I am obsessed with curly hair vloggers.
I was never one that spent hours on YouTube — Pinterest was my vice. I devoted many hours to planning my wedding, designing my house, and being inspired by quotes. Then one day, I came upon a pin of a girl with gorgeous long curly hair, which led me to more pins of other curly haired beauties. I must be honest with you, it took me awhile to realize that I resembled them. And that’s when my hair obsession began. I spent hours looking at fellow curly girls to remind myself that my mane was beautiful too.
I’ve rocked my natural hair for 31 years. I am 31 years old.
I’m of mixed race; my mom is Indian/Spanish and my dad is black. No one in my family has hair like me and it definitely overwhelmed them. And I’ve always had A LOT of hair. I’m so impressed by the hours they spent trying to tame it with braids, blow-dryers, and hot combs. I think 4 different members of my family tried to chemically straighten my hair, myself being the last. I had come to believe my hair was an unruly monster that needed to die a painful chemical death. But after each perm, when it came time to wash out the chemicals, my magical hair reverted right back to its curly self. How many people can say that their hair can withstand chemicals? Oh yes, my hair truly had a mind of its own.
I had no choice but to embrace it. But we fought the whole way.
I tried a zillion products that were not created for my hair. I learned how to braid it myself after I realized my mom had me looking like I was 10 when I was 17. I stopped letting my older brother put mousse in it even though it did wonders for my moms “curls”. I’m not entirely sure when I stopped combing it but it happened. It was probably sheer laziness. But I would wash my hair with a nickle size dollop of shampoo and half a bottle of conditioner then cover my damp hair in something that strongly resembled vaseline.
My family asked me every day why I didn’t comb my hair and my high school peers called me Side-show Bob. I didn’t care, this was my hair! Big, unruly, curly mess! I didn’t feel beautiful though. But that wasn’t the point. I just decided that I wasn’t fighting anymore.
And then my best friend got a ceramic hair straightener.
Oh, how my tresses succumbed to the strength of the straightener. They couldn’t fight it anymore. And how beautiful I felt, with long flowing straight hair falling down my back. But Montreal is not a city for straightened hair; if it’s not snowing, it’s raining and if it’s not raining, it’s too humid to breathe. And if the weather wasn’t permitting, I wasn’t going to devote almost 2 hours of my life to this hair. I did mention that I’m lazy, right?
I’m thankful for the people in my life who always told me they preferred me with my curly hair. They are a few but they are definitely the people who accept me for me. And in return, it helps me accept me. Because as much as I’d like to separate myself from this unruly monster of hair, it actually is a part of me.
I’m so thankful for these curly hair vloggers that let the world know that curly hair is beautiful. And though it may require a lot of TLC, it is manageable (in a very loose sense of the word). And though I laugh as they talk about being natural for 3 or 6 years, I am aware that it was near to impossible to have natural hair before. But now they actually sell hair products for curly hair!!! I can stop smothering my hair in petroleum jelly!
And now being natural also means using healthy natural products — which is NOT petroleum jelly. Which upsets me because my immigrant family knew about all these “organic” methods and never once recommended any. Coconut oil is not new! But thanks mom for never telling me about the only hair product you used throughout your entire primary school life.
My husband does not understand my obsession with vloggers and hair products. But I think after 30 years of fighting with this mane, it’s time I truly acknowledge it as a beautiful part of my crazy personality. And if it has to eat better than me, so be it.