When I decided to let my hair grow out, to the dismay of all my contemporaries (what, you think I’m exaggerating?) about six months ago (a year?) I was prepared for anything: my hair growing out asymmetrically, having to wear a hat for months, and even, even covering myself in a pound of bobby pins and not being able to get through the metal detectors at the airport.

I was ready for anything, except for the fact that one day…my hair would be long.

As I’m talking to you now, my hair has taken on the approximate shape of a long square. The ends touch my shoulders, exactly not like in my drawing.

[Long [too long] side note on curly bangs]

My hair is also showing signs of my botched bangs attempt (YES, ME TOO, like all the curly-haired girls on Instagram, I took the hype of Mica Arganaraz as a sign that I too, despite my curls, had the right to be both mystical ingenue AND sex bomb with a fringe.

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I told Clyde my hair dresser, okay go for it, let’s cut them bangs, and when I left his salon and his natural-looking brush out, I looked beautiful and classy, but after I washed my hair at home, I found myself looking like a scared poodle after a bath, and hey, I deserved it cause I believed the hype.

Because everyone knows. Curly bangs can only exist in fashion shoots where there are three hair stylists armed with Elnett hairspray ready like a fire extinguisher to put every strand back in place every second.

[End of side note]

So as of today, my hair is more or less long.

And since I swore to myself I wouldn’t go back to putting it back all the time, I now spend my time trying out different products, textures and hairstyles.

[Side note [even longer than the previous side note] on long hair versus short hair]

Okay so let me tell you RIGHT AWAY since you’re asking, short hair wins on every level.

How easy it is to maintain:
Short hair 1
Long hair 0

Style:
Short hair 1
Long hair 0

Time spent at the salon (not for the cut, but for color):
Short hair 1
Long hair 0

Brain space required (Should I wear my hair up today? Or not? How should I style it? Do I need to wash it? What about later tonight? How should I do my hair?):
Short hair 1
Long hair 0

With long hair, unless I’m really at the top of my game in style and grace (which is not the case right now, due to a weird life moment that I’ll tell you about one of these days when it’s less strange), I feel like I look just like everyone else.

I didn’t realize the incredible impact short hair had. On myself (just jeans and a t-shirt and I was super stylish)(now if I wear jeans and a tee-shirt I’m boring)(okay, I’m exaggerating, but I do kind of feel that way). And on other people!!! Every day, I got compliments about my short hair! People were staring me down! I thought it was because I’m famous, but no! It was because I had short hair!

So much so that I almost cut it all off again last week, but before I did, I took care to call my prime minister (my sister) to ask for her advice, and she told me no, stick it out, your long hair is great. AND I had to listen to the begging puppy dog eyes of Chris who, like (almost) all guys, prefers long hair.

I decided to continue my crusade, keeping in mind the Amazon women with sublime long hair like Brooke Shields in Blue Lagoon (???) who I’ll be joining soon since I decided that as long as I’m growing my hair out, I might as well make it very, very long.

UNLESS I cut it all off in a moment of rational thinking craziness.

[End of side note]

And as I was saying, long hair is a lot harder to take care of (you have to give it form! And substance! It doesn’t fall in place by itself!) so I’m trying out every product and technique possible and imaginable.

Different washing techniques:

No-poo
In other words, you wash your hair with conditioner only, or a special non-shampoo shampoo that doesn’t make suds and doesn’t have any stripping agents. Okay, let me tell you, it’s horrible, for me with my hair that gets oily easily. Maybe I didn’t try it for long enough, but for me, no-poo is really very difficult. I like to feel like my hair is fresh and clean.

Dry shampoo
A nightmare for me. First of all, it doesn’t work that well (I think you can tell your hair isn’t clean) and it also makes it hard and tangly, your hair clumps together, I can’t stand it. But I know lots of girls who love it! So I stuck it out, and tried lots of different brands before finally giving up forever.

Which is why I’m going to keep washing my hair every other day. On the first day, I can wear it down. Second day, it’s down in the morning, and then in the afternoon when it starts to get limp, boom – I put it back.

Different drying techniques:

Drying in braids.
When I want my hair to be really straight and flat, I wash it at night and sleep with my hair up. It works really well, but then well… It’s super straight and flat.

Drying naturally.
The problem is you really can’t control how it turns out in the end.

Blurry blowout.
That is, the blowout for the woman who:
1) Absolutely does not want to look like she’s styled her hair (obligatory Blue Lagoon reference)
2) Absolutely has no idea how to style her hair.
So actually, I’m not even blowing it out. I’m just drying it and pretending to use a brush, basically.

Drying it looks nice, it makes my hair flowy like Kim Basinger in 9 ½ Weeks

Screen Shot 2016-12-13 at 9.08.28 AM
(yeah, I know, all my references date back to before the 90s, but I know why: it’s because my references go back to before the CURLING IRON.)

[Curling Iron side note]

Okay, so this is the instrument that scares me the most when it comes to hair styling, because I’m so tired of seeing women with fake plastic mermaid hair. Yeah, you know what I’m talking about, one out of every two American newscasters on TV is going nuts with a curling iron (they tend to be blondish, with a part down the middle, stick-straight roots and long curling iron curls at the ends)

Screen Shot 2016-12-13 at 9.08.21 AM
– and about 100% of Pinterest girls, when they aren’t doing braids, do curling iron curls, and to me, it’s the worst disaster since the ombré a few years ago. Enough is enough!

I’m not against using a curling iron, but you need to rough up the curls a bit, make it look natural. Enough with the mermaid curls, please, help! The attack of the curling iron clones must cease!

[End of Curling Iron side note]

Simple blowdry, then.

Finally, to get a better shape (because my hair, depending on the weather and my general physical state, can go from super curly to completely straight in a matter of hours, which drives me crazy because I like hair stability), I’ve tried tons of products to get the right texture, products that add softness, products that add volume, products that keep your hair fixed in place, and each time, same conclusion:

The more I add, the more my hair hates it. It gets oily, brittle, and impossible to manage, and I just end up pulling it back.

I think that’s just the nature of my hair. It doesn’t like anything. I have lots of friends who have favorite products that have apparently saved their hair.

For me, it’s just a good gentle shampoo, a super conditioner that moisturizes the ends (right now I love True Botanicals, plus the bottles are beautiful!) and a touch of oil (Moroccan Oil) right before I dry my hair. Which is (ironically) exactly what I did when I had short hair.

That’s it.

And I try to accept all the little flaws. The unexpected oiliness (I wash it, I pull it back) and the unpredictability (I deal with it, and at worst, I pull it back).

That’s not to say I’ve given up my research, but that’s where I’m at for now.

Isn’t that the eternal and frustrating conclusion to every story?

WE HAVE TO ACCEPT OURSELVES AS WE ARE.

So boring.

Translated by Andrea Perdue