Like every girl, oh I mean every Curly haired girl in India (probably abroad too) I had a rather weird relationship with my hair while growing up. I have grown up in the era of straight silky hair printed across glossies and television commercials.
Everyone in my family had relatively straight hair. Rather all my cousins had straight hair too. It wasn’t like my curls were big and afro, they were confused curls. They were wavy, curly but very big. All my life (till I was 17 years old), I had my hair oiled AFTER the shampoo because of how big my hair were. Plus to add to it, they were long too. My braids used to reach my thighs.
I remember dipping my hair in bath tub and looking at them very closely. They used to get absolutely straight when underwater. It was a fun exercise to do every time I used to shampoo. Clearly had a lot of time back then. Anyway, I realised that water makes them straight, so I used to put a lot of water if we had to go somewhere. Which in turn made them even more fierce because hello humidity.
The thing is, my hair texture never bothered me. I was happy the way I looked. But people around you (it includes relatives, neighbours, friends, strangers) make you so uncomfortable with their statements that you don’t have an option but doubt yourself.
Basically, I hardly ever let my hair open. They were always in a braid or two for all my school life. When I joined college, I used to wash my hair once a week and that meant straightening them once a week. They looked so shiny and long after straightening that I loved that phase of my life. Life was good and I was enjoying the attention my straight hair got me.
I don’t remember the exact date or year (wish I had the mind of Subodh from Dil Chahta Hai and remembered important events) but one day while still in college we went to 1 dollar store. Remember that store where everything used to be 99Rs except a shelf which had expensive stuff? By expensive I mean around 500 bucks. Well there I saw a “Mousse for Curly Hair”. Deep down inside I knew I was a curly, so I bought the product(pictured below).
Came home, tried it and I got those wet curls like Preity Zinta (Dil Chahta hai reference yet again). This became my Holy grail product. I used to use it only for very special occasions like picnics and movie dates.
Then I went to Maldives and saw a LOT of people with my hair texture lol. I felt so happy and one day ventured into their city market. I was living there for a month so I had a time to go through all the departmental stores and check out their hair products. There I met my other Holy grail “Pantene’s Leave-in conditioner”. It made my hair look healthy after the wash but their used to be a lot of breakage after using it. I used to get confused as results used to vary for every wash.
Finally at least when I was starting to accept my curls, I started getting a lot of low-key suggestions for permanent hair straightening. Oh my gosh, I don’t know about you but like a typical Libran I make sure I don’t do stuff when forced to do it. I swore that I would never straighten my hair ever and I actually followed it. Till date, I have never used a straighter or a blow dry, unless I have gone for a haircut, which happens once a year.
Then in 2014 or 15 I met Pallavi, a girl with curls. A girl with healthy looking curls. Can you imagine after all these years living on this planet Earth, this was the first time I was meeting somebody with actual curls that were healthy? Shocking, right!?
Anyhoo, that time she didn’t had her blog and I used to bug her with all the questions I had in regards to curly hair care. Imagine we used to meet for food events and I had my questions ready for her every single time. She bought the health to my curls and I would be indebted to her for that always. She has a fantastic blog now by @thecuriousjalebi so follow her if you have curly hair.
This is my little story of Self- acceptance and I am glad it’s finally out of my system.
Will be sharing my Curly hair routine next!
I reviewed some fun products and got my hair straightened for that back then in 2015 here. Nor cringing, owning up to it :-p