the truth about straightening curly hair

amanda's straight hair On the 17th of Jan, I straightened my hair.  So, I've lived with straight hair for a little over a month now.

So, I thought it about time to answer some of the questions I've been asked about straightening curly hair for all you curious minds out there. :)

How long will it last?
Well, hair wants to be straight.  So, unlike a perm, straightening hair will stay straight. In other words, it won't "relax."  The only way I get my curls back is for them to grow back.

Did you do it yourself, or did you have it done?
I went to a salon near my home.  She first relaxed the curl.  That wasn't enough, so she relaxed it again.  Then she straightened with it with an iron, and then applied the perming solution.  The whole process took over four hours.

If you don't dry your hair, will it dry straight?

Yes.  I did this one day just to answer your question.  It still dries very straight, which is weird for me.   But, if I happen to stick it behind my ear then that little piece of hair will dry with a bend in it.

How does it look after you wake up. Is it frizzy at all?
Nope.  I can brush it and go. 

Which one is harder to take care of--curly hair or straight hair?
By far straight hair is much more inconvenient.  There seems to be less to do with board straight hair.  Pony tails and clips just fall right out (my hair is really thin).  So, for now it is either all down or in a headband.  Also, it must be combed and brushed on a regular basis, and you have to take the time to dry it.   With curly hair, it is wash, comb and go.  Don't touch again till you are putting it up or washing it again. And when the wind blows?  Curly hair doesn't fly into your face, straight hair does.

Big_curlsDo people think you look more Asian now?
I have had a few people make comments along the lines that straight hair does make me look more Asian. However, the most common reaction though from among my Taiwanese coworkers and friends is that now I am more "lady like." Before, apparently my curls made me more 活潑 ("wa paoh" or "hou po), which is defined as "lively; vigorous; vivacious; vivid; agile; animated; brisk; breezy; bright; cheery; spry."  The other comment is that I now look much younger.  Hmm . . . younger and more lady like?  Ok.  Whatever floats your boat.

Would you do it again?
As in, if you could do it all over again, would you?  Probably yes.  I've enjoyed the change.  As in, will you keep straightening it?  No.  I like my curls and want them back.  They are an intricate part of who I am.

Other things I've noticed: Gray Hair
For the first week, I saw gray hairs every where.  Here's my theory on why: First, gray hair has a different texture, so it needed more relaxant than the brown ones, so they were a little curly still.  Second, they weren't as long as the majority of brown hairs, so they were easier to stand out.  Third, with curly hair, hairs hang out together with friends in ringlets.  This allowed the gray hairs to hide themselves amongst their younger friends. (I was going to prove my point with a picture, but decided it wasn't the best idea after all.  So, just use your imagination, ok?)

Other things I've noticed: Greasy
My sister used to complain about greasy hair . . . as a curly girl, I just didn't get it.  Now I do.  Oil from your scalp likes to coat your hair.  But, oil has a hard time running down curly locks.  This is reason number one why moisturizing well is a priority for anyone with natural curly hair.  So, just like I never blew my hair dry before straightening it, I also never had "grease hair" before either. 

Other things I've noticed: Using a Curling Iron
Big_curls_backI've used a curling iron on my new straight hair to add in some big curls.  Before long the curls had fallen out.  It was a weird feeling to watch curls not be able to stay in my hair.  I like the big curls and have considered possibly perming my hair as my roots get longer. (Even in this picture, you can see them starting to fall out.)

Things I worried about: My Roots
Yeah, my hair is starting to grow out.  I currently have about half an inch to an inch of wiry roots.  It is not as bad as I thought it would be, but it does make my hair look a little frizzy around the part line.  Still a concern of mine; still not sure what I'm gonna do when it turns to two, three, or four inches of "wire."

Things I worried about: Missing my Curls
Yes, I miss them.  But, it took about three weeks before I missed them.  And, I only miss them when I see pictures of my curly-haired self with a good hair cut.  I sigh and then think, "how long till that can come back?"

What I like Most about My Straight Hair:
I love the length.  More than it being straight, I love that it is long.

So, that's it for now--my "one month later update."  Any thing else you wanna know about straightening curly hair? 


  1. This was fascinating and I enjoyed reading about your new straight hair.

  2. Hey thanks!! I think most of those came from me! :P I'm seriously considering doing this too! Maybe this summer....

  3. Wow, it sounds like you went through a bit of hair culture shock when you got your hair straightened. I never realized straight and curly hair were so different! I have straight hair already but if perming it straight would get rid of the impossible to control frizz from the Taiwan humidity I would definitely have to consider it. Thanks for the update!

  4. I love the change--you do look more feminine--whodathoughtit?
    Carmen (with new blog I'm trying to figure out)


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