We often want what we don't have, and as a child I was no exception: I desperately wanted curly hair. My hair has always had a few uneven waves and it holds its shape reasonably well when combined with a little product and a heat source, but I didn't receive the gift of natural curls. On occasion my mom would french braid my hair after I showered and before bed, and then I would sleep on the braid, take the braid out in the morning, and go to school with crimp-y waves...but no curls. Knowing my desire for those Shirley Temple ringlets, my mom figured out a way to actually curl my hair overnight: rags. She rolled sections of my damp hair up in strips of soft rags, and then I slept on them so I would wake in the morning with (what I considered) beautiful curls.
Hallie has followed in my footsteps, hair-wise. Her hair is wavy and holds curl with the right products and heat, but she doesn't have the natural curls she desires. A couple of weeks ago, as I sat on the floor in front of the couch while Hallie played with my hair, I suddenly flashed back 30 or so years to sitting in front of the couch while my mom wrapped my hair in rags. The next day I cut a large scrap of soft fabric into strips, and that night I told Hallie I had a surprise for her. I wrapped her damp hair without full explaining the what or why, and when she woke up in the morning I took out the rags and showed her what they'd done to her hair.
|Ready for bed.|
|Fresh out of the rags.|
|After I separated and lightly sprayed the curls.|
The day prior had been a tough one for Hallie. But when she saw her curls she began to smile...and that smile grew until she was beaming from ear to ear. She stood a bit taller and lifted her chin a bit higher, and for the remainder of the day she flounced - full of confidence - with a spring in her step.
It's silly, really, that we let little things like our hair influence our mood and how we feel about ourselves. But I understand how those curls lifted her spirits...because they used to make me feel like a million bucks too.
My mom is on a mission to find a pic of my rag curls circa 1987. If she finds one I promise to share!