I was an adorable little chick!

That is also what inspired me to create my blog and share these experiences. Writing out those memories still gets to me. I sincerely hope that we can empower each other by sharing our knowledge and building each other up. I want to get the word out so that the “little Jenny’s” out there can benefit from my experience and learn to accept themselves for the beautiful people they are! Embrace yourself and your hair, no matter what!

September 20, 2007 at 10:31 pm 6 comments


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