How I Stopped Hating My Curly Hair

Elinor Block

As a little girl, when I would draw pictures of princesses, they would all have long blonde hair. Despite the fact that this was the opposite of my own hair, I would never reach for the brown crayon, and I always used straight lines, never circles. I made every effort to ensure my princesses had the exact opposite hair to my own. While I wasn’t one of those babies who was born with a lot of hair (you know the ones, the ones who look like they’re wearing wigs), I was blessed/cursed with tight dark brown curls. As a little girl, it was a nightmare to look after.

There are two distinct traumatic moments when I clearly remember hating those curls… First, the time I had to have a school photo taken and, unlike my twin who had pristine straight hair, my curls were bunched up on my head. I felt like I looked messy and unkempt. Second, when my mum cut my hair. She’d gone to hairdressing classes, but because curly hair is totally different to straight hair, one side ended up longer than the other. Needless to say, these formative experiences didn’t help me come to terms with my natural hair.


A photo posted by Nell Block (@nellblock) on

When I became a teenager, I eagerly reached for the straighteners and would perfect my blow-dry so that I always had sleek hair. I hated leaving the house without my hair properly poker straight and some John Frieda serum through the ends (seriously, I still love that stuff). But then, all of a sudden, curly hair became chic. It wasn’t messy, it was tousled. It wasn’t unpolished, it was louche. I’ve given this a lot of thought, and honestly, I think it was thanks to Sex and the City and SJP’s Carrie Bradshaw embracing her curls. While they were perfect coils, it opened my eyes to curly hair being stylish.

From then, I started experimenting with leaving my hair to dry naturally, curling it with my ghd for definition (I still do this) and also adding incredible products such as sea-salt spray. Not only that, I also got better at speaking to my hairdresser about the best way to ensure my natural movement was actually brought out with my hairstyle. These tricks, as well as looking to the A-listers with the best curly hair, have finally helped me accept the hair I was born with. Click through the gallery for the nine best celebrity curly hairstyles.

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