A Hair Post

by Gloria Yasmín
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Hola! Did you know there is a national curly hair day? I didn’t! – If you did and didn’t tell me about it, I’m judging. All sarcasm aside, I missed out. Sure, I could back date this post and hit publish – but that still won’t change the fact that I missed out.

Except that I didn’t because every day for the past 3-4 years, has been a curly hair day for me.

I wish I could post an exact timeframe. I should start jotting important dates like these in a calendar and then I’d know a more accurate count. Or I could go digging through my camera roll, but that’s a lot of pictures to go through. So, 3-4 years it is.

During this time period, I learned and unlearned hundreds of things. It has been the best hair time period of my life! Well, okay, I went through awkward hair stages. BUT still, leaving the hair-straightening behind has proven to be the best choice for me. Totally worth it!

The Awkward Stages

Let’s talk about those several awkward stages I had to endure, trying to get my curls back.

Hola BIG chop number 1.

I planned on not straightening my hair any more, only to find myself grab the flat-iron. Oops, there went the whole purpose of chopping it to make the curls healthy. The thing is, I had damaged my hair so much, the chop itself wasn’t able to fix the problem. It only highlighted the fact that I no longer had curls.

I had sad looking, fried wires, coming out of my head. Think of Cynthia – Angelica’s Barbie doll. So, I did what I only knew how to “fix my hair.” I grabbed the flat iron to continue to look good in my selfies. And so it was for every day I had that short hair. Straight hair, straight hair, and burns on my ears. Shorter hair is not easier to maintain. Not the way I was trying.

Eventually, the hair grew out, but the curls were still non-existent. Crimps of waves here and there, but the big, bouncy, beautiful locks that once adorned my head, were no more. Thus, I tried product after product after product to find a solution. And believe me, when I say, I tried everything on the store shelves. Well, everything I thought could help. It went something like this:

Nope. Nope. Ha, that was a joke and a big hole in my wallet. Nope. Nope. Hey, wait a minute, this seems to be working. Let me stick with this product a little longer. And then my sorry impersonation of McConaughey came out, “Hey, hey, hey.” I noticed this product did work. And it worked even better when used with this other product. You could even get them as a bundle. And apparently, there’s this other one I wasn’t even aware of. But their line of products did not disappoint.

That is what lead me to restart the process.

BIG CHOP number 2.

The one where I stuck with the initial plan and only wore curly. The one where I did not apply any heat, even on the days I was burning to do so. No heat at all. Not even a diffuser (which I hear and seen videos on how it helps us curly-heads), but, I said no heat and I meant what I said. This elephant is faithful 100 hundred percent.

And I kept using this hair product that continued to restore my curl’s health. And I would give it full credit except that I was also taking hair, skin, and nail vitamins. And my mother thinks that’s what actually helped not the hair products. And y’know how Mexican mothers siempre tienen la razon. –they’re always right. And even if they aren’t, (shh, callate, shut-up que no te oigan) you have to pretend they are; if not you’ll start seeing chanclas flying. ***

And if I’m completely honest, I’m sure it was both things that worked. And I wouldn’t be a good person if I didn’t link the products that restored my damaged curls. Which is why I already did. And if you’re thinking of buying them, you should. They work!

And I can also link other curl-friendly products that worked for me. But I’ll save those for another hair post.

Curl Appreciation

For now, I’d just like to share that I appreciate my curls, even if I was late to the national curl hair day. Sure, I was late, but as I stated before, every day is a curly hair day. So, did I really miss out on something I do daily?

I appreciate them some days more than others. Some days, the frizz doesn’t bother me, but other times, it’s like, must you choose to be untamed the day I must look most presentable?! That could be old trauma trying to resurface and guilt me into thinking because I don’t have straight hair I must be odd. My hair doesn’t make me odd – other things yes, but not my curls!

It has taken me years and years of loathing, accepting, and restoring to get to where I am today. Click here to see current curls.

I learned a lot along the way. My biggest mind-blown moment: finding out there are different types of curls. Say, whaaaaaaa?!

No, but seriously. That kind of knowledge could’ve saved younger, middle-school, aged Goyita (my nickname; if you don’t already know it, learn it! and/or stay confused when I use it to reference younger me in future posts) That kind of knowledge would have helped a lot and prevented a lot of burns with the iron.

I wouldn’t have been left to wonder, “Why don’t my curls look like hers?” And by hers, I wish I could really use this person’s name cause I loved and in all honestly, sometimes even envied her curls. If I ever do get permission, I would like to post a picture of her in middle school and in all her curl “glory.” I wish I had the courage to tell her then, how much I admired her curls because today she doesn’t rock her curls as she used to, and to me, that’s sad. But to each their own curls. I just hope she wasn’t a victim of thinking her curls weren’t good nor pretty and all the other lies media fed us! I wish we could’ve become curlfriends…then maybe we wouldn’t have altered our curls to fit a stupid mold that doesn’t embrace natural beauty.

I wish I knew…

I wish I knew how to style them back then, but I didn’t. I would simply squirt blobs of L.A. Looks gel on my extremely damp hair and hope to tame the frizz. That gave me some hard, wet-looking hair for the majority of the day. I honestly thought that’s how curls were supposed to look. Maybe in L.A.?

Idk, what I do know, is that I got my curls back!!!! And they were once full of volume. And I loved them. Today, I have traded that volume for length and I love them still. I mean if there’s a way I can have both, sign your girl up! Cause I know I still have so much to learn. I only think it would be fitting if I were to make a shout out post to other curly-haired gals. To those who weren’t selfish with their knowledge and shared it on Instagram. Some of y’all were once cool to follow, but then became too strict, so I had to unfollow. Those strict extremist vibes are not for me. Because at the end of the day, I feel like curls are meant to be wild and free. It’s okay to tame them for your 9-5…but because I want to, not cause you have issues with my hair; simply because it doesn’t look like yours or it doesn’t fit what media portrays as being the norm. – Someone had to say it. And I’m brave about it too, it’s not like many are reading…except you honey. You’re a trooper. Thanks for sticking as long as that L.A. Looks gel stuck to my hair.

I learned…

I learned that products help to tame the frizz. But when they fail (and by that I mean, you’re not willing to do your entire hair routine, and/or ran out of product) braids never fail! They make my hair look more presentable! While still remaining true to my natural hair.

So here’s my curly hair appreciation post. One of many more to come.

Here’s to greater lengths, a little less frizz (or not – to each their own wild curls).

Hooray for no more straightening. It’s really not that hard to do, when you decide to be committed. But, if you find it hard, get rid of your flat iron sis! And don’t be cheating using the plancha and ironing board. It isn’t the early 2000s. I know that struggle. I used that iron for my hair more than for getting wrinkles out my school uniform. That was the start of the damage. Damage that seemed irreversible. But thank God was treated and my curls restored. And the damage was more than what was seen on my hair. It damaged younger me into thinking that her curls were a mistake.

Dear Goyita,

They’re not! They’re beautiful. Keep caring for them.

Love,

***Disclaimer, I was fortunate to have a self-controlled mother. She never threw us any chanclas. But it is part of the cultura. I know! I’ve been victimized by the chancla voladora from an aunt. – Tia, if you ever read this, you know which aunt you are…& Sorry. I still love you – and I think I learned how to be better….better at dodging because of it.

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