As a little girl with curls, I liked the way I looked. I felt unique from the others and was comfortable with my appearance. I never really felt the pressures to change anything about it till I started middle school. Then something snapped. I began to hate my hair. I did not know how to manage my curls either, so they always looked poofy and awkward.

Then something snapped. I began to hate my hair. 

I dealt with a lot of hatred towards my curls in school which made me feel ugly. I straightened them, and people would say to me, “You look so much better with straight hair.” This confirmed my thoughts that people thought my hair looked bad. For years I did everything in my power to hide my naturally curly hair. I felt like Mia from the Princess Diaries before she received her "makeover".

Once I got to high school, I got a new hair stylist. I told her my woes of wanting straight hair. She told me I had beautiful hair and that I should embrace my natural curls, but I chose not to listen and asked her give me a straightened haircut. For the first time in a long time, I actually felt pretty. This was what I had been looking for. I asked my mother if I could own a flat iron; she was not keen on the idea. She loved my hair and always encouraged to love my curly hair. She told me how beautiful it was and how many women would die to have hair like mine. However, I couldn't see the beauty that she was seeing. I continued to hate my hair for years. That insecurity would continue for quite sometime. 

Most of the girls at school straightened their hair. They all looked so pretty that way and I wanted to look just like them. Since straight hair was so popular, I felt like I did not fit in with unless I had straight hair as well. That’s when I decided that I too would succumb to hide my curls away-- once I finally did get my own straightener, I used it religiously for two and a half years everyday.

It was not until my junior year of high school that I began to notice how having straight my hair was not meant for me. It seemed that nobody had curly hair. I didn't want to be like everyone else--I was sick of hating how I looked. I just wanted to be me and carefree. So I slowly began to stop straightening my hair. As my curls returned, I began to see what beauty I was missing out on. I got so sick of spending hours everyday in front of the mirror trying to make my hair do something it wasn’t born to do, plus after spending hours on it, it would never last long. I felt like a completely different person with straight hair. It wasn’t me. So I finally just let it go. It was hard at first, but I began to love my hair more and more with each passing day.

In celebration of going natural, I made the big decision to cut it all off and start over! So I got a pixie cut (big chop) and cut away all the years of frying my hair to bits. 

I can't believe that I had ever hated my hair. 

After years of doing this, I slowly began to realize how silly I was being. Having curly hair will always be a part of who I am. Why was I trying so hard to hide that? If I cannot love my hair then how can anybody else? After years of embarrassment about the way I looked, I began to look at my curls as something to embrace. So I stopped straightening, and started loving. I never thought my hair would become such a huge part in defining who I am. I have have returned to naturally curly for four years now and I could never be happier.

What was your journey to curly like?