I still remember one of my second-grade classmates telling me that to get my crush to notice and like me, I should straighten my hair.
All my life, I have always thought that my curly hair was ugly. A lot of my “friends” and classmates would comment when I would straighten my hair saying, “OMG it looks so good” or “You should straighten your hair more often.” This quickly got ingrained in my mind. I always believed until recently, that I am only attractive if my hair is straight.
It also didn’t help that I hated how frizzy my hair would get when I brushed it out and how it looked when I would just leave it be after a shower. It didn’t matter how many times my sisters or my parents told me how amazing my natural hair was. I still refused to not straighten it.
My family would constantly tell me that I looked beautiful regardless of my hairstyle. They said I should let go of the idea that my natural hair looked bad. However, like most people, it’s hard to take compliments from your family because they’re your family. They have to say something nice.
It wasn’t until my 18th birthday that I had this epiphany. I was looking in the mirror, getting ready for a birthday dinner, fresh out of the shower. And for the first time in my life, I thought that I looked good. It also didn’t hurt that we were running late, so I didn’t have time to straighten my hair before our reservation.
For the first time since I was a kid, I went out in public with my hair in its natural state. And I liked it. After that night I made a vow to myself to stop straightening my hair and instead learn to embrace my curly hair.
My hair is a part of me that I should be proud of, not hide.
One of the things that I learned to love about my hair is that it’s different from others. I learned that so many people spend buckets of money to have hair that looks like mine. So many women curl their hair daily or get perms. Meanwhile, I was spending so much time straightening and damaging my hair simply because I thought that curly hair was something that no one liked. I was so wrong.
Curly hair is so hard to maintain and to keep healthy. It is a science that curly-haired women learn to make their hair look that good. I have learned so much about hair care since embracing my natural hair, and 2021 is going to be another year of me embracing my natural hair.
Loving my curly hair also taught me the importance of loving myself. I learned that it doesn’t matter what anyone else says. I’m beautiful.
This thing that I had secretly loved but grown to hate was something I should have always been proud of. Your differences are what make you unique and beautiful.
So the next time you see someone with curly hair, compliment them. I promise you it will make their day. But actually, you should compliment anyone on their hair because every hairstyle and hair color is beautiful.
Featured Image by Lucy from Unsplash