Curly Heads Unite

I have curly hair, but I haven't always liked it. In fact, I used to hate it. The popular girls in school all had straight hair.  The people on the cover of magazines all had straight hair. Yet here I was with this big, fuzzy hair that no one knew what to do with other than braid it or just let it be dry and wild.  

I loved when I could have it straightened because I thought it made me pretty. I walked tall afterward, and I was so sad when I had to wash it and return to a frizzy, curly head.

I saw the way girls with straight hair would style their hair, and I would try to style my hair the same way. I came across a tutorial once about how to get perfect bangs with a barrel brush. *Let me just tell those of you with straight hair that a barrel brush is a curly head's worst nightmare.* Getting ready for school one day and feeling fed up with my hair I searched for a barrel brush in my aunt’s bathroom (I imagine she had it for times when her hair was straight) and I attempted to brush the front of my hair to create the "perfect bangs." Did I get the perfect bangs? Of course not... IT GOT STUCK! It was stuck so bad that my aunt had to cut it out. I had to go to school that day with freshly cut crazy curly bangs. I was so embarrassed and mad. Why couldn't I do the same thing that all the other girls could? I was beginning to get a concept of beauty that was definitely something other than what I was. And this would continue. All throughout elementary and middle school I always felt prettiest with straight hair. It wasn't until high school that my opinion started changing. I was given the option to get a relaxer (chemical straightener) and I had to really decide if I wanted to say goodbye to my curly hair for a long period of time. I chose not to get it. I began listening to the people saying things like "I wish I could get my hair to be curly like yours", or "you're lucky that your hair is so big and not just flat". I started to see the advantage I had over others because I could have either curly hair or straight hair whenever I wanted. Others could only have straight hair or curling iron curls but not truly curly hair. I began feeling special and privileged as opposed to burdened.  As I got older that idea of privilege stayed with me.

I continue to straighten my hair but I now see it as another side of my personality. When my hair is straight I am a girl who follows the rules. She dresses safely and wears elegant makeup.  She is professional and sexy in a mom sort of way.  When my hair is curly that girl is more closely reflective of me. She has a wild soul.  She wears a lot of black and pushes the "rules" of fashion and makeup. She can also be professional  but she is sexy in an exotic sort of way!

Once I got to a place where I not only accepted my hair but LOVE my hair I began trying to figure out why I had such an issue with it in the first place. And the answer was easy.  I just didn't see enough curly hair. the amount of people with curly hair but you wouldn’t even know it is very large. I know for some people it is out of convenience. It's just easier to deal with hair if it's straight. For me that was not the case.  For me it was because I thought I wasn't pretty with curly hair.

Chris Rock created an entire documentary (Good Hair) because of this exact topic and the idea that has been pushed on us that straight hair is prettiest. Even the black barbies have straight hair! I was watching The Princess Diaries and I was turned off by the makeover scene.  Before her transformation she is supposed to be "ugly" or rough looking. The reveal of a now "pretty" Mia, fit to be a pretty princess, showed her curly frizzy hair straightened.  Why couldn't she just get some anti frizz product in it? Why couldn't she just get some moisturizer of some sort and wear pretty natural curls!?

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I was looking on Pinterest one time to find new products to use on my hair. Soooooo many pins kept popping up of how to to care of your natural curls but every single picture was of girls with curling iron curls in their hair! Why wasn't there actual naturally curly haired girls on those pins? Can we not find them?

**edit: More recent searches of the same thing have begun to turn up actual natural curly heads so GO PINTEREST! :)**

I was looking for black makeup artist on Instagram (they are few and far in between). I like seeing products on darker skin so that I have an idea of how colors will look on me. The majority of artists that I found had straight hair in EVERY picture.  I'm not hating on straightening your hair but why not ever show your natural hair? Is it because you are ashamed of it?  Is it because you just don't like it? Is it because you feel prettier  with straight hair? I genuinely want to know.

I had my hair natural the other day at school and I was in the bathroom washing my hands.  The girl standing next to me said she liked my hair. I said thank you and thought that was the end of it.  She kept looking at me and continued with "I don't have enough guts to wear my hair natural like that. I just straighten it." I told her that I think if more girls wore their hair curly she wouldn't feel that way. She went on to say, "When I do wear it curly people tell me its pretty. Then I decide not to straighten it but I just end up putting it in a ponytail." I thought, "here we are in college and this girl is telling me about how she doesn't have guts to wear her HAIR curly."  It should not take guts to wear your hair in it's natural  state.  It should not even be a thing. But it is.  I encouraged her as best I could that curly hair is so pretty and that it's nothing to feel you need to hide over and then I left. This isn't an uncommon thing either. The amount of people like this is astounding.

I dance at my church and lately when there is a performance on stage I have been wearing my hair curly. I have thought back to when I saw people on stages or in a leadership role of any kind. I always felt those girls never looked the same as me. My hope is that if there is a little girl in the audience that may be feeling like she isn't pretty because she doesn't have straight hair she will see girl dancing on a stage who has the same hair as her.  And maybe when she sees that she will begin to reevaluate the idea that straight hair is best and maybe she will begin to see the advantage she has.  I know it's very possible that had I seen way more curly hair growing up I would have come to that conclusion a lot sooner.

I know this entire post was about hair, and I know to some it seems very silly. But for a girl who grew up with a very large amount of insecurities, hair was not silly. Hair was a HUGE deal. With that being said I am going to leave you with a (very long) perfect picture description of life as a curly head!

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Photo by Monica Briano www.monicabriano.com

Photo by Monica Briano www.monicabriano.com