I Can't Do My Hair

By: Emma Deters


I really can’t style my hair Sure, (now) I can do the basics, but I’m talking about creating a hairstyle with braids and twist and bobby pins and volume and curls - anything that can be fashionably styled on one’s head, I cannot do.

My hair has always been very thick, so much so that a ponytail would give me a headache from the weight I was holding on my scalp. How did I get a ponytail in the first place, you may ask? My mom! There were countless days in elementary and middle school - days during which I was certainly of the age that my peers were creating their own ponytails - that I remember my mom standing behind me, somehow bringing together my misbehaving locks of hair into a sleek, smooth ponytail. I didn’t understand how she did it, I just knew I liked it when my hair was up.

Flash forward to eighth grade, the first time I out my hair up. I needed to learn how to do things to my own hair (mostly because I had to put it up for PE everyday, but also because my mom was not in the mood every morning to wake up just for a ponytail). Thankfully, to my mom’s delight, I eventually learned how to create a ponytail. I was very proud. However, my friends could throw their hair into a nice, clean hairstyle - note, a hairstyle - whenever they needed, and I was genuinely jealous of their abilities. I once saw a girl doing a French braid in the middle of class - without a mirror or brush! - and that’s when I made my goal: I want to learn to French braid my own hair.

Look, I know graduating from a ponytail straight to a French braid is a little ambitious. Or a lot ambitious, if you’re at my skill level. But I tried over and over again, refusing to let my slightly tired and numb arms dissuade me from achieving my goal. And finally…

I couldn’t do it. To be honest, it’s four years later and I still can’t do it. I slowly accepted that styling my hair isn’t something I have the skill to perfect. In high school, I formed a more realistic goal of wanting to learn to curl my own hair-mostly out of necessity for school dances. With tips from my mom and YouTube videos, I’ve slowly learned over the years how to create a somewhat inconsistent curl. And that’s where my hair styling skills pretty much come to an end; I can create a basic braid, ponytail, and half-up-half-down look, as well as curl my hair with a curling iron, but that’s pretty much all I’m confident in attempting. While I sill dream of creating a voluminous, elegant French braid that trails down the side of my head- and I will learn how to make it one day!- I’m willing to settle on a basic ponytail for now.

Sydney Ho