Curls for Dayyyyzzzz.

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The funny thing is that my curly hair has only been wound into ringlets the last few years.

Minus, of course, the unfortunate year in the early 90’s when the poodle tight perm was in style.  In retrospect, the Cringe Factor came not from the tight coils themselves so much as from the 6 pounds of Dep (green, obvs.), to make them crunchy.  I remember the goal was to apply enough gel (Extra Mega Hold) to make it look like my hair was wet all day long.  Paired with the 16 ounces of Aqua Net (the white and pink can DUH), to rat out my long bangs and get them to stand straight up and then half curled down with the big barreled curling iron.  The one that got too close every few days and left a searing pink line on my forehead.  No matter.  The hard, crunchy bangs covered the evidence.

Honestly, just reading that makes me ill.

But I digress.

My point is that I’ve lived the better part of my life’s years in straight, dark brown locks.


When Lucy was little, Andy and I often marveled at the head of big, luscious curls.  Where did those come from?

And with time, the silvery strands have multiplied on my head, but so has the texture and volume of my hair.  In fact, it is curlier than straight these days.

There.  That’s where they came from.

IMG_3380 Her mama.  It comes from me.

Granted, my curls don’t hold a candle to hers most days.  But with the right product, and a diffuser on my blow dryer, I can get them to be a poor reproduction of hers.

The truth is that I wear my hair in a messy pony most days.  Because Busy Mom.

I add some product and scrunch in haste on days I may be seen in public.

And the truth is that on Date Nights, though few and far between, I pull out my flat iron.


As Lucy stands in the doorway watching the mama pucker red, blush in pinks, dramatically line, and finally iron out the twists and turns, I wonder what that says to my sweet girl.


And I cringe as my iron sizzles against my hair because I know my heart would break even just a little to see those honey colored strands flattened.

And yet, I do.

I don’t want her to believe that Straight defines Beauty.  That Straight is for Special Occasions.  That curls are to be flattened and ironed and made Less Than.


The truth is that I absolutely, positively, undeniably, ridiculously, and over the top ADORE that girl’s curls.  With all their color and dimension, and a natural ombre that women pay good money for in fancy salons with hairstylists with wardrobes in shades of black.

The truth is that I few things bring me a wider smile than watching her bound down the hill in our yard with wild curls bouncing around her head and tangling into a mess that will take forever to coax out.


The truth is that Lucy’s curls are Lucy.  A wild, rambunctious, crazy, sweet hearted, curly girl.

And I re-think my flat iron.  I prepare my words.

The truth is that after 30 years of Straight, it’s the way I feel most like Me when I look in the mirror.  Not because I don’t love my curls (because really, I do), but because so much of my identity and how I picture myself, both in snapshots of memory and those framed on my grandmother’s wall, are Straight.


But still.  Those are complicated ideas of self-worth and identity that my five year old girl, standing in the doorway as mama gets ready to go on a date with daddy cannot understand.

So I set down my iron, wind my fingers in her curly curls and remind her how beautiful she is, just the way she is.

How incredible she is.  Curls.  Heart.  Inside.  Outside.  Her.  All of her.


* * *

Did you know that only 4 in 10 little girls with curly hair think their hair is beautiful?

No, no, no, no, no.

We can’t do this to our girls.  They don’t need to diet and starve and wax and flatten and MOLD.

Dove Hair has launched the “Love Your Curls” campaign to encourage women to celebrate their curls and inspire future generations to do the same.

You can download and share the free ebook (and really, it’s gorgeous) HERE.


So while I learn to embrace my own hair, changing though it may be, I will whisper in her ear that her hair is perfect and lovely and brilliant.

Because I mean every single word.



Dove has also launched a line of products specifically aimed at Curly Girls (called Dove Quench Absolute).  As a newly curly girl myself, I’m always on the lookout for product that works best and locks in the moisture needed.


*This is a sponsored post with Dove and The Motherhood and while I was compensated for this post and given hair product to try, you better believe every word of this was true and mine and from my heart.  

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I'm a mom to four. A wife to one. I believe in story. I love telling you about mine and would love to hear yours. There's really no sense in wasting our suffering and not sharing in each other's joy. We're all in this together...even if it doesn't always feel like it.

Latest posts by jeannett (see all)


  1. 1
    Leah Heffelfinger says:

    ahhh, her curls are GORGEOUS! Beautiful post!

  2. 2
    Belinda hayse says:

    I love your blog because you speak from your heart. Unfortunately, none of the girls in my families have curls (the guys, yes!). How unfair! I suppose I’ve always wanted the opposite of what God gave me. As I get older, I’ve learned to just enjoy those that I see that have red or blonde hair with beautiful curls. Thanks for your beautiful insights and pictures.

    • 3

      You are so sweet. Thank you.

      Straight is gorgeous too. And boys with curls need to learn to love their curls too!!! Have fun with all those different heads mama!

  3. 4
    Lauren H. says:

    Ah! I love this post! I’m a middle school counselor, and you would (or probably wouldn’t) be surprised at how many curly haired girls wish their hair was straight, while my girls with straight hair spend hours trying to curl. The girls with cute bobs that lay nice and even wish their hair was thicker and wild, and my thick haired ladies just wish their hair would stay in one place. It’s a jungle out here! Ha. But in all seriousness, most girls see the beauty in what they don’t have, unfortunately. I (personally/counselorly) think you should get a 1/2in barrel and spend time showing Lucy how hard it is to replicate her perfectly gorgeous curls! Many times telling my girls how hard it is to replicate their own hair, and how others wish theirs would curl (lay flat, grow long, etc.) helps them to realize how unique they are and how special their hair can be! Most will still choose to try and “fix” it sometimes, but seeing the other perspective helps them to realize the benefits and beauty of what they have! (At least that’s what I’m going for).

    Good luck, mama, keep up the awesome work!

    • 5

      Love love LOVE the idea to show her how hard it is to replicate! And yes, so much of this is a Grass is Greener thing. I just love that Dove is reminding us all to be intentional in how we speak to one another (especially our littles), about their various qualities. And it starts with how we speak of ourselves. Gah. This parenting gig is HARD.

  4. 6
    Carolyn @AdMeyerLife says:

    As a curly haired girl myself I implore you to look into the Deva Curl/Curly Girl method for her hair. I deeply regret that it took 34 years for me to discover it. I get my hair cut my a Deva certified stylist (they cut it dry) and only use sulfate free shampoo/conditioner. I also use a microfiber towel instead of cotton (actually a microfiber turbie twist) and then curl cream. (those steps are probably a bit much for her at the moment) I try to let my hair air dry if at all possible. Oh, and the other key thing: I never brush my hair any more. Ever. I finger comb it when conditioning it and that’s it. The difference is like woah! I’ve gotten so many compliments!

  5. 7

    Gosh, I am 34 years old and I don’t think I’ve ever once heard someone made fun of for having curly hair. Nor have I ever had a negative thought towards those who have it. So this post kind of surprised me. I absolutely love your blog & your heart Jeannett…but I guess the fact that this is a sponsored post makes it feel a little different.

    I appreciate Dove’s efforts but it now feels like every single “group” who has something slightly different about them needs to be uplifted and commended. (I am NOT including those with medical needs like your Jilly.)

    How about a special shout out for Left Hander’s? Or for those of us who struggle to buy cute shoes because one of our feet is half a size bigger than the other? I’m laughing as I type this, but really, we have to draw the line somewhere. Maybe part of the problem is that I see differences in people as so beautiful and special that I wouldn’t think they needed special attention.

    That reminds me, I need to go put my Dove deodorant on!

  6. 8

    Wow, I guess either you (or Dove) removed my comment? Interesting!

    • 9

      No one removed your post…it’s still there from my end…maybe it took a while to pop up? Sorry you felt it might have been deleted…it wasn’t!!!! (Because that would be a really icky feeling!)

      Speaking of your comment, I TOTALLY get what you are saying. I do. But I also know people firsthand who DO hate their curls and who HAVE had people make rude comments about it. So it does have merit on some level. I go out of my way to dote on Lu’s curls and I regularly compliment her on her “polka dots” (freckles) because I know those are things that ARE different and can make already self-conscious girls (and aren’t we all?) even more reason to feel self conscious. That being said, I think it’s fantastic that you have always loved your hair!!! :)

      • 10

        Oh! And really quick: I do sponsored content from time to time (because sadly blogging isn’t free), and I’m really careful to stick to things I feel can be honest. Lucy’s curls and my love of them are a common theme around here (I even wrote a post just about her curls a few months ago, well before Dove’s new line!), so it felt like a perfect fit. I could pay a few months’ hosting fees and write something that made sense and felt natural to what I already yap about. Hope that helps make it feel less weird!

        • 11

          That’s wonderful! I am not a blogger so wasn’t aware of fees and such :) Oh and I don’t think I actually said that I’ve always loved my hair, haha. I guess I’m kind of neutral about it. (It’s long, straight and rather thick and every month or so I sleep with foam rollers in which gives me a few days’ worth of curls!)

  7. 13
    tiffany day says:

    omg – she is beautiful!

    i need to meet her too! this summer!


  8. 14
    Lynette says:

    I have curly hair and it has taken me a long time to appreciate it. It wasn’t ever in style, and when I tried to straighten it when I was young (before flat irons became so nice), I really looked silly as it got big and frizzy. Often when I go to a salon to get my hair cut, I am asked if I want it straightened before I leave like its not good enough the way it is. I love it now and appreciate the simplicity of it. One of my girls has curls and the others are wavy. I love their hair and wouldn’t think of changing them. I thought this was a great post. And as a side note, have you ever noticed the more famous a person gets, the straighter their hair gets, for example Kerri Russel, Nicole Kidman, and Juliana Margulis (I am sure that I spelled that wrong), I always thought that was kind of sad!

  9. 15
    Valerie says:

    I love her hair! Mine is naturally curly and I’ve never minded, but I’m always surprised by the people who compliment me for it, but they always ask if I like my curls. Sure! Why wouldn’t I? I’ve never seen the point of straightening it day after day. It never occurred to me that I should. It’s happened so many times, though, that there really must be many many people who don’t like their own curls. I have, however, been told more than once that I look like I stuck my finger in a light socket. Who says that to a teenage girl? Oh well. I’m happy with it. It is what it is, anyway.