Right after Scarlet was born and we were finally wheeled from the birthing room to the postpartum suite, the nurse (Cindy) who helped bring her into the world asked if I’d like a lesson on giving newborns a bath. Scarlet was alternately sleeping and whining while being bathed and as Cindy combed Scarlet’s hair, I’ll never forget her exclaiming, “Oh! She has curly hair!” And then, “Oh wait, maybe she doesn’t!” And really – I didn’t know if Scarlet had curly hair or not until pretty recently. When she was an infant, it was short, spiky and black. Around six months, it turned into an in-between wavy mess with a bald spot in the back. I never wanted to admit she had curls. I had very curly hair as a baby and it didn’t get wavy until I was four or five. Cassidy also had curls as a baby. I can’t speak for him but I like the way my curls grew out into waves and I like the way his did too. On the other hand, my sister had curls her whole life and she will be the first one to tell you that she likes her hair better straight. Every curly-haired actress I can think of straightens her hair. I remember getting a few perms and then anxiously waiting for them to grow out to my normal, tameable wavy hair. And that took years. Scarlet’s curls reminded me of my own middle school frustrations and of course, I want everything to be easy for her always. I know it won’t be. I was just being a fool.
I have changed my tune on Scarlet’s curls. From six months to a year, it was at a very awkward, still-short point and it would stick straight up if we didn’t tame it. I called her “Kramer” all the time. Post-bath, we had a very scientific process where we’d half dry her hair while she protested loudly, and then she’d have to wear a cap on her head for 20 minutes. After the cap was removed, glorious, silky hair would be revealed!
And then she got older and wiser. And she’d rip that cap right off her head. And summer came, and with it, thick, sticky humidity – a foe to any girl’s curls…except for Scarlet. Her hair is now long enough where the curls fall down around her ears and they’re multi-colored and they’re soft and they’re spunky and they’re glorious.
And now a picture show. I call it “Ode to a Little Girl’s Curls.” (even though it’s not a poem):
But I do have to say – she wears pigtails best of all. They change her face to make her look older and more pretty and they go well with a summer dress. The curls are all about crazy cute and are best paired with a Jimi Hendrix shirt and Baby Gap jeans.