Until I was nine years old, my hair was straight.
Thick, blonde strands of hair that I held back frequently with hair-bands of every possible color. It fell along my shoulders and attended occasional visits with scissors that sent it to higher lengths. Thoughts of its presentation rarely ever crossed my mind. It wasn’t of any importance to me–I was able to uphold my shy personality and fade into the background.
At the age of nine, I got my hair layered. For some reason that I have yet to discover, my hair curled. Thick ringlets formed around my face, like blonde corkscrews that bounced along with my head. They caused me to look at myself differently. At that age, my features weren’t something to particularly notice, but now I had this big change that was suddenly magnified.
And I resented it all.
My hair evoked attention I neither intended nor desired. I went to school the following days and was met with stares and confused expressions, my friends asking “what happened?” I wanted to disappear, to somehow reverse what had magically occurred. I thought the mysterious incident could be undone, erased. Get another haircut, maybe it’ll grow back straight. I thought I could go back to being the young girl with the bland, unnoticed features.
But of course, I could not.
With time, the blonde spirals began to manifest as a symbol of my life. It sounds strange, but it was as though my personality was able to grow alongside them, and I could no longer hide behind the straight locks that let me be the reserved, unassuming girl I used to be.
Now, when people recommend that I straighten my hair, I take it almost offensively in a way, despite its origin. It reminds me of a past self, of a less confident version of my being. I do not want to return to that image.
Presently, I am grateful for this feature that spontaneously joined me in my ninth year. An aspect that clings to me and remains in topics of conversations. It is something I wear with pride, knowing it is distinctive to me.
And that I am not about to change it any time soon.
To my fellow curly-haired friends who are struggling with confidence or just simply annoyed by the natural curls that accompany them: I urge you to find the simple joys of your curly hair, and slowly, you’ll begin to find comfort in them. Not to mention to use copious amounts of Organix Coconut Oil Spray, that helps a lot, too.