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December 16, 2012 – 3:09 pm | 17 Comments

Childhood memories are vivid, almost indescribable in their detail, and impossible to forget. A Christmas memory I have is that of a black velvet dress  a family friend gave to me for my seventh Christmas.
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Marta Meets the Brazilian Blowout (Video)

Submitted by on October 5, 2010 – 4:39 am21 Comments

Ed. Note: Welcome to Hair Week on the Tiki Tiki! We’re talking all sorts of hair issues — cutting it off, straightening it, loving it, being frustated by it…Let’s pretend we’re in a salon and chat….

Hi. I’m Marta and I have naturally curly hair. (“Hi, Marta.”)

My mother kept my uber-curly hair trimmed short. Probably because of the nightmare that it was to comb out my crazy tangled mess of a mane, but that’s not important right now.

Shirley Temple?

As a newly arrived Cuban refugee in the early 60′s, my curly hair made me stick out in the crowd of straight-haired American kids.

And the nicknames that my hair inspired! Ay, Dios mio! The grandmothers would invariably call me Shirley Temple (this, I did not mind), but some of my peers began calling me Bomba, the Jungle Boy. Gratefully, that moniker did not stick, but the dye was cast. My hair became the root of much of my childhood insecurity.

Later as a teen in the 70′s, when the style was stick-straight-parted-down-the-middle, my hair became (to me) an obstacle to be overcome.

It was my genius black friends who introduced me to my first straightening product, Curl Free Natural Curl Relaxer. Yes, it was a DIY home-hair-straightening kit. I could finally leave the house on foggy days.

As styles changed and curl came back in (let me just give a special thank-you-shout-out here to Barbra Streisand in A Star is Born) having curly hair suddenly became hip again. Hot curlers would give me just enough bounce and tame my curls just enough. The planets aligned in such a way that my curls and the current style coincided for once in my life.

As I became older and more relaxed, I was more okay with my curly hair. That I could occasionally straighten it or set it up with a dubi-dubi (more on that tomorrow) was another plus.

But then, after Jonathan, my youngest, was born, my curls came in tighter and more unruly than ever. And I was back to “taming” when I wanted a sleeker look.

My husband loves my uber-curly hair. Go figure.

Instead of thick, perfectly formed curls, I fought my hair on a daily basis just to make it behave. It always felt to me like an un-made bed.

And so it happened that a few years ago, when I turned fifty, and I didn’t get the red convertible I had thought I would have by then (don’t judge me), I came to the cataclysmic decision that I would get my hair professionally straightened.

And so I did. My hairdresser, Kate, introduced me to the super-uber-straight Japanese system. My hair looked Tahitian. It was a chemical straightening that lasted like a perm, only reversed. It was wonderful. Shiny & stick-straight. I had finally arrived.

But chemicals and hair dye and flat irons take their toll.

It was during a discussion about how hard the Japanese chemicals plus regular coloring was on my hair that she suggested we try the Brazilian Blowout. I liked the sound of it immediately. South America and Samba being much closer to my roots (no pun intended).

The process claims to leave hair “smooth and frizz-free without harsh chemicals.” And it’s true! Click on the headline to watch the video to see the entire process.

Except for the ongoing fight to tame my hair, I’m pretty comfortable in my own skin. And don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love some beautiful curls….on other people. I tried going back to curly last year and let my curl grow back in, but it’s getting much more coarse and wiry as I age. I tend to look more like a mad scientist, and that doesn’t make me happy.

But now that my hair is smooth and straight, I feel unstoppable. And it looks pretty fabulous, no? (Thanks, Kate!)

Kate, my hairdresser. Me & my Brazilian Blowout.

So, tell me:

Did any of you spend a lifetime fighting your curls?

Or were you one of the ones who was always perfectly content with the hair God gave you?

Did you get perms?

Did you have yours straightened?

Cuentamelo. Let’s talk texture.

Or do you have questions about the Brazilian Blowout? Bring it.

Share, por favor!

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