A Natural Hair Journey, Stories and Memories of a Curly Girl


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Yet it has and always will be for me a personal site of pride and joy, despite any and all societal expectations put on it. My hair carries everything; memories, feelings and all the different versions of myself I am and have been. I related deeply to how a change of hair could usher in a new you.


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The tragic attempts to copy the Aaliyah side fringe, failed bantu knots, accepting frizz, leading a double life as a hijabi and my newer hate for coconut oil — but these are just amusing chapter headings to much harder moments in my life. My hair also tells of my fluctuating mental and spiritual health, transition to womanhood, and all the identity crises in between. Massaging pink-lotion and olive oil into my scalp, she would let me enjoy a mere few minutes of my lower back-reaching hair before I was forced back between her legs to have it all cornrowed.

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More than anything I wanted the loose cascading hair that fell to the belly like my mother to freely parade on the playground. At 12 I held my first mutiny after purchasing a blow drier much to the ridicule of my mother. In my home, Sunday nights involved the hasty prepping for the return to school; ironing of uniforms, last-minute homework and for my younger sisters: braiding. Not for me. My mother with another small child between her legs, would smile at me as she watched me sitting in the opposite side of the room, confidently catch the nape hairs of my neat cornrows, arms no longer sore.

My Curly Hair Journey

Later on, I put on the hijab. For some it was too young but I was comfortable wearing the identity of my faith and looking like the women in family who covered their hair. I think of the stupid pop culture depictions of hijabis, where their veil would loosen or drop to reveal Rapunzel-like bundles.


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Meanwhile my hair, dry and frazzled forever remained in a tight bun under my headscarf. It made appearances on occasional days out and parties, my mum always said I should ditch my headscarf if I wanted to feel pretty with my hair. When I was 17 I fell into depression and it showed on me. I found leaving the house difficult and slowly lost the desire to do anything. The result; I could barely get a comb through my hair, wracked with anxiety and low self-esteem-not forgetting to wash it that week was a win for me.

I did what has become a pattern in my now adult life when searching for some kind of release; I went for the scissors.

I kind of chickened out and with the discouragement of my siblings ended up with a tiny afro as an alternative to of my goal of a buzz-cut. The flat iron did! I started flat ironing my hair right after I moved to college. I discovered that the two-and-a-half hours it took to straighten my thick, coarse locks resulted in more attention from dudes and that ultra-satisfying feeling of adhering to a standard of beauty.

See a Problem?

I thought my wishing had worked— my hair is finally becoming straight! There was an odd moment with my roommate once. A girl I had been living with for four years at the time and one of my closest friends made a remark that stunned me. I was downright upset.

Sarah, Your Natural Hair Ain’t Like Mine. And That’s Ok.

So, I tried to wear it curly: I bought gel, of course, and there were a few curl-friendly products on the shelves at this point. I bought some curl cream and conditioning masks, washed my hair, and let it do its natural thing! It dried…into a sort-of-curly, kinda-crimpy hunk of frizz. I was so confused.

I Will Not Get Rid of My Frizzy Hair, Thank You Very Much | Glamour

After a few months of extreme care, effort, and attention, my curls came back! When I decided to move to Spain , I packed an overweight suitcase filled to the brim with my hair products and paid extra for the airline to haul that thing aboard. When I got to Europe, my life changed dramatically, and it was difficult to keep up with my hair routine.

My products were running low, and there was nowhere to buy curl-friendly products unless I wanted to spend over euros on products and shipping. I was stressed about my hair, and I began to lament to my new friends who, conversely, had no idea that I ever had straight hair about how much easier my hair routine was when I was straightening it.

My new life in Spain meant that I had a new job, a new level of income, and new expenses. I started keeping a budget and tallied how much I had spent on curl-related products in my first month: over euros, and this was before a big online order to a British company that had all the products I would need. I wanted the time and the money I was spending on my hair to go toward traveling, meeting new people, and new experiences.

A Natural Hair Journey, Stories and Memories of a Curly Girl A Natural Hair Journey, Stories and Memories of a Curly Girl
A Natural Hair Journey, Stories and Memories of a Curly Girl A Natural Hair Journey, Stories and Memories of a Curly Girl
A Natural Hair Journey, Stories and Memories of a Curly Girl A Natural Hair Journey, Stories and Memories of a Curly Girl
A Natural Hair Journey, Stories and Memories of a Curly Girl A Natural Hair Journey, Stories and Memories of a Curly Girl
A Natural Hair Journey, Stories and Memories of a Curly Girl A Natural Hair Journey, Stories and Memories of a Curly Girl
A Natural Hair Journey, Stories and Memories of a Curly Girl A Natural Hair Journey, Stories and Memories of a Curly Girl
A Natural Hair Journey, Stories and Memories of a Curly Girl A Natural Hair Journey, Stories and Memories of a Curly Girl
A Natural Hair Journey, Stories and Memories of a Curly Girl A Natural Hair Journey, Stories and Memories of a Curly Girl

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