My grandma has curly hair, one of my aunts has curly hair, and I have curly hair. It's thick and in between coarse and soft-ish (between a 3A/3B but if brushed, turns into a 2B?). Growing up my relatives used to call my hair a rat's nest because it was so unruly and tangled, and my mom (bless her) didn't really know how to take care of it. She would charge me with brushing it myself, which I never did because it was too painful. The task was then given to my aunt, whose hair is between a 3C and a 4A (and who definitely had a fro in high school), and she would sit me down and comb and pull at my hair, often leaving me in tears.
Over the next few years, into pre-teen and teenage years I straightened my hair every day. At first I had my mom do it, but after a while she said that it took too long because my hair was so thick so I had to do it myself. I absolutely despised my curly hair. I would straighten it and lay it upwards on my pillow so that I wouldn't ruin it. I would flip if I saw the slightest wave or curl. I would deep condition every single day, in the hopes that it would one day be as soft and smooth as that fine blonde hair that my friends had. On the rare occasion that I did leave it curly, I had no idea what to do with it. In my eyes, it was a frizzy burden, a rat's nest. As high school progressed, I did leave it unstraightened more often, but I would usually go at it with a curling iron or put it up so that I could tame it.
It wasn't until I got to university that I actually even thought about the topic of hair, identity and race. Often times I felt inadequate, feeling Not-Hispanic-Enough for the Latinos (Spanish not being my first language) and like some weird token "ethnic" friends with my white friends. I had absolutely no mixed race friends so whenever I would bring up these feelings, I was often told that I was "just overthinking it" (it again wasn't until college that I met someone who understood exactly how I felt). I never had anyone to teach me how to take care of my curly hair, or anyone to encourage me that curls were beautiful. I'm not complaining, it's just a process I had to go through on my own. It was only about a year or two ago that I realized that my natural hair was beautiful and that it is an expression of my identity. I didn't have to make an excuse for it. It is up to me to choose how I want to express it. I have done some digging and have been inspired by many women's decisions to go natural and wear it proudly, and to start experimenting with their hair in a way that goes beyond dyeing and cutting.
So with that, I decided to start this blog. A blog about hair, hair experimentation, identity and stories from a cultural in-betweener, in the hopes that it will connect with others like me and beyond.
My hair as a kid
After bantu knots for 3 hours.
What happens when I brush my hair...
Bantu knots overnight
Bad hair day hair
Bad hair day hair part deux