For as long as I can remember I thought the only way my hair looked beautiful was when it was straight, smooth and “professional” looking. Growing up in an era where mainstream media only portrayed women with straight hair and blue eyes to be “beautiful” made it very hard for me to love everything about myself. As well as growing up in a predominately white neighbourhood and going to school where there were only a handful of girls that “looked like me with my kind of hair” didn’t make it any easier.
Even though my mom is super supportive and still to this day encourages me to embrace my hair and love everything about myself, growing up it was hard to do so with so many biases constantly in my face. At some point in childhood we develop this idea where your parents have to tell you positive things about yourself because you are their child. Unfortunately overtime with this mind-set their words become less valuable until we hit a level of maturity and realize their opinions are the ones that actually hold the most value, in my case at least.
I still remember my mom’s famous lines they were “baby your hair is beautiful women pay money to have hair like yours, even men in my day!”, “you’re going to ruin your hair and regret it!” and “one day you’re going to wish you listened to me” and boy wasn’t she right… I wish I listened to her!
From 1999 until about 2010 I straightened my hair on a regular basis to “fit in” and hide my natural, frizzy big curly hair. Over those 11 years I had fully damaged my hair it was thin and stringy my curls were absolutely gone. It wasn’t until 2010 I did a big chop however that still didn’t help my curls return. In late 2013 I made the decision to truly embody self-love as a part of that journey I started researching how to bring my hair back to its natural state.
It wasn’t a pretty transition, but one that was worth it.