Saturday, March 09, 2013

Curly v straight—the great debate - Kandy Shepherd

Do you have curly hair you wish was sleek and straight? Or straight hair you wish fell to your shoulders in glorious waves? And what about the color? Happy with your brown/blond/black/red? Or always wanting to change it?

Straight or curly - is anyone ever happy with their hair?

Personal observation and years working in womens magazines tells me there are many of us not happy with the hair nature gave us. I have dead straight hair that is healthy and easy to manage. But I’ve always fancied having wavy hair. Suffice to say, I can’t bear to look at the photos of the three disastrous perms I’ve had in misguided efforts to get that longed-for wavy hair! A friend has repeatedly told me: “If you ever get the urge to have a perm again, call me first.” For a curl-avoiding intervention.

I loathed my auburn (okay, ginger!) hair when I was young but it darkened as I got older and though I threatened to dye it black, I never actually did.

And then there are people with wavy hair who do anything they can to straighten it. Reverse perms. Straightening irons. Even real irons—one friend burned her ear while trying to iron her hair on an ironing board with a steam iron.

It takes work to turn curly hair into straight - and vice-versa. 

Harlequin Desire author Paula Roe, was blessed with naturally curly hair. But last month Paula decided to go straight for the first time in a sleek, sophisticated new look. “It’s surprising how different it looks,” says Paula. “I’m told I look younger and it definitely feels more swishy. But it’s temporary—I could never do away with my curls.” I think Paula looks gorgeous both ways!

Harlequin Desire author Paula Roe with naturally curly hair.

Here's Paula with her hair all  sleek and straight.

For years, my “day job” was as a womens magazine editor. One aspect of the role I particularly loved was working on reader makeovers—coordinating with hairdressers, makeup artists, fashion stylists and photographers to transform everyday women into their look-best selves. The experience inspired me to write about a girl who wants to reinvent herself and hopes a “me makeover” will help solve all her problems. (Of course real change takes more than new hair and makeup!)

One of my favorite makeover movies is The Princess Diaries - here the transformation process for the Anne Hathaway character starts with having her riotous curls tamed into sleekness.

Rose, the heroine of my new contemporary womens fiction release Reinventing Rose, starts the book with wild wavy locks, “the kind combs get lost in.” She feels “like an extra from The Lion King.” Rose jumps at the opportunity to have her hair permanently straightened for a magazine makeover. I had such fun taking Rose into the hairdresser and the studio for her makeover scenes. Especially when she meets a handsomer-than-handsome photographer who may or may not end up being her dream-come-true hero…

What about you? Are you happy with your hair the way it is? Any interesting/disastrous/fabulous hairdresser experiences to share? I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment for a chance to win a free download of Reinventing Rose. Don’t forget to include your email address if you want to be in the draw.

Kandy Shepherd writes fun, feel-good fiction.
Her new contemporary womens fiction e-book, Reinventing Rose, is available for $2.99 at Amazon, Barnes & Noble,  Smashwords, Kobo and other e-book retailers. Kandy’s romances include the Amazon bestseller The Castaway Bride, Something About Joe, and the award-winners Love is a Four-Legged Word and Home Is Where the Bark Is.

Visit Kandy at her website

Photos courtesy of

Blond model

Brunette model

Paula Roe 

© Disney Enterprises


Quilt Lady said...

I use to wear my hair kind of long with a perm in it and then it got to where it would hold a perm so I cut it all off into a real short cut above the ears. I like to wear a weight line in it but a lot of hair dresser will go and cut it out. So I can't seem to get it cut like I want it. The problem with real shot hair if you to get it cut often to keep it looking good.

Connie said...

I have naturally curly hair. I now have to color it to even out the gray. It keep it a blonde color by mixing two shades. It is at a length a bit below my ears. I prefer a woman’s hair to show a bit of curl or wave to it because that is the way most women’s hair is meant to be. Hair that is ironed straight is just so sad. Yes, that is the word for it - sad. Go with what you were given naturally and be YOU!

Vanessa Barneveld said...

Hi, Kandy! Congratulations on the release of Reinventing Rose! I love makeovers. :)

I'm glad you retained your lovely auburn colour. I can't imagine you in any other colour! And Paula's new hair looks fab! I've fought with my hair all my life. It was dead-straight when I was little, then wiry from 12, earning me the nickname Steelo (as in steel wool). I learned how to tame it straight with irons and blow-drying and did that routine for years. But my new hairdresser styles it in Beyonce-style waves/curls now and I absolutely *love* it.

Fun post, Kandy! No need to enter me in the draw as I bought my own copy as soon as it was released. :)

Phoebe Conn said...

My hair is strawberry blond and straight as a stick. My mother always permed my hair, and I do look much better with curly hair than straight. Everyone believes I have naturally curly hair and I don't tell them otherwise.

Keziah Hill said...

I was born with copper colours curls but faded to brown in my twenties. Now it's pepper and salt grey. I quite like it. Congrats on Reinventing Rose Kandy! The bits I've read I love.

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi Quilt Lady--sounds like you--like me--have had a few adventures at the hairdresser! You are quite right about short hair, it does need regular maintenance and trips to the hairdresser.

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi Connie, how lovely to have naturally curly hair! I agree, it is wonderful to be happy with what we are given and be ourselves--for some of us it takes a while to realize that!

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi Vanessa, thanks for buying REINVENTING ROSE--I hope you enjoy reading it.
You have done a wonderful job with your hair as I've always thought it was straight (as in your photo!) I look forward to seeing your new, natural look--I'm sure it looks beautiful!

Kandy Shepherd said...

How wonderful, Phoebe, that you have managed to get your hair exactly as you like it--and have everyone thinking it's natural!

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi Keziah, thanks for calling by! It must be quite a relief to accept your hair the way it is and enjoy it without having to fuss!
Thanks for your kind words about REINVENTING ROSE. Hope you enjoy the rest of it, too!

Cheryl Leigh said...

I'm a member of the curly-goes-frizzy-in-humidity set, and I'm so envious of those with straight hair. Straightening my hair every day is so tiresome. Trust me, Kandy, you are much better off. ;)

I can think of one funny story that wasn't so funny at the time. When I was a teenager with long hair, I wanted to know what I'd look like with a fringe. So I twisted my hair round and round in a comb until it sat on my forehead like a fringe. I didn't like it but then I couldn't remove the comb as my hair had knotted to such a degree. I had to cut my hair to release it. So I got a fringe after all!

No need to enter me in the draw as I have a copy already. Reinventing Rose sounds such a fun story and I'm looking forward to reading it.

Pat Cochran said...

We're not always happy with the hair we
were given! I began with straight hair
and have gone to the limit of styles
over my adult years. I'm currently en-
joying a yearly perm in my salt and
pepper hair. What am I wishing for now?
Totally white hair!

Pat C.

erin said...

thanks for the fun post and congrats to Kandy on the new release! What a question! I've got straight, never takes a curl, asian hair. Growing up in a predominately Caucasian dominated area, the hair stylists always made comments about not knowing what to do with my hair. So... when I was younger I wished for softer, curly hair. But now that I'm older, I appreciate it!

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi Cheryl, so nice to see you here. I love your story of having to cut the comb out of your hair! So funny, though I'm sure it didn't seem funny at the time!
I hope you enjoy REINVENTING ROSE when you get a chance to read it.

Kandy Shepherd said...

I so agree, Pat, most people I know go through a lot of experimentation before settling either on a look that suits, or their own hair! Totally white hair is a lovely look, when that salt finally overtakes the pepper.

Kandy Shepherd said...

I'm happy you enjoyed the post, Erin. I'm glad you grew to appreciate your straight hair. I must admit when I'm traveling with friends who are constantly battling to straighten their curly hair with tongs, I appreciate that all I need to do is a quick blow-dry and I'm done. I should imagine you're the same!

Mary Kirkland said...

I love your hair straightened, it looks really good on you.
I've always had really long dark brown hair. Right now it's long enough that I can just sit on the ends and have to keep cutting a couple of inches off every few months so I don't give myself whip lash when I sit down on my hair and pull my head back. lol

When I was 22 I got a oh my was that a disaster. My hair wasn't nice and curly the way I thought it would be, no, it was frizzy and I had to use tons of infusium leave in conditioner or mousse to tame the frizz and when I did I was stuck with the wet look curls. I didn't like it.

When I started going gray..I decided to make a change...I started dying my hair black. It was already dark brown so it wasn't that much of a change but i'd always wanted black hair and now I do.

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi Mary, thanks for calling by. How wonderful to have such long hair you can sit on it--that's what I call romantic!
I had the same experience with perms as you did. I thought I was getting loose curls--I got frizz. It was distressing to say the least and took sooo long to grow out!
I'm glad you're enjoying your black hair, it must look lovely being so long.

Sharon Archer said...

Fun blog, Kandy! And you're so right about wanting what we don't have in the hair stakes! I'd love to have riotous curls and have had my share of perm-disasters to get it! I do have a sort of wave but it comes from cow licks! So some hair is straight straight straight and then there's this annoying "thing" happening on the hairline at the front and at the back! These days I control it all by keeping it short!

I love the cover on Reinventing Rose! My copy is teetering on my e-tbr pile!

Anonymous said...

Oh, hey, there I am! Thanks for putting my hair on your post, Kandy! I have to say I've had mega-color disasters in my teens, going from blonde streaks that looked green, to black, to orange. Also had flicks, a rat's tail, a mullet, and mega short with a blonde fringe. But perms were definitely the worst. Well, hey, I grew up in the 80s so bad hair was a given ;-)

Hope Reinventing Rose does all sorts of awesome for you *mwah!*

Linda Henderson said...

I had always had incredibly straight hair but after I first started treatment for my severe RA my hair started falling out. I didn't lose it all but in places it got kind of thin. We weren't sure if it would come back but most of it did, with kinky, wavy bits. It looked awful. Finally after I let my hair grow out a lot I went to a hairdresser who knew what she was doing and she gave me a cut that got rid of the yucky hair. It's still not as straight as when I was born, but if I use hair lotion on it after washing it looks okay.

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