There was a time in my life where I was not comfortable wearing my hair in a fro. My hair would always be pulled back, up in a bun or straightened. Growing up, having an Afro or curly hair wasn’t popular. Or at least it’s not what I saw.
For years, my hair was always relaxed. When I got into the military, never really saw my hair either because it always had to be pulled back and it’s the easiest style to do. But every chance I got, I would straighten my hair.
I remember in 2004 (picture below), I was deployed to Kyrgyzstan and I was getting ready to head off base during my off duty time, I decided to wear my hair out. My friend in the picture, told me that she loved my hair how it was and I should wear it out more often.
After I had my son in 2006, I wore it curly a little more often.
Still straightening my hair for years after this. I would get Dominican blowouts and flat-iron styled hair styles.It wasn’t until my daughter was born and I moved back to NY that I decided to stop applying less heat to my hair. Even though about two or three times a year, I would still go get straight-haired, hair cuts.
That is when my hair started to blossom, but then I started experimenting with color, ON MY OWN. Was not going to a professional to get my hair dyed. After a few years playing around with that I decided to chop it all off, and start fresh. I had the Halle Berry short-haired look. Wish I had some photos to show of that, but I just was going through a phase that I felt I looked like a boy. I always had sunglasses on top of my head to “cover” my short hair or always with a hat on.
When it grew a little because I wasn’t comfortable with my short hair, I dyed it again, just to give it some “personality” and so that I would look less like a boy.
But then of course, I dyed it back to black. I always play with color and then a few months later, I try to go back to my original hair color.
This is just a snippet of my hair journey.
Fast forward to now, I’ve gone through so many different hairstyles, hair colors and so many different emotions with my hair.
I heard it all from “Why don’t you come your hair? It would look better straight, have you thought about straightening it? Curls only look better with color in it.”
Looking back, I’ve learned to love my hair journey and most of all, love my hair as it IS! I had to UNLEARN a lot of what I was told about my hair, how it was difficult to manage, its high maintenance, that it looks better straight and that I needed color in it to make it pop.
MY HAIR!! My BIG fro, my frizz, my curls-defined or not, dyed or not, it remains my favorite accessory. I didn’t always feel that way, but I’m glad that’s how I feel now.
What are some things you had to unlearn about your hair or what you were told about your hair? I would love to hear about your hair journey!