I have rioting red curly hair. Seriously, this stuff on my head starts a revolution every morning before I even wake up and isn’t done going on strike in the evenings. All through high school I maintained it at waist-length, complete with half-hour combing (or trying to comb) sessions every morning and evening. It took me two hours to wash and blow-dry my hair.
I cut it all off to two inches once I went to college and donated to Locks of Love. My family was horrified. I felt three pounds lighter (in reality, I was about three pounds lighter). My friends hated me for cutting my hair radically like that. Apparently, the red hair they had made fun of was a source of envy- ha, ha.
I’ve been growing it out again since uni, went through the required triangle-haired period and am comfortably maintaining a mid-back length now since I discovered the miracle that is cutting out layers of hair. I’m even down to one hour for hair-care!
Today, at the office, I left my hair open for the first time ever. Now, I have big green eyes (Irish heritage), and with the red hair there’s more “Call 911! There’s a fire in the office!” jokes than hair on my head. My co-workers seemed vaguely horrified that I was looking so un-businesslike (never mind that most female lawyers leave their hair open two days of the week). Maybe it’s the curls- my hair curls in every direction and won’t lie flat even if you threaten it with a straightening iron. I’ve heard more comments about my age, presumed incompetence, weird attitude, ability to deal with clients, source of my success, doubts about my exam results and plain insults to my face than I can deal with. Just now, during lunch break, I fled to the ladies’ room and put my hair in a bun. It seems the source of vexation is back.
I don’t know what it is that makes people hate red hair- it’s like there’s an automatic “pick on this person!” attached to it.
I just know that I don’t feel like being a punching bag all day long, or leered at by those “middle-aged” partners of ours. I’ll just wear a disguise during the day and leave the open hair for the evenings when roomie and I are all alone in the apartment (though she’s told me more than once to “control that menace on your head!” whenever I’m shedding as much as a hair).
Can you ever be yourself as a curly red-head? Apparently not.