Long time reader, first time poster. I'm actually incredibly glad I ever found this website.
My parents used to keep my hair very short, and in turn, I was given terrible nicknames and became incredibly self conscious.
I grew up being told and thinking curly hair is ugly; different; unacceptable; uncool. Through high school, I started hating myself, and my hair, and thinking that boys only like girls with straight hair; all the popular girls have straight hair; all the popular girls can dye their hair and do whatever they want without consequences!
When college came around, I was ready to shed my "old self" and take on a new identity. I also got my first steam straightener! I painstakingly uncoiled my curls with the highest setting on the straightener. It took anywhere from 3 to 5 hours, depending on how many breaks I needed.
At some point, I decided to break the mould set for me, and reacquaint myself with my crazy curls. Unfortunately, all the damage I did to my hair with the straightener, and an unhealthy dose of blow drying, had caused my luscious locks to become nothing short of DEAD! My hair would no longer curl!
Enter NaturallyCurly.com! I kicked straightening to the curb, found myself a wonderful stylist (who knows what's up), cut out sulfates and alcohols and damaging ingredients from all products! It has been a journey, and it's been a LOT of work - but I can finally say that I am pleased with my hair, and getting more and more accepting and proud of my curly q's with each passing day.
Let this be inspiring! LADIES! Curly hair IS BEAUTIFUL. After YEARS of being told otherwise, it took me finding an entire community of coily and curly women to empower me to embrace the beauty I've been given. I am so indebted to so many of you lovely gals posting photos of your gorgeous 'dos (and sometimes your don'ts) for bringing some sense to the mess atop my head!
In conclusion, thank you to every beauty on this forum and who visits and posts to this website! And to the "newbies" who are learning to love their locks: DON'T GIVE UP! It's 150% worth it in the end!!