Big hair has always been a part of my life, no matter how hard I tried to fight it. As a kid, my mother would blow my hair out for special events so that it framed my face like a gigantic mane. I hated it. So it should come as no surprise that when I was finally old enough to take my strands into my own hands, I began hot-tooling the shit out of them. I wanted the same hairstyle that all high schoolers wanted (and apparently, still want): long, one layer, pin-straight, and zero frizz. My naturally poofy strands were a curse that I desperately tried to break. Sorry, mom.

Every morning, I spent hours flat-ironing my hair (I got really good at it), regardless of where I was going — whether it be a party, school, or even the beach. It wasn’t that I hated my coils, it was just that, without fail, they’d get fuzzy. My battle against frizz had actually gotten so insane that if I wanted to wear my hair curly, I’d blow it straight andthen curl it, so that I could control the inevitable frizz. It was one of the most pointless things ever — and also pretty terrible for my strands.

The handful of people who saw my hair in its natural state always told me I was insane. “People with straight hair would die for your hair,” they’d say. “Why are you straightening it?” But my fuzzy strands just weren’t cute to me — they were an unruly pain in the ass.

Around the time of my first beauty internship, the internet introduced me to Alexa Chung and her glorious bedhead. The bits of fuzz that would spring up from her strands weren’t unkempt — no, they were gamine and desirable. All I wanted was to be able to wake up with a mane like that, but I continued to use hot tools. But a few months ago, as I stood in front of my mirror curling away, I asked myself, Why the fuck are you still doing this?