A little detour from normal topics…This happened to me about three weeks ago.


I invited a friend for coffee on her day off and she treated me to a lovely spa day. Try speaking Somali/French while under hair dryers and across the room while sitting still as possible. It was a lot of fun. And I thought, what would it be like to have straight hair for a day? So went for the straight look.

It was like this:

  • Lucy didn’t recognize me at school.
  • I was stopped in the middle of the street by friends raving, and I mean raving, about the hair. One woman caused a traffic jam as she hung out the window raving and giving thumbs up signs.
  • One woman told me: “Before you were like, eh. But now you are like Wow. WOW!”
  • At the hotel where I write and work on a part-time job I felt like I was treated more professionally.
  • My husband kept staring and staring and jokingly asked when Kelly or Stephanie (my sisters) moved to Djibouti.
  • I felt like a Barbie.

By late afternoon, though, the gig was up and my hair started to frizz out into the Halo. A few drops of sweat at the nape of my neck and it was all over. Back to this:


I really did feel like people treated me differently when my hair was straight. More like a grown-up. What is it about straight hair that seems to communicate this? When was the last time a curly girl was on the front of a magazine or had the lead in a blockbuster movie? I admit I haven’t seen too many magazines or movies lately. We live in a country Where There Is No Movie Theater. And do curly-hair Barbies even exist? I also admit I haven’t shopped the Barbie aisle lately.

I am far too lazy to straighten my hair so we took photos to remember the occasion. And I like it curly (finally!). Last summer in Minnesota I got my first ever curly girl haircut, at a salon that specializes in curly hair. Best hair cut I have ever had and no one automatically assumed I wanted it straightened. I felt like I was part of a secret society of curly girls.

Women who have embraced their curls and shunned the idea from the world that we need to conform and control our unruly parts.

How about you: Curly or straight? Curlers or straightener? Let it go or style it up? Why?