Saturday, 2 April 2016

Writer goes curly after 38 years of straightening hair

Courtney Conover Head Shot Photo
Curly versus straight.
It was an easy choice for Courtney Conover of Wayne, who spent 38 years straightening her naturally-curly tresses, hot ironing, chemically-treating and blow-drying them into submission.
The former deputy mayor of Westland, mother two and wife of Scott Conover, former Detroit Lions offensive lineman, has detailed her struggle to maintain straight hair — and her recent
decision to set her natural curls free — in an e-book, “Mommie Straightest: On frizz, frustration and how my baby girl taught me to finally embrace my naturally curly hair.” The book includes her hair regimen and a list of products she likes. She published it this year on Amazon.com. It generally costs $3.49 but is being sold for 99 cents through midnight, Sunday, April 3, in celebration of her 39th birthday on April 1.
Conover, who describes herself as a “Type A, go go go” personality wrote the book to share her journey from straight to curly, and help others who are wrestling with self-image.


“Straight hair is not bad. The problem is when your pursuit of straight hair alters your quality of life. That’s the problem,” Conover said. “When you do everything in your power to change your hair to the point it affects your life, and you’re putting bad chemicals on your hair and you are depressed. That’s a problem.”
Straightening became a time-consuming habit that sometimes took priority over other tasks.
If it began to rain during a shopping trip, Conover quickly drove home, leaving her melting foods in the car while she headed inside to fire up the flat iron and keep her hair from frizzing.
If it began to drizzle while she and her children were on the playground, she’d scoop them up and quickly head home to fix her hair.
She didn’t mind if a blow-out took four hours as long as it made her hair straight.
Ponytails, braids
“I tried to go natural in the summer of 2014. It lasted two weeks. I got so exasperated. I never really gave it a fair shot,” she said, adding that heat and chemical damage caused her hair to break. “But that was the longest I had done it in my 38 years. My mom never allowed me to wear my hair curly.”
Conover said she grew up wearing her hair in braids, a pony tail, sectioned off by barrettes and, when freed from hair accessories, straight. She doesn’t blame previous generations for their focus on straight or tamed curly hair. In fact, she praises her mother for having the patience to keep her hair looking well-coiffed.
“They did the best they could with what they had,” she said. “I was so married to the appearance of straight hair. I know society plays a role, but I don’t want to say I blame society. I don’t blame anyone.”
She realized she had to make a change last fall when an aunt pointed out that Conover’s daughter Kennedy, 2, always wore her hair in a tight ponytail.
A few days later she let her daughter’s hair down and watched Kennedy kiss her own reflection in the mirror. Conover praised her toddler’s curls, a light bulb moment that made her reflect on her own obsession with straight hair. She mustered the courage in November 2015 to go natural and documented the process and products she used along the way.
Read more HERE

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