I Learned How to Tame My Mane


Having curly hair is a curse and a blessing. It looks beautiful when styled, and the curls are all shiny with a lot of volume. However, maintaining it, that’s a whole different story.

Growing up, I hated my hair. It was frizzy, dry and I didn’t know how to take care of it, let alone style it. My mom was the one to do my hair, but she didn’t know what to do with it either. No one in my family has curly hair, so my mom didn’t know who to turn to.

Due to this, I wanted so badly to have pin-straight hair. I was so envious of all the girls at school who had straight hair. I wanted to be able to brush my hair, put it in a ponytail, and call it a day. But I couldn’t. Of course, everything had to be more complicated for me.

Over the years, I’ve gone through so many phases and trial and error with my hair. For example, in elementary school, my mom did my hair. It consisted of just water and a lot of different styles of braids. It was cute at first but then I was getting older so I wanted to try something different.

My main problem was that I was only using water in my hair. I had no idea that it was possible to use gel or creams so my hair was never out. I continued to put my hair in buns or braids.

In 7th grade, I grew more frustrated with not knowing what to do with my hair, so I gave up and began doing a high bun every single day. Back then, I didn’t care but looking back now, it’s embarrassing.

Everything started to change in 8th grade. I remember I had asked this other girl with really curly hair what she used and she said mousse.

I started using mousse, but I wasn’t sure how much to use. When I first started using it, I wasn’t using it enough, so my hair would still get puffy early on in the day. I began putting a lot more product in my hair, and for the first time, my hair wasn’t frizzy and looked nice. The only downfall was that it was hard, and when the product dried up, white flakes would show.

That same year I started to experiment with styling gel. Like always, it would be pretty when my hair was wet, but when dry, it was back to puffy. I tried a lot of different styling gels, but none of them stuck so I went back to mousse.

I continued to do my hair like that until my senior year. Around that time, I found out about keratin treatment. It’s a chemical procedure that makes the hair straight and less frizzy for six months. It is an expensive treatment, so I went back and forth with it until I decided that I wanted to. I told my mom about it, and she said she would save the money for it if I wanted.

Now that the option for me to have the straight hair that I’ve always wanted was on the table, I became so unsure. I wasn’t the biggest fan of my natural hair, but it was still my hair. I didn’t want it to get damaged; I knew I would miss it too, even though it would frustrate me.

As time went on, I had decided I didn’t want to do it anymore. I was still using mousse, and my hair looked the same. I still couldn’t bring myself to get the treatment.

I began to experiment with more creams and leave-in conditioners at the beginning of college but, my hair still wasn’t what I wanted it to be.
It wasn’t up until this year that I learned how to properly style my hair because of TikTok. I finally know the proper way to wash my hair: what products to use, techniques to do, and what to wrap my hair with. It has completely changed my life.

I now am in love with my hair. I love how soft, shiny and voluminous it is. I’m no longer frustrated with my hair. I wouldn’t want to trade it for straight hair anymore. There’s no need for that when I can pull off both. It was such a long journey that I thought I would never be able to wear my hair out confidently. Even when I did, I was still so self-conscious about it. I was so tired of hiding my hair in a braid or bun.

Accepting and loving my hair is truly one of the first things I learned to love about myself. It has given me this new sense of confidence where I know my hair looks good, so automatically, I look and feel good; I have never really felt that way in the last 20 years, so feeling this way now makes me incredibly happy.