Confidence in Curls

I think many of us can agree that the 2000s were not the greatest moment in fashion history. Though I appreciated how comfortable gauchos were, and how when wearing a skirt it was required to pair that with flare jeans beneath them. Growing up, one of my style icons was Avril Lavigne in her infamous music video, “Sk8ter Boi”. From the graphic tee with a loose tie around the neck, to the cargo pants and a studded belt, I tried to emulate her punk style constantly. However, the one part of Avril’s look that I could never recreate was the pin-straight hair. I grew up around girls that had long, straight hair and I began to feel ashamed of my curly, frizzy hair and as I later realized, my identity.

Every celebrity that I admired growing up completed their look with straight, smooth locks and I began to feel very out of place with my own. I did not know how to maintain my curly hair; both my mom and sister used a straightener on theirs, so I figured it was only natural that I should straighten mine. In high school, I tried with all my might to fit in. I already felt uncomfortable being the only Indian-American girl in my class and I felt my hair made me stand out for all the wrong reasons. I began to put hours of effort into my appearance, trying to achieve the “not trying too hard” look. It’s pretty easy to see the irony in that statement, but it’s what I strived for almost every day. The amount of split ends that I would receive was not worth it, but it took me up to my sophomore year of college to recognize this.

Spending hours on the Internet didn’t help me accept my hair any more. When Taylor Swift became popular and was known for her curls, I felt even more out of place with mine. How was it that she managed to have her curls fall perfectly in line? It took me quite some time to come to the realization that she had a team of professional stylists and that wasn’t how her hair looked when she woke up in the morning. Except, how was I supposed to know this when magazines would cherish her “natural” curls? When the media portrayed curls, they were impeccably in place and not at all accurate of what curls look like.

Many people perceive curly hair as wild, unprofessional and unkempt. This perception tends to alienate a large amount of females, specifically women of minorities, who have this type of hair. Thus forcing them to work twice as hard to be taken seriously, or conform to society’s standards of what beautiful hair is.

Coming into college, I began to see how many people have curly hair and would wear it naturally. However, I was still very hesitant to leave for class with my natural hair. One of the main reasons for this is because of the fact that I did not know how to style it. It wasn’t until I visited a salon that specialized in curly hair that I finally learned how to style mine and maintain it.

Going to this salon gave me the opportunity to discover tips and tricks about curly hair that I would have never learned. The two hair products that I have discovered would save my hair include leave-in conditioner and styling cream. While not all hair is the same, learning tips and tricks for your hair is a good beginner’s step into managing your curly hair and you can alter the routine to manage your hair needs.

  1. When getting out of the shower, use a cotton t-shirt to dry your hair. When you use a towel, it causes your hair to become frizzy when it dries!
  2. If you blow dry your hair, use a diffuser. You can also let it air dry, it’s up to you!
  3. Try not to touch your hair that much, and if you do touch your hair, make sure you’re scrunching it! Your hands remove the moisture out of your hair which causes your hair to become frizzy.
  4. When you’re going to sleep, use the pineapple hair method for your hair
  5. If your curls are just not working for you one day, a go to style is the half back look! This effortless hairstyle is timeless and always looks good with curly hair!

These tips can help you become confident in your hair and who you are.

The fact that I had spent the first 20 years of my life viewing straight hair as the ideal hair type is an issue that stems from the media not representing people with alternative hairstyles.

Today the media has become better in terms of representing girls with all hair types. There are more and more celebrities who are proud to wear their natural hair, creating a ripple effect for everybody. Because of celebrities like Alicia Keys, Beyoncé, Shakira, Vanessa Hudgens, and Ciara, I proudly wear my hair curly now almost everywhere without worrying about my curls being out of place. I no longer have to worry about waking up an hour early to straighten my hair or how many split ends I have. You don’t need to hide away your curls, but rather show them off!

-Ayesha Krovi

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