Going up sleepovers were a big deal. I very rarely got to go but, there are a few that really stick out my mind from middle school. The one I remember the most was at my best friend April’s house. She was a new girl who had moved to Danville from Oklahoma. The reason why that particular sleepover was so memorable to me is because it was the first time someone ever French braided my hair. In fact, it was really the first time I remember anyone ever doing something to my hair other than me. Other than my mother brushing my hair when I was really young.
At a friend’s house in rural PA.
I realize my hair was really short prior to middle school and there probably wasn’t too much that anybody could do with it. As I grew it out I experimented, usually failing miserably, to make it resemble the hairstyles of all my friends. I don’t think their words to describe how elated I was when Mrs. Splane completed her braid my hair. After that I became abscessed with braiding I braided all of my dolls as well as all of my friends. Eventually, I even learned to French braid my own hair. In time I graduated in to multiple braids, fishtails, inverted French Braids and most recently braids inspired by the Hunger Games.
The satisfaction of a braid well done with tired arms and all – I have A LOT of hair.
In the days before YouTube all you could do was watch others and learn and when it came to braiding I was an eager student and practiced diligently. In my adult life I definitely don’t braid as much as I did in my youth but it’s often therapeutic and a favorite way to tuck away my hair for travel days.
A girlfriend of mine recently found out that she was going to have a daughter and when she saw my braids asked if I could teach her how to braid hair. I think we all know how great it is to have someone else do your hair. And I’m sure that it’s a wonderful bonding experience between a mother and a daughter. I think I was always a little bit jealous of April to have such an awesome mom who could French braid hair. Of course I adore my own mother but I wonder how different our relationship would’ve been if we had bonded over things like hair and make up and other girly activities. In the years since I’ve left home I’m now the one who goes home and beg my mother to let me do her hair and make up. Rather than practice on dolls I now practice on my god sister Katie, who is often a willing guinea pig. She, along with countless children I’ve babysat, or cheerleaders I have coached, have benefited from the skills I learned as a child at a sleepover.
I can’t wait to have my own little girl one day but until then I will keep braiding my own hair and anyone else who asks. Curly girls can rock the French Braid too – OUI!
I can’t lie sometimes I do get bored with curls – okay I am one of those people who gets bored with just about everything eventually. In any event, when it comes to my hair some days I have more time on my hands or I see something I want to try and I am determined to do it. Since I began blogging I have used my @justacurlygurl Instagram and Twitter accounts to follow inspiring #girlswithcurls all over the world. I also have recently turned to YouTube for inspiration and tutorial….yes I know I am late to the game.
Experimenting with bobby pins to create faux bangs.
I have always been intrigued by people who have bangs. I even once bought a wig so I could see what I looked like with bangs, but it was straight hair. I was always worried if I cut my hair while it was straight that it would look crazy when it was curly. At one point a couple years ago I let a stylist put long layers in my hair and it almost looked like bangs when I styled it right curly.
3 years ago in MN I had some serious layers which when curly gave the look of bangs.
More recently, I found an alternative way to try faux bangs with my good friends the bobby pins. Thanks to a random search on YouTube I successfully created bangs on Easter morning when I was celebrating with my bestie and her family. I think it made an interesting frame to my face. What do you think? I may try it again one day with a ponytail. I think that would be interesting. Having this blog is certainly getting me to pull the trigger on trying some new things and I must say I like it. I know I have a tendency to get lazy with my hair especially 2-3 days after washing. The messy bun (a topic for a future post) is a frequently used style during the week and in the gym. I am seriously trying to step my hair game up.
It’s funny how being more adventurous with my hair is helping me do the same in life. As a constant overthinker and analyzer I am often gun shy when it comes to new things. I resolved to try more and say yes more often in 2015 and so far I am keeping that promise to self. So bang bang – I will keep pulling that trigger. I will NOT however be cutting my hair and making bangs permanent anytime soon. I like it but I didn’t love it. So I will keep trying new looks. Let me know what you think!
After decades of being asked about my hair I have finally decided to find a forum to share what I have experienced. So no matter what your curl story is you will hopefully find a way to connect with my curl chronicles or in the least enjoy a good story or two.
First, let me introduce myself, my name is Courtney Marie. I was adopted when I was only 7 weeks old by two amazing people and grew up with my brothers in a small town in central Pennsylvania. When I was about 9 I found my birth certificate and discovered I was mixed (according to my paperwork I was “mulatto” – more about that in a future post). I know very little about my birth parents beyond their age and race. What I do know is that I grew up in a house and a community where the faces and hair did not match mine.
I cannot remember a time when I didn’t struggle in some way shape or form with my hair. Only the innocent baby you see in this post lived a life free of hair problems. I know if you asked my mother she would say she also bore the pain of the early years. I can remember sitting between her legs while she brushed my hair out. She didn’t have Google or YouTube to assist her in the challenges of raising a daughter whose hair was nothing like her own. She also couldn’t ask a neighbor or find a hairdresser in town that had hair like mine. We were on her own. My mom’s solution? Cut it short when it gets too long to deal with. Short curly hair combined with my brothers’ hand-me-downs resulted in being mistaken for a little boy more often than not.
Thinking back I only recall wishing I had wavy red hair like my mom or straight dirty blond hair like my cousin. In fact, I am pretty sure I spent about the first 20 years of my life wishing I had hair that wasn’t mine. Little did I know that women out there do it all the time and it is just called weave (again a subject for a future post). There are a number of reasons why I didn’t love my hair but they all come down to a common denominator – I didn’t have someone to help me or to identify with. I don’t blame anyone – it was my reality at the time. Luckily, any little girl in a situation similar to mine now has access to so many resources to help them learn to love their curls early. Maybe I was nudged by Dove’s new #loveyourcurls campaign http://www.dove.us/loveyourcurls
My family – circa 1982. Can you spot me?
Regardless, here I am taking the plunge and sharing my journey with my curls. It is an ongoing roller coaster ride that I have learned to love. I do love my curls and I am so glad God blessed me with them. That does not mean I always know what to do with them or how to take care of them so you can join me as I continue to learn what works and what doesn’t. Welcome to my #curlchronicles and thank you for reading my first post. Please subscribe or come back for more.