My Curly Hair Journey

It’s been over a year since I ditched my hair straightener, said goodbye to relaxers and took better care of my hair.

Ever since I was little, my hair has always been straight. I never embraced nor liked my curls. If you look at every picture of my life, you’ll never see a curly brown girl in any of them.

I hated my curly hair. When I looked back at the reason why, I don’t know where that hatred came from. A year later, I realized it’s been normalize my whole life that straight hair was better.

If you didn’t grow up with your hair done at the Dominican salon, straight and perfect than your mother didn’t take care of you correctly. It was standard to have long straight hair. Anything other than that was seen out of the ordinary.

It’s rooted in society especially in the latino community that people with curly, thick or overall natural hair shouldn’t embrace it. It’s been rooted all my life that straight hair was the only way you felt beautiful.

Last summer, I just got sick of the same routine that kept my hair dry and not full of life. I wanted to try something new and figure out why I had so much hatred towards my natural hair.

I began to do a lot of research. I couldn’t just use the same hair products and see new results. I had to find products that worked for my hair. I was looking for something that can making my hair healthy and bring my curls back to life.

I watched countless of Youtube videos and found Youtubers like Lisette, Bianca Renee, and Alba RamosΒ that changed my routine and developed my love for my curls.

A lot of the Youtubers I watched began talking about a hair company called Shea Moisture. I decided to check it out and started a hair routine that I still follow today. The brand is affordable, easy to find in drugstores and just feels amazing on my hair.

Last summer, I got a hair compliment for the first time and since then I get positive comments from complete strangers during work. That was something I’ve never experienced before.

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However, some people still stuck in the stigma that curls aren’t attractive or acceptable.Β I wish that people wouldn’t feel judge for wearing their hair a certain way.

It angers me that people are reprimanded at work or school for simply wearing their hair a certain way. It’s crazy to think that the way you wear your hair signifies how professional you are. It’s insane to me that girls in South Africa are forcing black girls to follow a certain hair code.

I use to love going to the hair salon, now I dread it. I’m sick of the complaining that my hair is messed up or that I look better now that my hair is straighten.

Let me not get started on the cultural appropriation of hair styles like braids and bantu knots…

I have thick, curly hair and I love it. I love catching a glimpse of the confidence of someone walking down the street with beautiful curls. I love events and products dedicated to curly hair. I never felt the amount of representation as I do today.

So yes, I see representation, but I still don’t see a full acceptance of natural hair especially not in the latino community.

But at the end of the day, I will continue to love my thick, gets tangle a lot, dyed, weird length, curly hair.

And that’s all that matters.

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Author: chelseacandelario

Chelsea Candelario is a recent graduate from SUNY New Paltz with a bachelor's degree in journalism. In the fall, she will be attending City College for a master's in public relations. Currently, she's a freelance writer looking for an opportunity to write and incorporate social media along with her writing. She strives to make a difference in her community through her passion for providing news and culture.

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