[Trendzilla] Curly Hair Vs. Straight Hair Smackdown!

Music Editor Dave Segal hates curly hair. To be specific, I think he hates hiscurly hair. But maybe he hates yours, too.

And, more than likely, if you have naturally curly hair like Dave's, you hate it, too.

Growing up, you were probably jealous of all the other kids running around the schoolyard with their unfrizzy, seemingly manageable, silky straight hair.

For decades, neat, straight hair was the popular style to have. I spent my teenage years waking up a half-hour early to flat-iron my hair into oblivion, resulting in a kind of charred-gristle odor. My mom did the same when she was a teenager, except she did hers with her face pressed awkwardly against an ironing board, using an actual clothing iron, while hermom chided her for doing so.

However, straight hair seems to have disappeared for the most part. Kate Hudson, Jennifer Aniston and Lindsay Lohan have traded in straight hair for uncalculated, messy curls. But it's not limited to Hollywood—even hipster scum and hardcore followers of fashion (see: Mary-Kate Olsen) have been joining in for a couple of years now, though their versions are a lot more unpolished, unkempt and bedhead-like and probably involve fewer products and more not-showering.

It seems every year when the weather turns warm, there's a DIY feature in every magazine on how to achieve the perfect beach hair. The more popular tips have something to do with diffusers and mousses and gels—but who wants crispy hair?—and then making ringlets with your fingers. Thing is, none of this works unless you already have some kind of natural wave to your hair. And who the hell has time to curl hair using fingers?

Another common tip: braiding wet hair. But that usually looks like crimped hair (not a good thing, not in 2008), and the waves tend to fall flat by noon.

Solution: if you have some sort of natural curl, the cheapest, most dependable solution—my favorite kind!—would be Bumble N Bumble's Surf Spray ($19.99). The product contains sea salt, which is exactly what makes your hair look like it does after a day at the beach: windswept, alluring and natural. The best part? The spray actually kind of smells like the beach without the tangles and grease.

The same products won't be successful for everyone, so just experiment—a friend mixes warm water and Epsom salt in a spray bottle and douses her hair before bed.

And what if your hair is naturally thin, naturally straight and, er, naturally boring?

Hate to break it to you, but it's tough achieving natural-looking waves with a curler. Your best bet might just be visiting your stylist and inquiring about a body wave, a more relaxed type of perm.

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