I should write a piece of YA flash fiction about what I could have done with all the time I spent worrying about and fussing with my hair between the time my mother gave up on it when I was seven, and when I decided to stop trying to battle my curls sometime in my mid twenties. Slavery to conventional wisdom on hair styles. Submission to parental belief in tidy hair signifying good grooming. Sleeping on hair rolled around orange juice cans. Sitting under a bubble dryer for an hour with hair tortured around huge rollers. Denying myself social activity around a pool or lake or being outside on a rainy day to avoid dreaded frizz. Blow drying sections of hair stretched taut with a brush until my arms ached. Constraining the untamable with rubber bands, head bands, barrettes, bandanas. I did it all. Until I didn’t care whether curly hair was in fashion or not. Until a run in the rain trumped a sleek hairdo. Until I spent summers sailing and swimming far away from mirrors. Until someone reminded me that my life was a mass of twists and turns that originated in me and grew outward: why would my hair be any different?
Nemon (www.barbarastarknemon.com) grew up in Michigan, listening to her family’s stories of their former lives in Germany, which became the inspiration for her first novel, Even in Darkness. Barbara holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Art History and a Masters in Speech language Pathology from the University of Michigan. She lives, writes, and does fiber art and photography in Ann Arbor and Northport, Michigan.