I have to acknowledge that my mixed Afro-Latina heritage has given me both a lighter complexion and a looser curl pattern than most Black women. These factors alone grant me privileges in the workplace, privileges that must be acknowledged in order to have an honest conversation.
As I was brushing my two-year-old daughter's hair recently, it became very clear to me: I have major hair envy. Her long, soft locks float down her back, swinging back and forth while she walks.
She likes her freckles, counting them and eagerly searching for more with me at the end of one of those long summer days. When she does this, I can't help but think of all of the time and agony I could have saved if only I counted the freckles instead of trying to scrub them away.
I am a proud, big-haired girl. In photos, my head is usually double the size of anyone else's. Us curly-haired girls have some secrets (at least I do) that may surprise you when it comes to our hair care regimen.
The problem with curly hair in the media is that it's usually a "before" look -- before the main character becomes pretty, confident and self-actualized. Think Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman or Anne Hathaway in The Princess Diaries.
The movement often fails to challenge the very paradigm that encouraged women to chemically process their hair and thereby prevented them from remaining natural, in the first place.
I see oodles of products promising weightless, frizz free curls with bounce, movement and volume. Sounds fantastic for my natural girls, but I see very few companies directing their messages to women with relaxed hair.
Many times I wonder if people see my hair instead of me. If my hair disappeared, would I go along with it? My curls are part of me, but they shouldn't define me, either.
The trend of integration in the natural hair movement may contribute to the erasure of kinky hair textures in the media.
Let's be honest, many people view dreadlocks as "dreadful". I sincerely hope that change is on the horizon. Niyya Tenee, the founder of Locs Revolution, is on a mission to uplift the image of locked hair and as part of that mission she is promoting Loc Appreciation Day on June 28, 2014.
With a big chop, you become a woman with short hair in a world where so much sexuality and femininity lies in length.
From now on, I'm embracing my hair. And you, my curly-haired sisters, should too. Here are 12 reasons having curly hair rocks.
I remember looking in the mirror with the same quiet discontentment, like I didn't measure up. Girls who look at themselves that way tend to limit themselves. I didn't want any girl of mine growing up with a poor self-image.
It was the year of the winged bangs and I was hell-bent on having them. Despite being born with a headful of ringlet curls and living in an oppressively humid climate, I wanted to belong. I was 14, it was the '70s, and a world of adolescent males awaited me. That is, if I could tame my damn hair.
What if she came to me crying and wishing she was born with straight hair. How would I be able to look her in the eye and tell her she is beautiful the way she is while wearing someone else's hair?
"I've worn my curls short(ish), long, highlighted and natural. I've tried gels, mousses, serums and creams."