9 College Women Talk About Embracing Their Natural Hair

Being a college girl with early classes can be hard. Not only do we have to drag ourselves out of our warm beds hours before we should legally have to, but we also strive to look presentable, confident and ready to start the day. Between makeup, hair and an outfit, the getting ready process can sometimes be super lengthy.

But what if you could cut back on some of your morning routine and gain some crucial minutes of extra beauty sleep? Sound impossible? We promise, it's not. The key is to let your hair do its thing! It can be tempting to want to tame your natural curls or take a curling iron to your straight hair before you head to class, but imagine the time and energy you could save if you just embraced your natural locks. We talked to nine women who have come to love their natural hair and are gaining confidence and sleep time because of it.

1. Alexandra, Millersville University, Class of 2016

"I used to hate my natural hair because I didn't like my waves and curls. In high school, I would put the dreaded straightener to it every single day because everyone had straight hair. I regret it because my hair became so unhealthy! I accepted my natural look in college. I always let my hair air dry. Then in the morning, I fluff it up with a little bit of water and I'm ready to go. Everyone always says they love my hair and ask me what I do to get my perfect waves and curls. Truth is... it's just my natural hair!"

2. Kaia, Ball State University, Class of 2018

"I like my natural hair because it makes me feel more like me. I don’t have to worry too much about it looking gross. Once you find the right product, it makes all the difference in loving your natural hair."

3. Brianna, Indiana University, Class of 2018

"I have kept my hair natural for my entire life. I used to get really frustrated and bored with it since it's straight and doesn't curl or style well. However, staying away from heat and color products has helped me to keep my hair really healthy. Plus, I save a lot of time getting ready in the morning when I just wake up and shower and don't have to worry about styling it."

Related: 15 ​Struggles Every Natural-Haired Girl Knows to Be True

4. Zariah, University of South Carolina Upstate, Class of 2019

"I wasn’t so sure about going natural at the beginning, but when I watched my mom go through it I figured that I could do it too. I did the big chop and started all over again. I got a little insecure about it, but I knew that it would only be temporary and it would grow back eventually. I absolutely love my hair now because it’s growing longer and healthier. I just began to accept myself more for who I am and I try to embrace that now too."

5. Jacqueline, Pace University, Class of 2017

"I have learned to embrace my natural curls! When I was little I HATED my hair! It would take hours to do and my mom had straight hair so she never knew how to take care of my hair. I would do keratin treatments and permanent straightening treatments to keep my hair straight so I wouldn't have to deal with the curls. When I went to college, I couldn't afford the treatments in the city (broke city college kid problems), so I started leaving my hair natural! After trying multiple products, I have finally embraced my naturally curly hair! Also, I get compliments all the time so that's a plus! I do straighten my hair sometimes, it's very rare, but that takes hours and I have better things to be doing with my time, like running the Her Campus Pace chapter!"

6. Lexi, University of South Carolina, Class of 2018

"I haven't always liked my curly hair, but once I found the right products I accepted and embraced the texture. My hair is one of my most unique features."

7. Rachel, James Madison University, Class of 2017

"I have naturally curly hair, and I used to hate it! I'd straighten it all the time and eventually I got a Japanese straightening treatment. After having 'straight' hair, I missed my curls! Once I found the right products to use, I loved wearing it naturally. Now I wear it curly almost all the time!"

8. Callan, SUNY Oneonta, Class of 2018

"I've just become used to my natural hair. I have naturally wavy and frizzy hair—not straight but not curly, and I've hated it for so long. I'd spend my days straightening it, but now I've grown to embrace it because, quite frankly, it's not going anywhere. There are days when I decide I'm not really feeling it, so if that happens, I throw it into two quick French braids and that's my look for the day. It's easy and when I take it out, I love the wave the braids create. "

9. Courtney, University of South Carolina, Class of 2018

"Being natural, in my opinion, brings you closer to your culture and an acceptance of who you really are. It’s the way God made you. Is it easy or manageable? Not at all, but it's about embracing what you have. It’s about being thankful for the heritage behind the natural hair of a proud black woman."

What do you love most about your natural hair?