Keeping it curly

Spence and me

Photos by Birds of a Feather Photography


I’m a curly top.

Born with naturally wavy hair, my tresses and I have fought many a battle over the years. Prone to frizziness and just complete chaos, my hair has a mind all its own. Though I could use the same shampoo every day for a week (and often do), it will end up looking different after every wash. It’s just . . . its own beast, you know?

By my high school graduation, I’d learned to tame it into submission — occasionally. And always with the help of a flat iron. Like many a modern woman, that all-important straightening tool has gotten me out of some major binds. I’m convinced my “real” hair is fine for the day-to-day (and rarely “style” it any particular way for work), but on big occasions? Major occasions? Places where I know I will be photographed? I straighten it.

Or “straighten” it, I guess I should say. Even flattening my hair keeps it flat for, oh . . . an hour or so. Less if it’s summer, and barely any time at all if the humidity soars to 10,000 percent. (Which is any warm day in Maryland.)

But if that hour coincides with a major life event? Well, we’re golden. And my hair has been straightened for my senior photos in high school and college, my graduations, parties, celebrations . . .
and the list goes on. I just thought it looked better that way.

But I’m changing.

The thing is, straight hair isn’t me. My natural hair is crazy. It’s thick and unruly and unpolished, but it’s also just a part of my personality. While I don’t have truly curly hair like the lovely corkscrew-style ladies out there, it has enough body going on that it really can’t be tamed. And I’ve gotten tired of trying.

When Spencer and I scheduled our engagement shoot for a few weeks back, I wavered greatly on what to do with my locks. After finding my awesome dress and choosing appropriate heels, I was left picking the hairstyle to be immortalized in these shots forever. My go-to event look is usually the top-knot, given that it allows me to keep my hair out of my face and looks halfway polished, but I wanted something different. And for me, someone who straightens her hair for every big shoot?

Well, that meant doing the opposite of the norm. That meant keeping it curly.

Right up until the time we had to leave, my palms positively itched to grab the flat iron. The thought of having natural hair in these shots was seriously causing me anxiety. But every bit of advice given for these types of photos is, of course, be yourself.ย And if I’ve heard it once from family and friends, I’ve heard it a thousand times . . .

“You don’t look like you with straight hair.”

I was genuinely nervous to see the pictures from our photographers, convinced keeping my hair wavy was a terrible mistake. Other couples look so polished and sophisticated and grown-up in their shots, and I worried I’d looked like an unkempt lunatic next to my fiancรฉ. (Who was totally bringing the cute that day, by the way.)

That was all completely irrational, of course. The photos are in . . . and they’re lovely. Authentic to us, ethereal and sweet. I’m in love with our photographers’ work and am so, so excited with the results, especially given that they captured us at such a wonderful time in our lives.

And best of all? For the first time in my illustrious big-occasion photo history, I actually . . . look like myself.

And she looks pretty happy.


Spencer and me 2


I’m glad I kept it real.


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32 thoughts on “Keeping it curly

  1. LOVE these pictures. And I happen to love your hair curly. We always want what we don’t have. I have thin straight hair and spent most of my youth perming it (not anymore…embracing that straightness). My roommate in college spent half of her life straightening. (This photographer is amazing.)

  2. Gah, that photo is STUNNING!! I absolutely LOVE curly hair… and I’ve got straight hair, and I’m thinking of curling it big time for our engagement photos.

    We just want what we can’t have, right?

  3. Great photos! Love the hair!

    My hair is a disaster, lol. It’s long and naturally wavy, which means frizz and bah. Just like yours, it has a mind of its own, and just from washing it, it could look different on a day to day basis. I can’t tame it! No heat tools work either! An hour at most then it’s back to being insane!

    I thought I was the only one that experienced this! THANK YOU! Lol!

  4. I love your hair. My hair is pretty wavy too and I feel like I used to fight it way more than I do now. There are so many other things that I would rather be doing than my hair. The craziness is me and it’s nice to be content with my hair the way it is!

  5. OMG! I LOVE your pictures. You look absolutely stunning. I especially like the first one. Your photographer is incredible. I can’t wait to see more pictures. I have naturally curly and unruly hair as well and I have spent many a day either trying to tame it, straighten it, or put it in a pony tail. As I get older, I realize I need to just go with it and stop fighting it. Your hair looks great in the photos!!

  6. Great pics! I have similar type hair but opted to attempt to style it the day of engagement photos but it didn’t come out the way I wanted. Now ever time I see one of my engagement photos I can’t stop staring at my pair hair-job.
    Also – I wore an almost identical dress for my engagement session too. I heart lace illusion necklines!

  7. Gorgeous pics! I have similar hair but I am a straightening iron fiend! Can’t live without it! I know i should embrace the curl but I just can’t do it!

  8. You look gorgeous! I have curlish hair and have only used a flat iron once – it didn’t look right. Of course, I would kill for my daughter’s straight blond hair, but there you have it.

  9. I love your hair! Definitely keep it just as it is. Embrace your wild hair. It’s soo much lovelier and healthier for you and your hair to do it that way.

    I’m a curly top too! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. Oh Meg!! These are beautiful =) You two look so happy and peaceful. And I love that you kept your hair your natural way…what better way than to have it as it truly is!

  11. I have curly hair and very rarely straighten it as I never feel it agrees with the personality that I have! I am so happy you kept it real and true to yourself! The pictures are beautiful.

  12. I love your photos! Your hair is gorgeous, and I a fellow curly, wavy, frizzy girl, I too am perplexed often. Maybe if mine were longer I could go wavy, but I feel it’s not my best look. Florida is the humidity capital, nearly year round, so I battle often. I’ve considered the treatments to straighten but eh..money.
    You look so lovely…..here’s to being you!!!

  13. You look so radiant Meg! ๐Ÿ˜€
    I have crazy hair to, so I can relate. But I think it looks absolutely terrific in your pictures ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Thank you all for the kind words — y’all are the best. Sounds like we have quite the range of curly and sleek-haired girls, and we all have hair battles to fight! ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. I love your hair! You always want what you don’t have- this coming from a stick straight, thin, fine haired girl that is doing everything possible to NOT chop all the hard earned length a week before her wedding ๐Ÿ™‚ Your photos are lovely!

  16. love the pictures, the light is amazing and your hair looks good! I have the same type of hair so I know what you’re talking about. In all my years I’ve only found1 (one) hairdresser who knows what to do with it, and cuts it so that I get almost real curls without having to style it.

  17. Your photos are absolutely stunning and I LOVE your hair natural and wavy. How completely gorgeous!

    I’ve loved your blog for years, but I swear, over the past few months, it keeps getting better and better.

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