I won’t lie — Having insanely curly hair is fun.
All you straight-haired girls envious of wild locks have a right to be. It changes your demeanor and, if you really rock it, ends up defining your whole persona. People tend to see you as a hot mess or as free-spirited and fun; either way makes you highly interesting. I wrote a whole supplemental college essay about my curls and you can bet your ass I got in. But growing up with curls is tough, especially when your mother has no idea what to do with your hair and all of your TV and big-screen and role models have straight hair or perfectly ironed faux curls. I used to find myself identifying with pretty much any curly-haired African American women I’d come across both IRL and in the media (where my curly Latinas at??), and I begged my hairstylist more than once to give me a ‘fro. But though I’m not lacking in volume, the texture of my hair is very, very fine — Not something you can turn into a cute little pouf #mixedraceproblems. So instead I’d straighten, and straighten, and chemically straighten, and flat-iron, and then get angry when the humidity that comes with island life would inevitably turn my hair into a frizz-ball.
Post college I discovered the Deva Curl cut, ie. a hair cutting technique that actually works for curly hair instead of treating it like straight hair. It’s expensive as all hell, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t do some at-home trimming in between cuts to cut costs. But the Deva Curl method also recognizes that curly hair needs to be cut while it’s dry, and needs to be styled with as little handling as possible, and needs serious C O N D I T I O N I N G in order to keep it shiny and non-frizzy. I’ve switched from my usual drug store brand shampoo and conditioner to ones that use all-natural ingredients meant to keep moisture in. I swear by Herbivore Botanicals’ Therapy Hair Oil as both part of my conditioning and styling routines, though I’ll soon have to make a switch to a new hair oil as the line is being discontinued. As someone who never used to spend so much time or money on beauty products/body care, this is all a lot of work. But it’s worth it to see such a big part of my personality — those big, wild, bouncy, fun locks — looking good and feeling F R E S H.
So now it’s on to trying to grow this mane out. Even if it only lasts for a season, I am determined to have long hair. In the meantime, here’s some curly inspo (curlspo?) for anyone in the same boat. We. Will. Overcome.