This article originally appeared on MIMI.
Have you ever woken up and tried to push your hair to one side and it JUST. WON'T. GO.? It may seem like bed head at first, but then you wash and try to style it and it still won't go the way you want it, thus eliminating your very big dream of styling your hair in a new way. At this point, it's time to give up and revert back to your usual style so you don't miss work, or your next class, or a train, or a plane.
But giving up may actually defeat that process overall, because according to Marshall Lin, Stylist at one of our favorite NYC salons — Fekkai SoHo — your hair has memory. And if you don't give it something new to remember, it's always going to remember the same thing.
Basically, what happens when you style your hair each morning is probably the problem. "If you always curl your hair, if you always have your hair straight, if you always braid it, we call that creating tension or hair memory. The hair will kind of go to that side or place — what we call the corn curl," he says.
In fact, your hair operates a lot like a plant, growing toward the light...or in the case of your strands, the way you push or pull them. "Your root will actually begin to move to that [specific] side because your hair has memory."
The result? "For people who have really long hair and cut their hair short, it usually doesn't go flat," Marhsall says. "It sticks up!" since it's so used to doing just that at its previous length. It's for this same reason that Marshall says it's hard to change say a middle part to a side part, or a side part to a middle part. The key, he says, is "Consistently going against the tension...and patience!" As in, a month. Or two, or even three, in some cases.
So the next time you're thinking of changing up your style, just know that it's a process. Don't get frustrated...just like you'd train a muscle to be stronger, you can train your hair to do what you want.