I’ve always had straight hair, the kind that as a teenager looked like I’d ironed it flat. But while I longed for curls when younger, it does seem like everything was stacked against my friends with naturally curly hair. At my convent boarding school, they were definitely frowned upon, told off for being scruffy. (It’s a hair type for goodness sake!). In later life I’ve noticed curls are more often than not slammed between straightening irons, their springy form crushed; or slathered with synthetic feeling silicone serums. Girls with curls fear the weather, they have to factor in blow-drying time post-shower. Any envy I might have felt disappeared a long time ago.
All of which is why I love Kerastase’s little Book of Curls – download it free and give it to a curly haired friend now. Sure, it’s not entirely altruistic, (what is these days?) it’s been created to promote their new curl hair products, but it’s a step in the right direction, redresses the balance, and is beautifully illustrated by Jessica Durrant. How to sleep with curls without waking up in a ball of frizz; how to shape your curls by making a bun out of your hair overnight; how to create bounce; how to braid… it’s all there.
And not a moment too soon. Curls are big news for Fall, long due a fashion revival, inspiredy by the hair of models like Imaan Hammam. They are a metaphor for individuality (heralded in this article by Celia Ellenberg). And perhaps that’s what the nuns instinctively were complaining about when they labelled them as “scruffy”. Hair that won’t do what it’s told – how can you not love a rebel?