Two dolls with curly hair.

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Two dolls with curly hair.

           I aggressively attempt to brush my hair despite the fact I had already brushed it in the shower and casually debate whether or not I should just shave my head right then and there. 

         Then I remind myself of the journey it took to finally reach the amount of health I have in my hair, how big of a role my hair plays in my self-expression, and how empowered my hair makes me feel. I suck it up, continue brushing, drench my hair in products, wait for it to dry and see how the results affect my mood for the rest of the day.

         Learning to appreciate your curls can be a very hard thing to do, which I had to learn the hard way. It came to a point where I hated it so much I booked a trip to El Salvador to have my aunt permanently straighten it because she was the only one I trusted. I felt the phrase “you want what you can’t have” on a deeper level. Thankfully, after a few months, my curly roots were growing back in, but unless I did the “big chop” and cut all the straight ends off my hair depriving me of my beloved length, my hair would be half curl  half straight. Due to my lack of love for my hair, I had to wait three years for it to fully grow back.

       Many girls with curly hair struggle to maintain or define their curls on a regular basis. With the cost of products, the amount of time and care, and the unpredictability of curly hair, maintaining luscious curls is a huge responsibility.

     When you have curly hair, challenges arise. A big problem is struggling with the unpredictability of curly hair. Some days they wake up with little to no frizz and intensely defined curls leaving a good impression on self-esteem and other days can be described as the opposite creating a bad mood when frizz is prominent, and curls are deeply entangled.

         Another issue many tackle is hair products and finding the right ones that suit their hair types without it having certain chemicals made to dry up and damage your healthy hair.

         In efforts to maintain health in her hair, Cambria Johnson, 11, states, “ I try not to use heat on it and put homemade hair masks every once in a while.”

          Karun Natarajan, 11, describes a different alternative to maintaining health, and says, “I wash my hair three times a week and apply hair oil previous to washing my hair.”

         It is difficult to just brush the hair and go as many people with straight hair have the privilege of doing. It is common knowledge for people with curly hair to only brush their hair while wet so that way damage can be avoided.

          According to Carol’s Daughter, a company focused on creating hair products designated for curly hair, “Anyone who’s ever tried hair brushing out dry curls knows an undefined, frizz-filled look is what will inevitably follow. That’s not the case, however, when kinky hair is wet. On the flip-side, hair brushing while wet will actually add definition, increasing the integrity of the curl and making detangling time a much smoother ride.”

          While curly hair sounds like a curse when it comes to all its struggles it has been my biggest blessing. Once I learned to appreciate it, do some research, and find what works for my hair type because that is different from everyone, I realized how lucky I was to have my hair become so crucial to my identity. Being able to have my peers identify me from across a room simply due to my big hair being a beam of light guiding them to me is something I cherish deeply. The obstacles that come with managing curly hair can be intense, but definitely worth it.