Having thick hair is a blessing and a curse. Sure, it's nice to have body, but would I trade my volume for all the time I could get back if I didn't have hair that took two hours to blow-dry and that, without being blown out, looks like the result of an electrocution? Yes, in a second. From unfathomably long styling times to being dreaded and avoided by salon professionals, the downsides of thick hair have caused me a lifetime of wasted hours, extra money, and social anxiety.
So before the thin-haired girls of the world jump up in arms, try to hear me out. Keep clicking to learn why having thick hair actually kind of sucks. A lot.
All my life, I've known that once a stylist did my hair for the first time, it was pretty much over. As soon as they realize just how much hair you have, and just how long it takes, you become the client they decline to do, or the client they dread if you do happen to sneak into the schedule. It doesn't matter how experienced someone is, the sheer amount of hair us thick-haired girls have simply takes too much time. In the time it takes to do one really thick-haired client, a stylist could theoretically be seeing four different clients and making almost four times as much (a little less, because usually your blowout will cost more for having thick hair—see slide six).
Though it's not hard to tell how much stylists dread getting stuck with a thick-haired client, a stylist and salon owner once confirmed what I've always known. After doing my hair and making the requisite shock-and-awe-at-how-much-I-have comment, she told me that she simply doesn't see clients with hair like mine, and passes them off to the freshman class of stylists. Basically it's a rite of passage that stylists go through, earning their standing to get out of doing thick-haired girls’ hair. No matter how expert someone is, us thick-haired girls are the hot potatoes of the hair world. No one wants us.
Thick-haired girls, I know you'll understand this one too: I also genuinely feel bad for the innocent person who gets stuck doing my hair. I feel bad that it's so much, and that it will take them so long, and that they will loose the opportunity to do faster and easier clients. It’s awkward and uncomfortable. When the blowout starts getting to 45 minutes, then past the one-hour mark, and I can sense their growing disbelief at how much hair is still left to do, I feel like an apologetic kid in the chair—hoping they don't hate me for having so much hair.
Here's the worst part: However long it takes a stylist to do our hair, it takes us twice that. Doing my own hair is my personal version of hell. If I landed myself there one day, the Devil would say, "Welcome, you now begin an eternity of self-blowouts." I've spent three hours on a Friday night doing my hair more times than I care to remember, and it's something I will put off at all costs. I've missed out on life events—on making memories—because the thought of having to blow-dry my hair was too exhausting.
For a thick-haired girl, going to the salon to get your hair colored is basically a pilgrimage: an epic journey that involves taking a vacation day and packing three meals. Show up at 10 and you're lucky to leave before four. It takes a day. Loved ones will begin to wonder what happened to you and send texts to phone home. Don't worry guys, I'm just... still at the salon getting my color done. Yes, really.
Having a lot of hair hurts. Ponytails hurt. Buns hurt. It weighs a lot, and you get headaches. Additionally, it gets knotted, matted, and tangled. It's impossible to brush without scalp yanks and pain. The only thing I say at a salon more than "sorry" is "ow."
I always get a good laugh out of the instructions on product bottles that tell you to dispense a dime or quarter-sized amount for hair. It's more like a pile of product than a pump for us. I run through shampoo and conditioner like I'm grooming a stable of horses. Products disappear fast, and it's expensive.
Blowouts and color treatments cost more for us thick-haired girls. Color can be anywhere from $40 to $100 more per treatment, and blowout prices are typically $10 to $20 higher for thick hair. We get it, from a time and product standpoint, but that still doesn't make it any easier for us to shoulder the higher cost of something we can't help.
It's downright comical the number of times I've stayed with a friend and they've asked with true concern if I'm okay because of the sheer amount of clumped hair in their shower drain, trash can, or pillow (I clean up after myself but thick hair wins—it's impossible to leave no trace behind). They gasp in shock and I stare back with sweet appreciation for their level of confusion. Shedding horror-movie-level amounts of hair is par for the course for thick-haired girls. Don't worry about us, we've been Cousin It for as long as we can remember.
Summer with thick hair is a brand of personal discomfort only a thick-haired girl can understand. More than once I've wanted to take a razor and buzz it all off Britney-style. Instead I just put it up until it gets too heavy to bear. This might sound dramatic but it's not—the struggle is real.
Thick-haired girls, do you agree? Did I forget any #thickhairproblems on this list? If you don’t have thick hair, what hair problems do you have? Sound off, below!