Let’s talk about a struggle that all women know too well – hair. Hair is the worst. Sometimes it’s perfect and doing exactly what you want it to do, while other days it’s flat in random places and most likely resembling a bird’s nest. Around the age of 10, when my long locks suddenly started developing volume into the dreaded “poofy” stage, I began to hate my hair. It was hard to control and I didn’t like the way it looked down. I’d put two giant brightly colored hairpins on either side of my head and tie the rest into a ponytail to keep it out of my face. By age 12, it was always in a gel slicked back ponytail, chola style, and a huge mess of volume in the back. By age 14, I didn’t know what to do with it anymore so I simply let the beast roam wild and free. I had the awful idea to get bangs on my tiny forehead. Some girls can pull off that 70s big curly hair with curly bangs look, but I unfortunately was not one of them.
I remember reading an article in high school about how during interviews, employers preferred women with straight hair instead of curly hair. Straight hair was considered more serious and professional, while curly hair was considered unkempt and too wild. That really freaked me out. To this day, when I go to job interviews, I always straighten my hair. I grew up with this idea that curly hair was ugly and different, and I wanted to be as pretty as all the other girls in my middle school. I started straightening my hair in high school, which was exhausting because it took two hours every time. Ever since the age of eleven, a part of me never thought I was as pretty as other girls, and I always associated it to my hair. I don’t really know why I made that connection, but it stuck for a long time. After all the hair dying and straightening, my hair changed. It started to take only 20 minutes to straighten. It went from curly to wavy in some areas and straight in the other. It was damaged and dry. I realized I needed to start taking care of my hair.
I stopped dying it, stopped straightening it, let it dry naturally after a shower, and looked for shampoos or conditioners that hydrated my dry hair. Around this time, I started to find more articles in fashion magazines about embracing yourself the way you are. Love your natural hair and the skin you’re in. This resonated deep with me because though I rarely showed my insecurities on the outside, my hair and skin were both things I didn’t like about myself. So I let myself go certain days of the week without makeup and letting my hair just be. I stopped focusing on what I could change about myself and instead focused on how to take better care of the parts of myself that I didn’t really like. I focused on products that accentuated my type of hair and skin cream for my face. Good products for thick, curly or wavy hair that I use are:
– Renewing Argan oil of Morocco weightless healing dry oil (I spray on wet hair right after shower)
– Garnier Fructis Style Wonder Waves wave enhancing spray or Quenching + Coconut Curls Frizz Defying Styling Milk
– Ever Straight Brazilian Keratin Therapy Flat Iron Spray or Garnier Fructis Style Sleek & Shine Flat Iron Perfector straightening mist (Protects your hair from heat before straightening it)
Argan oil provides strength, moisture, and shine to the hair shaft. Coconut is literally good for everything. Whether it is coconut shea butter lotion, coconut milk shampoo, conditioner, or body wash. It’s healing, moisturizing, full of vitamins, and minerals. I basically live by the motto buy coconut everything.
Taking care of myself made me feel better and made me appreciate myself the way I was. There’s nothing wrong with being different and I found out, through various compliments of friends, that lots of girls would love to have my hair (which was a shock to me). I’m not saying don’t straighten your hair or wear makeup. As a person that gets easily bored with her appearance, I love to change my hairstyle and try different make up ideas all the time. From braids to space buns to eyeliner one day and then just eyeshadow the next, I’m a fan of switching up one’s style. I’m just saying do it because you’re self-expressing your style and are having fun trying different things, not because you dislike your appearance. I was much happier and much more confident when I decided to embrace myself as I was naturally. Like everyone, I have my bad days where I look like a mess, but I think that I’m beautiful regardless of what my hair or face is doing, and that’s something that I think every girl should remember about herself. We’re all beautiful in different ways and it’s our diversity that intensifies that beauty. How boring would we be if we all looked the same? I’ll leave you with two quotes, one by Lady Gaga and one by poet Rupi Kaur.
Lady Gaga: “Women are strong and fragile. Women are beautiful and ugly. We are soft spoken and loud, all at once. There is something mind-controlling about the way we’re taught to view women.”
Rupi Kaur, “We all move forward when we recognize how resilient and striking the women around us are.”
Author: Kimberly Olivera
Author Bio: Just a girl trying to figure out this whole adult-ing thing. Writer and coffee fanatic. I love films, traveling, good music, poetry, my dogs, and laughing.
Link to social media or website: https://www.instagram.com/kimbuhhlyy_19/