Search icon


09th Aug 2021

Opinion: I was encouraged to hate my curly hair, but I don’t want my daughter to

Melissa Carton

It’s taken me a long time to feel comfortable with my curls.

Part of it was being a teenager in the 2000s, the age of the GHD, but a huge factor to my curl discomfort was the comments I’d receive from other people.

You’ll notice that my hair is even straight in my work photo beside my name.

Even as an adult I’ve had people turn around to me and make remarks like ‘I’d love curls but like perfect curls, not hair like yours’ or ‘how can you deal with hair like that, I’d just shave it off if it were mine.’


Even as I write this, I’m struggling to find photographs of myself with curly hair because I’ve been having it straightened ever since I was a child.

I was constantly told that my curls looked messy and that I would look ‘so much better’ with straight hair.

Because of that ever since I was in primary school I’ve been having my hair blow dried straight. A lot of people don’t even know that my hair is naturally curly and assume that when it is that I had it curled.

My daughter is only three but she already has a mop of curly hair.

Even at this young age I’ve already had people say ‘oh what a shame she’s getting your hair and not her daddy’s straight hair.’


I will note that all the people who have made this remark have had straight hair themselves and on more than one occasion have expressed how sad that makes them. How annoyed they are that their hair can’t keep a curl.

When I’ve questioned them on why they don’t like my curly hair but yet want curly hair they constantly come back that they want ringlets but not frizz. Ha! Yeah, that’s not how it works.

The perfect curls that you see in magazines and on TV are styled that way. No person with naturally curly hair just walks out the shower with perfect hair. It takes work and a whole load of styling products.

Only recently I was asked why I was using a curling tong on my already curly hair and I replied that it was because I had ‘second day curls’. This is when you washed your curls and on the first day they look coiled and bouncy but then you sleep on them and when you wake up the next day you have some that are curly and some that have had an identity crisis during the night and don’t know what they are.

If you’re wondering why I don’t just wash it again there’s a good reason. The natural oils that our hair produce take longer to travel down curly hair and over washing can lead to loosing these oils and having dry, brittle hair.

There is a whole lot of ‘learning’ that comes with curls but I’m more than happy to pass this knowledge down to my daughter and to let her know that her curly hair is gorgeous in a way that I was never told.

It has taken me almost three decades to love my curls and take ownership of them but I want her always to feel comfortable in her natural beauty.

I absolutely refuse to allow adults and their negative opinions on curly hair to damage her confidence like it did to mine.

Curls are not a curse. Even if we argue sometimes, like an old friend we always make up in the end. A huge part of me has always been my curls and I would like more photographic evidence of it in the future.

We often associate curls with bubbly personalities and my little girl definitely has that. She was born to be a curly haired girl and I will throw a bottle of Frizz Ease at anyone who tries to tell her otherwise.