From Dream by Nightmare

I was born with the curse that has plagued women from the beginning of time. I was born with curly hair when I wanted straight hair. Therefore, as soon as I learned that there were things that could be done to go from curly to straight locks, I was hooked. The first time my hands were able to run through my straight hair, I knew that this was the hair that I dreamed of. And I took careful precautions even at a young age to keep my hair straight, which was hard when the beach was ten minutes away from my house. But sacrifices had to be made in order to keep my much longer straight hair, and to keep me from having to go back to hair gel, mousse and frizz control creams.

For the longest time I enjoyed the freedom of not having to worry about the puffy-ness of my curls. I loved the feel of the smoothness of the straight hair. And I loved how I felt like a different person every time I looked at myself in the mirror, and the new found attention that I was getting from the male species. Overall, that first couple of years of straightening my hair were great.

However, not every fairy tale has a happy ending, Over time I have learned that to be true, especially when it comes to my hair. After countless hair relaxers, the occasional chemical straightening treatments and the daily hair straightening, my hair has stopped being the hair of my dreams and has turned into a bad nightmare. My hair has gone from long, shiny and healthy to brittle, filled with split ends and short.

I guess I learned that beauty comes at a price. Instead of enjoying growing hair, I go to bed worried that my hair will be only growing in one side again. Why do I worry about that? Well, because during my sophomore year in college, I went to bed one night and when I looked in the mirror the next morning, I realized that my hair was about three inches shorter on the left side than it was on the right side. It was a huge horrible mess. I had to quickly get my hair cut so it would be even and to avoid the embarrassment of having an odd, do-it-yourself-in-the-dark hair cut.

Interestingly, I had initially assumed that in the middle of the night my roommate cut some of my hair off. I had even asked her if she had, but no, the truth was that my hair had become so damaged that it was breaking off by itself. Anyway, I am now in my senior year of college and my hair is still as short as it was two years ago. I regret over-taxing my hair with heat and chemical treatments. I want to go back to having healthy hair. I am hoping that a couple of months of no hair treatments, except for deep conditioning treatments, will make my dull brittle hair come alive again.

In the end, I know that the road to hair recovery will be a hard one since I still get the urge to straighten my hair since I have been doing it for years. But I know that this is something that I must do, even if it requires me hiding all of my straighteners. I am going to miss running my fingers through my straight hair for the next couple of months, but in the end I have faith that the wait will be worth it and that my hair will thank me for it. And as I look at myself in the mirror without my straight hair, I find a sense of freedom since I am no longer spending at least an hour to fix it. I also feel a sense hope that my hair will once again go from a nightmare to a dream. What can I say? A girl can dream, right?