Open Letters

An Open Letter to My Hair Straightener

Dear Hair Straightener,

I don’t know how we (and I’m speaking on behalf of all women here) ever survived without you. I mean, it’s not like I’m one of those girls with crazy curly hair – you know, the kind of girls who have hair so curly that you don’t actually know a) how long it is, or b) how that girl gets a comb through it. Also, it’s not like I’m one of those girls who straightens her hair every day, although, I used to be that girl and I think every girl probably used to be that girl, or has a close friend who is that girl. I’m more the girl who will straighten her hair maybe twice a month.

If it’s winter, then sure, I’ll apply the flat iron to my locks anywhere from once to four times a week, but that’s really because in the winter I don’t have to worry about overheating and overheating is my number one concern when it comes to just about anything. I run warm. Sweating is a real possibility and there’s no need to add to the already stressful situation of getting myself primped and ready for a Night Out. I have to be selective about my hair straightening, because hair straightening can cause me to overheat which can cause me to sweat, which then causes me to stress, which only causes more sweating, and now I don’t want to go out at all. So it’s really important to make sure that I am straightening my hair in a relatively cool environment. That is, those specific and random days I choose to do so.

And when I do straighten my not-so-curly and more beach-wavy hair (which I know sounds like I’m bragging but one time this girl at a party told me she wanted to make a wig out of my hair so the awesomeness of my hair is more of a fact), I am reminded that straightening my hair is a luxury. It’s a treat. Something nice for a random Tuesday afternoon when I haven’t put on any pants and I’m writing in my room and I’m so over whatever it is that I’m writing that I figure straightening my hair would be so much more interesting to me at that point in time. Or maybe I’ll straighten my hair on a Saturday night if I’ve actually given myself more than a half hour to get ready for a night out or sometimes Monday morning, because why not start out the week with straight hair?

And holy hot dog, when I have straight hair I feel like I’m on top of the world! I’m the cat’s pajamas, the bee’s knees, all that jazz. My hair game is just so much more fierce when I’ve got straight locks. I know that a lot of other hair-straightening ladies would agree. Not everyone is happy with their hair so it’s nice to be able to make it look a certain way. For some of us gals, pin-straight hair makes everything slightly better.

The way I see it, the hair straightener is the best thing to happen to the collective self-esteem of womankind since the underwire bra, gay BFFs and Tina Fey.

I have had the same hair straightener since high school, when my best friend Brett gave me her old one after getting one of those fancy salon-brand straighteners with a one-syllable Asian-influenced name like “Tao.” I took Brett’s old straightener with me to Paris when I was studying abroad my junior year of college. Even though I had an outlet adapter, the straightener still somehow hot-wired and ever since then it does this thing where it only does one thing, which is turn on, and it turns on even if you haven’t hit the switch to turn it on. Then it just gets really hot and you have no temperature control or anything but who cares, because it’s illegally hot and it’s on and its been giving me the most incredible straight hair for like, a decade.

Hair Straighteners are also awesome because one time I had to go somewhere and my shirt had a lot of wrinkles and I couldn’t find an iron so I used my hair straightener.


Loving Regards,


Photo of a hair straightener by Annie Stamell

  • Lia Towers

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    • Lia Towers

      I feel I’m one of the few curly haired girls that doesn’t have a love affair with a hair straightener. A lot of this is due to my own laziness. In high school, if I wasn’t working and I had 3 hours to kill, sure I’d straighten my hair with my mom’s flat iron, but to do it every day? Woof. I have at least 3 different types of curl in my hair with the back end being the curliest. I’d have to blow dry it straight, THEN go out it with the flat iron. My arms would hurt afterwards and the back still wasn’t perfect- I have a lot of hair.
      The only time I have straight hair now is directly after getting a hair cut. I’ve had stylists even tell me they understand why I don’t take on the task myself. Though… I have just discovered a place that will do a blow dry and straighten for like $2o…

  • Lara Paquette

    “It’s a treat. Something nice for a random Tuesday afternoon when I haven’t put on any pants and I’m writing in my room and I’m so over whatever it is that I’m writing that I figure straightening my hair would be so much more interesting to me at that point in time.”

    That’s the perfect way to describe why I chose to straighten my hair or not (and I do have really curly hair.

  • Fafidoll Lisa

    I resent that “crazy curly hair girls” comment. -_- We get a comb through it when it’s wet and with plenty of conditioner. Boo! I hate the straightener, when I do straighten I do a roller set and blow dry. Less damage.

  • Kelsey Taylor

    “And when I do straighten my not-so-curly and more beach-wavy hair…” I hate you. JK! But really… I was born with super straight hair, except for some awkward short hairs that like to curl up and away from my face when I wear a pony tail. I would do almost anything for wavy hair. If I ever write a letter to my flat iron is because it doubles as an awesome curling iron that gives me pretty good waves, only it takes an hour to accomplish. And you know. To straighten that short lock of hair I mentioned earlier.

  • Michelle Grove Shaffer

    Oh, the sweating…I so feel you! Though I don’t have super curl hair you described in the beginning, I do have curly hair, so luckily I can get by on mostly hair laziness all summer, because, dear God, trying to deal with a hair dryer and curling iron/hair straightener if it’s over 40 degrees outside is pure torture…and usually all that for my hair to still have a frizzy tinge about it.

  • Amber Smith

    I thought I was the only person to ever use their hair straightener as a clothes iron in a pinch. Yay resourcefulness!

  • Monique Brown

    I love hair straighteners too, my favorite is the Karmin g3, it’s amazing, I don’t know how can I live now without my hair straightener, you need it for everything, work, parties, etc. But obviously using it with caution, because at the same time you can damage your hair if you use it so often. 😀

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