Curls: Hair stories

This week we are talking about hair. Yes, hair.

Is it just the stuff growing out of our heads, a mere byproduct of dead cells? Or is it more than that?

Meet Amy Gartenberg. Here are her thoughts on hair.

curly hair (1)

Natural hair color/style:

Long, curly, thick, brown

Most memorable hair transformations:

A few years ago, I cut my hair pretty short. The week after I cut it I went into full-fledged panic mode. Was I beautiful? Did I look like a crazy person? My hair was so much a part of my identity that I had a really hard time with this drastic change. I used to stare into the mirror and try to estimate how long it would until it grew back. A year? Two years?

I also once dyed my hair “Egyptian Plum.” This I loved. It felt playful and a bit wild. When I made this change, I didn’t really care about others concerns. It felt like I was doing something just for me.

Hair identity:

I am always being identified by my hair. People will describe me as the girls with curly hair. They will touch me and “boing” my curls. I attach a sense of beauty to my hair.

But when I was younger, I wanted nothing else in the world but to have straight hair. My mom used to blow it out for me at night. I remember one night, my hair had simply gotten too curly for her to handle and my hair just ended up frizzy and huge. I was so upset. But eventually, I learned to embrace my curls. They made me feel original. It was like my hair was an accessory.

If Amy lost her hair:

I think that losing my hair would definitely change my identity. Of course, it is only hair. But I am more attached to my hair than I would like to admit. We live in a world where a bad hair day can ruin your whole day. I think because my hair seems kind of “loud,” I sometimes feel that my personality needs to match that. I need to be fun, interesting, and spontaneous. And yes, I can be that way. But I sometimes wonder if I lost my hair, would I tune into softer emotions? Who’s to say I wouldn’t be quieter and calmer? Additionally, if I lost my hair, I am afraid I wouldn’t feel as beautiful. I wouldn’t feel like myself.

An image of hair:

From time to time, I will ache for a long blonde ponytail. I want it to sway side to side when I run, I want sea salt to make it a little wavy, I want to do one of those fish tail things that don’t work at all in curly hair. To me, a blonde ponytail represents strength, health, and beauty. I will never have this ponytail. And that’s ok. But a girl can still dream sometimes.


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