An Ode to Curly Locks

Written By

Namita Kutty

An Ode to Curly Locks Loading

Dedicated to all you women with a head of curly, unruly hair that has a mind of its own.

First, a thousand curses on those idiot ad campaigns where women have shiny, bouncy, radiant, poker-straight hair. You know, the ones that will give any self-respecting horse’s mane a run for its money. Cut to real life — doesn’t work that way for curls! Trust me, I’ve tried. Having grown up with the idea that beautiful hair = straight glossy hair, I’ve tried it all to tame ’em unruly curls. ‘One solution to 5 hair problems’; ‘Hair so healthy it shines’…I’ve listened to Aishwarya Rai, Kareena Kapoor, (heck, even Shilpa Shetty!) and taken their advice — just to get that glossy mane. Followed it up with hours with the hair dryer, hair irons, etc. — only to find it just gets frizzier! And sigh, after spending a fortune on assorted hair products — shampoos, conditioners, gels, mousses, serums, etc.,. I’ve come to the sad conclusion that glossy, straight, shiny hair ain’t for me! I even chemically straightened my hair for a few years.  After the initial euphoria of having a straight, shiny mane faded away, the chemicals left my hair angry and brittle. Back to square one.

Well, now that I’ve bitched till I’m blue in the face about ad makers and their insane claims and my lame attempts, let me spend a minute taking you through the travails of curly haired lasses! The long and short of it is that my hair has a mind of its own. It wakes one morning and decides of its own volition to curl into tight ringlets. On other days, it decides to take a chill pill and lounges in lank strands across and around my face. And god forbid I’m all dolled up and want to take a nice photo (yeah, yeah vainglorious me!) — my hair goes crazy! It knows just the moment to jump into the frame in the most unflattering angles and when to cozily slouch over to the person next to me. People around me don’t help either. My sister went to Greece last year and texted me saying she found the perfect gift! I waited excitedly for my ‘gift’ only to be presented with a t-shirt with a cartoon of Medusa! Yeah, it was a cartoon one and cute, but aarrghhhh…!

I spent a bomb on hair mousse, gel, masks and myriad what-have-you products. And after years of trial and error, I’ve come to the sad conclusion that there is no co-relation between how my hair feels and what I shampoo it with! What is however interesting, is that I’ve discovered a cool relationship between the weather and my hair. It’s true! If it’s rainy, my hair curls up into tight ringlets, if it’s sunny, it relaxes and hangs lank…you get the idea. So much so that, I can wake up in the morning and look at the mirror to predict the weather for the day. A fact when shared with my friends and co-workers provokes much mirth and derision, but it’s true, snide remarks notwithstanding.

Well, where does this rant leave me, you ask? After decades of struggling to tame and straighten my wild, frizzy locks with conditioners, straighteners and hair dryers; one fine day, I simply gave up. Hey, don’t judge me, it was an unequal battle, okay? I now let my crowning glory be. Just the way it wants. I’ve stopped trying to straighten it out, so it’s now more or less in loose ringlets and appears to be much happier. And now that the pressure of trying to attain straight, glossy hair is off me, I’m at peace too. Finally, I care a lot less about what people think of my hair.  Recently on an exceptionally humid day, an old acquaintance peered at my curly locks and asked me snidely, “Is your hair naturally like that or did you do something to it..?” I looked her firmly in the eye and told her the truth, “Ma’am, it has a life of its own. It decides how it likes to look”. Needless to say, I never did get any more snarky comments from her.

To sum it all up, now that I let my hair be, my hair and I are both at peace! Curly ringlets flowing in the breeze may be more untidy (hopefully at least mildly artistic) but are, I’ve decided, infinitely preferable to me tugging at my hair with blow driers.

And yes, after the baby, once the horrid hair fall has started, I long for my erstwhile thick, unruly curly, curly locks…. “Come back, Oh ye unruly locks, I swear I’ll never crib again…..”




Mommy of a pint-sized dictator (read toddler). Wife of a super busy entrepreneur who's also an incredibly hands-on daddy (never mind all her whingeing!). Lover of books, yoga; and fitness enthusiast (read: the long journey back to pre-natal petiteness) and member of the top secret 'New Mommy Club'. Namita in her previous avatar was a senior HR professional for over a decade in top IT, Banking and Retail MNCs. She prided herself on her people management abilities and effective conflict resolution. All of which comes to naught as she's totally owned by a toddler at negotiations.

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