When I was a little girl, I had beautiful curls! I’ve seen them in pictures because, for as long as I can remember, my hair didn't have that texture. As I was growing up and my hair became longer, it was harder for my mom to take care of it, so she decided to chemically straighten it. The treatment was repeated about two or three times a year because my hair grew fast and ya estaba saliendo la raza, as my grandma would say.
I grew up thinking that straightening my hair was a normal thing; my sisters and aunts did it too, so why shouldn't I? I remember that when my curly roots were showing up, I desperately asked my mom to do the treatment again. I didn't like how my hair looked and I don’t even remember why; I was just used to seeing myself with straight hair.
Years passed and I kept straightening my hair until I got tired of all the time that my mom and I spent doing the treatment; also, the process hurt and always burned my scalp! When I started high school, I decided to let my hair grow naturally as it was. I remember that I used conditioner and mousse to do my curls (my soul hurt as I wrote this). It looked bad... it was half curly and half straight, but I didn't want to cut my hair because I knew that it was going to be a huge change.
[bf_image id="nmsfg587ftsp4sbt8x3jhr"] I finally decided to get rid of all the straight hair when I was in the 11th grade and, effectively, it was a HUGE change. Before the chop, my hair was at the middle of my back; after, just below the ears.
Even after that big chop, I felt insecure about my curly hair and I didn’t like layers or volume at all, but everything changed when I started college at La IUPI. Seeing all those kinds of curly textures and hair shapes in other students made me want to change my hairstyle once again. I scheduled an appointment with a curly hair expert and el resto es historia.
Since then, I learned how to properly take care of my hair and I also began to look more in-depth at the products that I was using. Also, I started to follow people on social media that like to educate about curly hair and how to embrace it and love every strand of it, no matter what society says—because society can be cruel about what’s different. Now, I can proudly say that I LOVE my curly hair! Even when there are days that I wake up looking like a big and fluffy cloud.
I have tried many shapes and styles; now it’s purple and I’m super happy with it!
I’m not going to lie—my journey wasn't as hard as others. Even when it took me years to learn how to love my hair, I didn’t feel the pressure of society when I decided to do the big chop and go curly, but I know that this isn’t the norm for everyone out there.
For all those people that are having a hard time learning how to love their hair, as natural and beautiful as it is, I just want to say that you will get there, and when that time comes, you will feel as empowered as ever! Walking through the streets knowing that you carry your hair with pride and love is one of the best feelings ever.
Don’t give up on your journey! Don’t give up on your curls! They’re are just as beautiful as you <3
These are just a few options out of dozens of natural places that you can enjoy in Puerto Rico. If you want to visit somewhere else, I invite you to do your own research and look for spots that best suit you.
It doesn't matter if you visit a cavern, a forest, or a beach, connecting with nature will make you feel amazing.