I was bawling.
Mouth full of toothpaste, I stared disgustedly at my reflection.
Wet, tight curls hung limply on my head, starkly contrasting with my straight, sleek bangs. I was a pitiful mess--leaky eyes, red nose, weird hair, wounded soul.
Poodle. Poodle. Old fart.
That was me now, or at least that's what I looked like because of my hair. And it was all my fault.
* * *
When I went to China this year, I got a perm just like last time (photos here and here, or feel free to creep in my 2012 archives).
Unfortunately, it didn't turn out like last time.
I had forgotten that my hair had been a lot longer then, and that I hadn't gotten the top of my head permed. So I was left with a huge, unruly mess fit for the 1980s.
Since time-traveling to the 80s, getting a straightening treatment, or cutting the curly parts off weren't viable options (I like the 21st century thank you, and I also don't want to be left with no hair from more chemicals or no hair from cutting it off), my only solution was to just deal.
And I did deal for about a week, finding mild satisfaction by pulling the curly locks up with a wire headband. But I was still extremely self-conscious about the poof, and there was absolutely no way to disguise my hair in a ponytail because of the short length. Youtube tutorials for short, curly hair were also fruitless because my hair was too short.
Out of frustration and curiosity one day, I began furiously twisting and pinning sections of my hair up. This is the result, and I'm actually pretty happy.
So, as I promised, here's how I tame the beast.
What you'll need:
-- bobby pins (I use 9-12; if possible, matching your hair color is ideal)
--short, curly hair (slightly damp, and not long enough for a ponytail works best)
1. Starting from the sides, take a small section of hair that can be easily pinned.
2. Twist the section and pin it at the end. For best results, especially if you're planning to wear your hair down later, twist in the natural direction of the curl (either down or up).
3. Repeat until you've finished the whole head. For the back, I pin the top layer down and the bottom layer up (section near my neck).
4. Take care of any flyaways with more bobby pins, or leave 'em. I personally like a few to keep the look more tousled.
Here are larger, more detailed shots of the finished look:
If you have experience with short, curly hair, definitely drop me a note--I'd love to learn more styling techniques. If this sort of hair is totally irrelevant to you, but you also have a hair disaster story, I'd be grateful to hear how you dealt.
Of course, for every downside, there's an upside. I may not be happy with how my hair looks now, but I've learned to invent solutions and search for more confidence in something deeper than appearance.