Feeding Hunger

I desire straight, sleek hair.  Hair like cornsilk.  Hair as soft as a kitten.  But instead, my hair is like carpet thread.  Some strands have an indented shaft like twisted wire.  And, I have a lot of hair.  It’s thick.  It makes a nasty shadow on a sunlit day.  When the wind blows, my hair moves like sludge because it’s so heavy.  My grandfather was Norwegian, and I think I carry the genes for Norwegian woolly hair.

I didn’t always desire straight, sleek hair.  In fact when I was little, my hair was soft, but it was curly, and several adults even called me Shirley Temple. My dad probably said it best, “Mophead.”  My kindergarten school picture shows a head of golden beach waves.  But just as those baby teeth left the mouth, my hair’s softness and light color left and transformed into the coarse hair of a black cat.

It was 1976, and short hair became popular thanks to Olympian Dorothy Hamill.  My mother had set up hair appointments for my sisters and me at one of the big, sophisticated department stores.  I told the beautician I wanted a short feathered, wedge-cut like the ice skater’s coiffure, but what came out was nothing like it.  The results were a wedge cut, but it dried into unyielding layers that curled out every which way.  Aaugh!  Not what one wants when going through puberty and becoming a teenager.  

Finally when I was in ninth grade, one of my older sister’s bought a hair straightener.  She let me borrow it, and I was in love.  It traveled with me to Toronto on the train for a ninth grade class excursion.  I had straight hair for the dance along with some blush and mascara.  All this was a first for me.

I carried the straight, hair and makeup look to high school registration.  I still remember what I wore that day.  Off-white Lee cords, china flats, and a red patterned shirt of my eldest sister.  Why is this day so vivid?  Probably because I came home with my first school picture I.D. or maybe it was because girls I never talked to before, talked to me.  My new look was more like one in a popular clique.  

Straight hair traveled with me to college.  In fact during my freshman year, I used a straightener and electric, hot rollers.  That way my hair was tamed: straight strands until the ends, which flipped in a big curl.  It’s amazing what steps you take for beauty when you’re a co-ed.

I’m certainly no longer a co-ed, but I do continue to straighten my hair today. Technology has come so far. I’m amazed at all my straightener can do. My hair often looks shiny, and I can flip it into a soft beach wave. Even a little gray can look good with straight hair.

By nancyrsantucci

Newly retired Texas educator who loves reading, exercising, cats, and hanging out with her husband.


  1. Straight hair is in style so that is great for you and all those who love straight hair. After chemo 18 years ago my mostly straight hair turned curly but corkscrew-like curly hair in the back. Now there is a wave in it. My stylist said I could use a straightener if I am inclined to do so. Thanks for jarring my memory and being “straight” with us about your hair.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have really curly hair and have learned to embrace, but always feel like a different, more polished, smoother me when I get my hair blown out. Loved your post!

    Liked by 1 person

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