BY: MARIAH ESPADA
As much as I embrace my curly hair now, I'll be the first to admit that growing up with a head full of brunette noodles wasn't always an enjoyable experience. I was always trying to reach the next level of of "perfection" based on society's idea of beauty.
I always wanted the hair that was plastered on my TV or showcased on my Barbie dolls â€” the hair I didn't have. After years of hair struggles, I finally realize that my curls are different and beautiful, which has allowed me to let go of the flat iron so I could fully embrace my spiraled strands.
It's about time that the rest of the world of curly-haired goddesses realize why their hair is beautiful and worth maintaining.
You thought our love for Beyonce meant we actually just woke up like this? Think again. Although all curly-haired people practice different routines, we have one thing in common â€” the complex, part-time job of maintaining what the hair gods gave us. No one knows discipline like a girl that has to endure the grueling process of maintaining a curl pattern. Many admire the finished product but are oblivious to the steps that go into a hair look. Detangling, co-washing, conditioning, braiding: all things we have to think about before we even consider styling. Let's not forget the silk pillowcases and bonnets that keep our hours of preparation ready for the next day. The process is demanding, but boy is it worth it.
2. The Hairstyles
How many people can say they can shape their hair into a literal pineapple? With a head full of curls, the hairstyles to execute are endless. From the half-up/half-down to the space buns, curly-haired girls can style it all and then some. Natural, untamed curls are an easy hairstyle, too. With some life-changing style hacks, a lot of patience and even more bobby pins, curly hair continues to turn heads.
3. Becoming a Product Queen
If you have curly hair you only have one true love: hair products. I'm an buddying expert in the world of hair creams, mousses and oils. It's easy to become a product queen after spending time hunting down the CVS aisles for products to trust. Through trial and error you are bound to be your friend's go-to source for all things styling and Shea Moisture. After some experience, you'll even know how to ball out on a budget.
Having curly hair is a two-for-one dealâ€¦ when you decide to straighten your hair, a new person is born. Not only do we benefit from curly hair styles, but we can also transform into a sleek look if we pleased. All it takes is some heat protectant and a straightener to transform our Shirley Temple curls into constant compliments of, "Woah, I love your curls. But how'd you get it to look like that?"
5. You Are Different
Different is sexy. The spiraled mane comes in different sizes, colors and textures, but it all makes for a distinctive look. Rather than trying to fit into society's idea of beauty (read: stick-thin hair), accept that you were born this way. Although it takes a lot of prepping, products and styling, it's all worth it. Love the ringlets for what they are. Dare to be different.
Sure, I love a head of silky, smooth straight hair, but I also admire a female's ability to rock what's naturally hers and feel confident doing so. The world doesn't support the beauty that is curly hair as much as it should. Our curls are worthy of the love and affection that we give to them. So whether you have loose waves, bouncy spirals or tight coils, you should learn to embrace the frizz and strut with what your mama gave you.
Cover, from left to right: Kiran Ahluwalia, Espada and Indira Mohabeer
Photos by Matilda Kitabwalla.