Although I am in love with my curly hair now, this definitely was not always the case. It took me until the age of 25 (yes, 25!) to start embracing my natural hair and to learn to be proud of it. Throughout my teenage years I would religiously straighten every curl, kink and wave every single day. The thought of having to wear it out in its natural state terrified me and rain and sweat became my worst nightmares.
I am not exactly sure why I felt like this. Most my teenage years were spent living in a small town in the far north of New Zealand called Whangarei, and the majority of my friends looked nothing like me (and definitely didn’t have a hair type similar to me). I suppose during these years of growing into young adults, we feel the need to fit in and be like our peers, this probably had an influence on why I felt the need to straighten my hair and why I felt better about myself with it straight. In addition, I had very little knowledge of curly hair products and styling methods and to be honest did not know where to start when it came to managing it. This was down to a mix of the environment I was living in, the lack of curly hair influencers that were around at the time and my unwillingness to do my own research on it.
However, in 2013 I moved back to my hometown of Brixton, South London and came to realise the beauty of curly hair. I was in awe when I saw so many girls similar to me, who were embracing their luscious curls, gorgeous kinks and full afros. With curly hair products so readily available and proud naturalistas all around me, it didn’t take long before I started experimenting.
The following year I made the move from London to Dubai, and after I experienced a few days in the Dubai heat, especially after a night out dancing in the clubs (believe me the sweat was real), there was definitely no going back to my straightening addiction. I finally began to like what I was seeing in the mirror. Through experimenting, reading blogs and watching YouTube channels, I have found some amazing products and styling methods that suit my hair type. It may have taken a long time, but I am so proud to now say that I love my curly hair.