To the guys out there with the big hair, curly and long, I want you to know: You have options.
As a man with long, curly hair, I straighten my hair, and you can too. I’m here to tell you about this journey, so find your friends, find a straightener, and let’s get started:
I grew up with long hair.
That was just the choice that I made when I was small, and I’ve kept it ever since. I love having long hair, and I’d never cut it short. My parents have been really supportive of me, having only occasionally called me a hippy. It’s the choice that I continue to make more than a decade later. But, while I love the length of my hair, currently just past my mid back, I haven’t loved its size. That’s part of why I straighten my hair.
My hair is very curly
When left to its own devices, my hair makes tight brown ringlets that’d make Shirley Temple jealous. They’re lovely, certainly, but, not particularly masculine, and something that I’ve tried controlling in various ways throughout my life. I usually wear my hair pulled back into a ponytail, and pre-straightening, I would try my best with upwards of five hair ties pulled tight to keep my hair all together. This wasn’t bad perse, but it did leave indents in my hair where the hair ties went, which wasn’t my favorite. I like braids, usually a single, thick, long braid down the back, but braids can be tricky, and if it isn’t perfect, I’d spend an hour just dividing and re-dividing my hair. No, I was looking for a different solution.
I first tried straitening my hair when I was 19, and I’ve been doing it since.
A friend of mine let me borrow a straightener and I just went to town. Not knowing what I was doing, I started with wet hair and just burned it straight—which was bad, don’t do that. Not long after that, I received a straightener as a gift. It’s hot pink and was supposed to be a joke, but I use it to straighten my hair to this day. I’ve learned a bit since then, and I’d like to share a few quick things
Firstly: take care of your hair. Let it air dry when wet, use shampoo and conditioner, brush it gently from bottom to top to bottom. Love it, your hair is part of your expression of you
Secondly: get the stuff. A cheap hair straightener will get the job done, but bigger is often better. Try to shoot for quality, over settings as, at least for a while, you’ll likely only use one of a few settings. It’ll put you back a pretty penny, especially if you aim towards the high end, but I’d say, worth it. This is crucial: buy heat resistant hairspray. It actually does what it says it does.
Thirdly: straighten and enjoy. Start with already dry hair, spray with heat resistant spray and let that seep into your hair, and straighten in long smooth strokes starting at the scalp. It’s important to keep it moving as to not burn your hair.
It might also feel a little unsettling to straighten your hair.
This wasn’t supposed to be a tutorial, there are definitely better tutorials on YouTube, or ask a friend. While I did want to give some instruction, I want to say, from the long straight side of hair, that it’s not a big deal at all. For the first few weeks after I straightened my hair the first time, friends and family questioned it, but after that initial period, no one cares. And they shouldn’t. It’s your hair, you do with it what you want, and if you want to have long hair that’s significantly easier to manage than before, do that.
Personal beauty has often been the domain of women primarily, and it can feel uncomfortable walking in the beauty section of a department store or a beauty store specifically as a guy. Those spaces were not made for us—which is fine. Get in, own it, and get out. Or, there is always Amazon, and you don’t even have to leave your apartment.