For the Love of Frizz

I think if I tabulated all of the time and money I’ve spent on hair dyes, hair straighteners, curlers, relaxing perms, trips to the hair dresser to have my hair thinned, and all of those other devices that exist to make your hair everything other than what it is, I’d probably have enough for a small down payment on a house. Before ceramic hair straighteners I had that crazy Conair machine with the steam mechanism attached… and before that I got my Mom to straighten my frizz with an iron and a towel.

Well, a couple of years ago I decided it was time for a frizzy-haired girl like me to find some relevant hair inspiration and nip the daily hair envy I felt towards non-frizzies in the bud! And now it seems that the messier my curls are, the more I like them, which has made my life that much easier with the sticky, humid summer we’ve had in Montreal!

Now more than ever it feels like the only thing I’m drawn to are big messy heads of hair, sort of like the ones most of the women have in old silent films. I got a collection of D.W. Griffith shorts in the mail not too long ago and sort of swooned when I saw Lilian Gish looking all frazzled and dishevelled in The Mothering Heart. It sort of made the whole thing that much more whimsical and fairy tale-like to me. I think it’s perfectly sweet and romantic the way they decorate their messy dos with little flowers, big bows and lots and lots of braids. It just seems better to me that they let their hair do what it wants to do, without trying to control it and make it into something it’s not.

I suffered a serious case of hair envy for years and years when I first got into old films and was obsessed with Audrey Hepburn and Ava Gardner. I’d flip through my favourite fashion magazines and wish I had the patience to do pretty hair styles like the girls in the editorials. And I think when I first saw a picture of Erin Fetherston I may have died of jealousy a little bit on the inside, because no matter how many times I passed my ceramic iron over my hair, it just wouldn’t look that smooth and silky and perfect! It was so comforting to me when I discovered magazines like Worn with all of its fairy tale prettiness and girls who don’t try so hard!

I suppose most of my inspirations tend to come from some old timey thing. I think I just sort of feel funny in modern looks, and most of the more modern fashion magazines show looks that are just too edgy for me to pull off, so I’ve learned to turn mostly to the more romantic fashions of past decades. And really is there anything more romantic than the grainy, black and white silent films with girls dressed in long white dresses skipping around to cheesy little silent film music with their long frizzy hair all wrapped in ribbons?

I’ll admit that this hair inspiration applies mostly to other “frizzies” like myself, who are fed up of putting hours of effort into making their hair into something it isn’t. The last time I needed hair inspiration I ended up turning to the Gibson Girl images from old Coca Cola ads and photographs of ladies from the Edwardian era who would throw all of their long hair into a big pile on top of their heads. I definitely seek out the looks that require the least amount of effort and maintenance. That being said, I really do think that these silent film ladies had a good thing going with their long messy fairy hair, and I for one plan on looking to them for inspiration when I want to turn my bad hair day into something perfectly pretty and romantic!

-Meaghan Kelly

11 thoughts on “For the Love of Frizz

  1. Ohmygoodness. I can never articulate what you have just articulated so well…frizzy natural waves are soo beautiful. Good on ya for lovin them too!

    And Anna – totally gotcha on the Rykiel reference.

    And I always love Karen Elson’s frizzy red hair.

    And let’s not forget the original…Miss Frizzle. Magic schoolbus anyone?

  2. Oh my goodness, I had almost forgotten the pre-ceramic straightener days….

    I was definitely part of the pillow and iron camp. The burns on my ears and neck were still better than those stupid conair devices.

  3. Isn’t it funny how most of us don’t like the hair we’ve been given naturally and do everything in our power to make it different! What a great article! I love the references to the old films too!

  4. Fabulous article!! You make me want to ditch my flat iron permanently. Oh, the time and money I waste to keep my hair straight when all it wants to do is curl. Bah.

  5. I have straight hair and didn’t dye it for years to avoid even the slightest hint of frizz. But I’ve been dying (get it?) to go redhead lately, and a little fuzzy halo might be adorable now that i think about it…

  6. Great article! I myself have straight Asian hair and I’ve always been envious of girls with naturally fluffy curls! One of my favorite things to do when I was younger was curl my hair using different methods, and I only recently grew out a perm. But the girls with natural curls I was jealous of would always say to me “I wish I had your hair! It’s so smooth!” I guess it’s human nature to covet something different than what we are used to, which is OK, as long as it doesn’t keep us from being grateful for what we have!

  7. the messy frizzy curls are by far the cutest !
    great article.
    having dealt with curly hair forever, and a desire to go for the overtly messy curls, i feel some inspiration coming on !

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