An Open Love Letter To My Hair

Subbotina Anna / (
Subbotina Anna / (

You are just as much a part of me as the spatter of moles on the right side of my face, my narrow hips, my embarrassing earthquake of a laugh, my on again/off again passion for writing, and everything else I’m so lucky to have.

You are full of contradictions. For example, as dry and brittle as you are, you stay damp for hours after I take a shower, whether I use a blow dryer or not.

I like you most when I get out of bed, lioness-like, even though you are not presentable to the outside world in that state. I like you most when a boy pushes a strand of you gently out of my face, although one time, this boy who was trying to kiss me complained that you were all over the place. And even though I was self-conscious about it at the time and proceeded to obediently tie you up, I now laugh at his discomfort.

I love you because you are stubborn but also kind of shy about your stubbornness, just like me. You seldom announce yourself loudly. Just a little bit of frizz here, an untameable kink there. You are quietly persistent, insistent, resistant to manipulation. Sometimes people look at you and think you are well-behaved, a class act. But it’s just an act, I almost say. You don’t know how much work this took!

I look for you in movies and TV shows, when I need the validation, when I give up trying to look for short, brown-skinned Asian girls with average body shapes. I just look for hair that looks like you instead, because there is more diversity there (but barely). The closest I’ve come, texture-wise, is Jennifer Lawrence in The Silver Linings Playbook and Rashida Jones in Parks and Recreation.

Sometimes I wish you would just make up your mind, but I forget you don’t have one. I do, and it’s entirely up to me to let you ruin my day or not.

You’ve looked so different at different stages in my life. I love you because you remind me of me, the person, because I am learning more and more how to manage you, to fix you when you need fixing, but most importantly, to accept you for what you are. You’ve grown with me. I’m learning to take better care of you along with the rest of me.

You’re going to keep changing. I’ll love you through thick and thin, frizzy and smooth, wavy and straight, straggly and luscious, light and dark. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

I’m a Japan-born, California-raised Filipina who currently lives in New Zealand. I’m an amateur improviser, versatile egg cook, and I go running once a month.

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