This is the dawning of the age of Big Hair-ius.*

Holley at Castaway CayMy next bunch of female main characters are big hair girls. Nora. Gillian. Shane. Marcia. Daisy**. (Possibly one more depending on whether or not that submission gets laughed out of editor’s inbox.)


Because I’m a BHG: a Big Hair Girl. Sometimes. Let’s take a bit of a Holley retrospective.

Up until 2008 I chemically straightened my hair, so my hair would alternate between bone straight and “yikes” depending on where I was in the grow-out cycle (I straightened every three months or so).

Holley Trent
Holley in 2007
Holley Trent at Bald Head Island
Holley in 2005 (?)

One day I went to a stylist to get done up for an event (like hell if I can remember what now, a wedding?) and she didn’t “get” the texture of my hair. I have a lot of hair. A LOT. It’s thick, but the strands are really fine and really curly: like pen springs but fragile ones. She gave me a relaxer that essentially melted my hair out.

No shit. Over the course of a month it all broke off.

My hair looked horrible, and I tried to trim it up and be funky with it, but I looked like a hot mess. So, I stood in the shower one day and let my husband give me a buzz cut to just get the ruined hair off. He compared the chore to shearing a sheep.

Holley Trent with Boy Cut
Holley in 2008

I had a bit of an identity crisis during that growing-out phase. I felt like I looked like a boy. Every time I looked in a mirror I saw my father, but I needed that phase because I hadn’t seen my natural curls in…uh…well. Suffice it to say I can’t remember what my hair was like as a kid before I started having it straightened.

Believe it or not, I’m pretty conservative at least when it comes to appearance so I found being courageous about styles like this difficult:

Holley at Museum
Holley in 2009

Now it’s been four years since that sheep-shearing and I’m still in the learning curve. Most of the time I wear buns.

Holley at CRW tea
Holley in 2012 – Photo by Jessica Regner (Colorado Romance Writers)

I also have a penchant for hats and bandanas, as seen above. Sometimes my hair is really big, and sometimes (because this is Colorado and there’s no humidity) my hair is really flat. Big or flat, it’s really curly and usually a mess.

So, I decided to write a bunch of curly-haired heroines that “felt me.” I think Nora (of my 11/26 Crimson Romance novel My Nora) bears the most of my hair angst, but the rest of the ladies fall in line to varying degrees.

I think by the time I’m done with Daisy, I’ll be done with the hair therapy.

Writers, do you have any personal features you regularly “inflict” upon your characters?

*Do you get it? It’s a play on “Aquarius” from the musical Hair
**I’m working on a proposed spin-off of Polished Slick.