As a child, I had very blond straight hair that bleached to a white blond in the summer. Then in the mid 70s, when the shag look was in and I was getting my first shag (hair that is, I was only 9!) my hair began to curl. The more she cut, the more it curled. My mom sat and watched and her mouth dropped open. I thought the worst since there was no mirror and I had only my mom's and sister's reactions to go by. But it wasn't that bad, I had some nice waves. Later, I learned to use the blow dryer to straighten those waves out for the layered look of the late 70s.
I used to think this straighter top layer was from chemicals such as Touch of Sun I used to highlight my hair and allude myself into thinking I was still blonde. But it's been years since I have used any of it so that destroys that theory. Another thought is that years of blow drying has trained my hair to be straight. Whatever the reason, the top layers are straighter than the bottom layer.
What can I do with this mess? Unlike skin, there is no product for combination hair. One product will give fullness to the top layer and make the curly layers frizz. Other products will help with frizz for the curly part but make the straighter layers look dirty and greasy.
I could go for a perm but have promised myself never again. I have had 3 perms in my life. The first one was given by my sister in 1981. It worked and I had some curly hair. One photo looks very similar to Roseanne Roseannadanna. It also seemed to jump start some wave in my hair. In 1983, I had my sister-in-law given me a home perm. Again, my hair took it well and I had some nice curls. In 1985, I sought out professional services thinking that I could get looser waves instead of tight curls. I was wrong. Or maybe I just went to the wrong place. I ended up kinky, curly hair. The stylist burned hair at my crown but "luckily" that was covered up by the abundance of curls. I was told it would relax. It did, in 1988. Never again. Well, probably not.
I try to let me hair do its own thing but when I look in the mirror, I see my mother's unstyled hair and I cringe. So I am stuck blow drying my hair at least during the dryer months in Florida and using chemicals in hopes that I won't fry the ends. (It's a pet peeve of mine to see fried ends.) I hate this added primping to my routine because I am so not a primper. I don't even own make-up. But I am grateful that I have nice hair that hopefully will not thin out with age.