What does your curly hair mean to you?

naturecatnaturecat Posts: 1,986Registered Users
Hi all,

So, most of us here have not been wearing our hair to its true curly potential for most/part of our lives. This has been for various reasons, from family members not approving to the cosmetic industry selling us on the fact that we "had to" use products containing all sorts of chemicals that ultimately damaged the hair, to societal pressure/peer pressure to conform to the image that we are told is beauty (sleek straight hair, and greys dyed if you're a woman).

All of us went through a time where our hair health suffered as a result of this. I thought it would be nice to have a thread where we share our journeys and what reclaiming our hair health and curls has meant to us, or, in some cases, how we've stood up to family/societal pressures and done what was right for us.

I'll start. I started life as at least a 3a. My family simply didn't know how to care for that hair, even though they thought the curls were cute. I was always told to brush my hair as it dried, and throughout the day. I used the same shampoos as the rest of the family. Like many of you I thought I was that straight haired girl with tons of frizz and weird lumps in the hair that stuck out at odd angles, ruining many a school picture. I started blowdrying it straight regularly in my 20s. If I attempted to air dry my hair frizzed like a UFO above my head.

To me, my childhood curls have stood for joy and health. I always loved curly hair and was sad I'd lost my curls (or so I thought). Discovering I still had curl left was a shock to me. I only did my first PT maybe a month or two ago. I'd been letting my hair starve for most of its life. Reclaiming my curls has meant a connection with the little soul I started life as. And in an odd way, I hope that reconnecting to the little girl I used to be will also help me restore my health. Throughout this journey, I've gotten weird looks from people I know (back before I had the slightest clue how to care for my hair). Yes, it's true that I didn't look very professional with my hair. But I didn't want to have to sacrifice my body/health for the benefit of other people. I was tired of doing that. And now I am very glad I've stuck with it.

So, what do your curls mean to you? What has this journey been like for you? Do you still face opposition from others in your life? Feel free to share your hair story.

Super baby fine hair, low porosity
Shampoos: SM Fruit Fusion (mostly), Avalon lemon (to clarify). Occasional aloe vera and glycerin to wash.
Stylers: Intelligent Nutrients Perfect Hold Hairspray
Treatments: Catnip tea, IA girl's PT, Fermented Rice Water, Catnip Tea, Amla tea, Irish Moss, SS PT


  • CGSince2002CGSince2002 Posts: 1,073Banned Users
    Your post made me realize that I'm not entirely free of "societal pressures" because I'm not ready to stop coloring my hair, although I've thought about it several times, but the truth is that gray hair makes the majority of us instantly age, and it's not my opinion only, I read an article some time back in which some kind of "experiment" was done and the women were judged to be older when seen with gray hair as opposed to "with color". Besides, from the time we are born we are raised to be "pretty", to care about grooming then fashion, make-up and hair trends. And women of my generation have had more decades to live according to societal expectations of us.

    But since this is more about curls, I'll say that my curls sort of liberated a part of my personality that was probably repressed. I came to realize that I've always been a bit of a rebel, always questioning things and often tending to go in directions the majority doesn't. I'm also a bit adventurous, not afraid of taking certain chances and a little "unpredictable", like my curls. I think I am to a certain degree a "free spirit", not as much as the hippies of the late 60s & 70s but close.

    Curls also convey an image of youth and as a typical Virgo I'm "eternally" youthful, so my curls are SO me I'm really comfortable with them, I feel they truly reflect my personality, whereas the straight hair that I wore for years reflect my need to conform and fit in, which I still see in most people under 30.
    Joined Curltalk 1st time in early '02 shortly after starting CG. I'm a non-practicing Cosmetologist.
    Hair: color-treated, mostly 3A.
    CO-wash: VO5 K&L
    RO: SpaHaus Salon w/OO, VO5 Shea Cashmere, W.R. Trop. Coconut, Daily Defense Moisturizing & others.
    LI: Beautiful Curls w/Shea Butter & C.O., Hollywood Beauty OO Creme, VO5 K&L, Aveda Be Curly Curl Enhancer.
    Gels: LAL Wet Look, ORS Lock & Twist.
    Oils: Jojoba, EVCO & Africa's Best Ultimate Herbal Oil

  • SpiralHamSpiralHam Posts: 477Registered Users
    Higher haircut bills :rolleyes:
    Smorgasbord of finer, porous 2a-3a; straight underlayer

    :thumbleft: collagen
    :thumbdown: humectants outside of optimal dews, PVP, oils/butters, anything remotely comedogenic

    poos: Giovanni TTT, WF365FF, Suave Clarifying
    condishes: VO5 VMT, KLS; IonEC
    stylers: FSG, 4NSBCC, VolumaxMega, AIF, GFPC

    Mod CG since 11/2012. My waves occasionally look best when combed out, so you can pry my combs from my cold, dead hands :laughing6:
  • BelleBohemienneBelleBohemienne Posts: 375Registered Users
    At first, my hair was an explanation. I finally understood why certain hair cuts never worked for me and why I could never have straight hair during the majority of the school year in south Louisiana. I didn't even know my hair curled until one morning in high school, I was running late and I just loaded my hair down with hairspray and it curled! I didn't think much of it until my best friend told me my hair was amazing! I then found Lorraine Massey and her book and have been hooked ever since.

    I don't follow societal norms because I've always known that I was just different. It took a long time to come to terms with that and be comfortable in my own skin, but that's being a teenager.

    I agree with CG that I think society's views on beauty are demented. In Native American culture, gray hair and wrinkles show a long lived life and one full of wisdom. Mostly people just see it as old. Honestly, I think we'd age more gracefully if we took better care of ourselves and learn to just accept ourselves. I've accepted that I have a fair complection and that no amount of sunlight will change that and since I've accepted that I don't feel the need to go to a tanning bed either. Society thinks tanned skin is beautiful, but I think healthy skin is beautiful.

    Anyway, societal views will only change when people dare to go against the current and never look back. But on the other hand, if you enjoy having your hair colored or your body tan then you should continue on as long as you do it safely. You must be true to yourself too. That's most important.

    ~Belle Bohemienne
    ~Belle Bohemienne

    "If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present." -Lao Tzu
  • AsiabooAsiaboo Posts: 26Registered Users
    My natural hair just feels healthier to me, it has allowed me to see and accept myself the way God made me. Sometimes I do miss the sleek straight styles but not at the health of my hair. Since going natural I see less breakage and my hair retains so much length. So my natural hair means self acceptance and hair health...

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  • ReservechicReservechic Posts: 798Registered Users
    It means being free to be proud of the part of my body that i had growing up being most ashamed of the most. I am a multiracial curly. I grew up in this place of not feeling like i truly fit in. I wasn't considered to be a "true black" person, because my skin is very fair and my hair texture is diferent than most black peoples hair. I was being treated like i thought i was better thsn the other black kids in the community, while growing up. I didn't experience any problems from other races, except sometimes they would raise curiousity over my complete racial identity, so i would explain to them about my Black, Caucasian, and Mexican racial background. But, that was as far it ever went with other races.

    My mother didn't know about styling my hair really, so my hair ended up being pressed with a pressing comb, from the time i was around 4or 5 till i was around 9. Then, my mother had a curly perm put in my hair, due to advice she had received from someone. It was supposed to make my hair easy to manage. The funny thing is that I had a curly perm (jherri curl) put in my hair, when it actually was already naturally curly to begin with. I had this greasy curl worn in my hair up throughout most of my time in junior high. When, i turned 13, i begged to getba relaxer put in my hair, because that's what I saw most of the Black girls were wearing in their hair. My mother said yes. I had my hair relaxed both in a salon and at home. When i would relax my hair i would use Super Strength relaxers in order to get my hair as straight as possible, and sometimes i would leave them in my hair upwards of an hour. I cannnot tell you how many scalp burns, i experienced as a result of this. Plus, i didn't haveva set regimen, when doing my relaxed hair either. Which is why, i thank God that I still actually have hair left on my head. The salons i would do go to, i thought that they did a good job, but they could never provide me with help on what to use on my hair, when i was experiencing bouts of breakage. They would use the 2-Step Aphogee Treatment which never did anything to help my hair. It would leave my hair dry and brittle and I would have lots of shedding. The only advise i ever got to help with the breakage was for me to use this certain brand of hair grease thst was recommended to me, that the stylist said had worked for her sister's hair. I had no intentions of putting no grease in my hair. I stopped going to that stylist, and ended up going to various different stylists over the years, none of them really no better than the rest. I realized thst thst the prices they would charge was overpriced for the finished results i would receive. Plus, i was tired of making an appointment with a stylist to go to the salon on a Saturday, and then spending almost my whole day there. I became tired of going through this with every stylist i would book appointments with.

    I had always loved curly hair, actually moreso than straight hair, ever since i was a small child. Yes, i had wanted to wear my hair curly, for the longest, but fear had always stopped me. And, instead, i chose to go along with what was considered to be the popular thing to do-which was to wear my hair straight. So, i wore my hair straight from the time i became a teenager all the way into my early 20s. Finally, one day, i decided i had had enough-no more relaxers for me. I decided that i was going to embrace my natural hair, and that i was going to start wearing it curly from then on. I didn't even tell anyone in my family at the time i made the decision. They happened to find out through seeing me wearing my hair curly, and no longer straight. They never said anything, and never did anything to deter me from going natural either. I actually transitioned for a year, before finally becoming 100% natural. When i first decided to start wearing my hair curly, i was totally clueless. I ended up trying so many different expensive lines, thinking thst that would work for me. My hair really didn't end up liking most of the stuff anyways. So, i went through a lot of trial and error, before finally finding profucts that my hair really liked. I also realized that i never even needed relaxers to get my hair straight. I have loose textured, natural 3b curls, that i can easily get my hair straight with just a blowdryer and flatiron.

    When my hair was being relaxed, my hair never really got that much attention. But, now that i wear my hair curly, i get lots of compliments from people of different races. I alsomfind myself chatting with other curlies about our hair and products in different public places (down hair care isles, in places where I go to eat, etc,) that i go, which is something that i had never experienced before, but really enjoy it so much!

    At this point in my life, i love my hair wholeheartedly. My decision to go natural and start wearing my hair curly is one of the best decisions that i have made. Also, I give all thanks to God for blessing me with the wonderful natural curls that he did. As, i am thankful for each and every one of them.
    Diagnosed with Scalp Eczema 6/2015
    (Don't hair type/loose curl pattern/fine texture/low density/high porosity

    Current Regimen (Ayurvedic Based):
    Cleansers- Bobeam Shampoo Bars
    Stylers-Rotate between Camille Rose Naturals Almond Jai Twisting Butter and Camille Rose Naturals Aloe Whipped Butter Gel

    I only wear my hair in wash n gos or buns. Also,
    I do not use conditioner on my hair on a weekly basis. And, my hair is A ok with that!
  • curlicious13curlicious13 Posts: 1,632Registered Users
    My curly hair means to me that I'm free. I can walk in the rain & not worry about my hair. I stand out & all the while look good.
  • VoluminousGirlyVoluminousGirly Posts: 219Registered Users
    Unique! Just unique!

    I used to hate curly hair. Not on anyone else, just me cause I didn't know how to take care of it.

    Also, before finding naturally curly, i thought curly hair was supposed to look like those fake ones.. You know the iron barrel one with heat? Yeah, so I had a false image of it.

    I braided my hair for 2 years thinking I could never put it down.

    Next stage-- my mom is asian an I don't live with my dad. Her hair is dead straight and not very thick. She thought black people put grease in their hair so she put it in mine (she doesn't know other races can have curly hair)

    Highschool- I CUT MY HAIR OFF CAUSE I WAS PISSED. It's pretty much okay now, but I still have patches of spots on my head that is thin (don't worry the scalp isn't visible)

    To wrap it up, since I'm a high schooler in this day, I can see that pretty much every girl straightens/curls their hair and it's flat with no volume. I'm so much different from all of them and it's unique and my hair stands out! I wish I met curlies in real life though
    Sing with Barney tune:
    Frizz loves me
    I hate frizz
    It sticks to me
    like a kid
    with some creams
    and some gel
    and then nothing does the trick
    Please help me
    My curly friends.
  • sheilacurlsheilacurl Posts: 1,240Registered Users
    My long curly hair helps me to feel more feminine and more attractive. Strangers come up and compliment me on my hair but never has anyone I didn't know tell me that I was pretty or beautiful or anything like that. Sorry if that sounds negative but it is truthful.
    Upper Michigan Dews
    3a ~ Fine ~ High Porosity ~ Normal Density

    NoPoo: JC Cleansing Cream
    Rinse Outs: SS:PRT, CJ Repair Me, CJ Argan
    Detangler: KCKT
    Leave-in: CJ Repair me
    Stylers: UFDCM, BRHG
    Refreshers: Batiste (dry shampoo) on the roots & UFDCM everywhere else

    iHerb Discount Code: SAF007

  • sixelamysixelamy Posts: 4,156Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Confidence, simplicity, and feminine.

    When I was little, I was so embarrassed to wear my hair a different way. I remember when my mom sent me to preschool with pigtails - I tried to hide them with my arms all day... like people couldn't see them.. pffft. It's nice now to have different styles.

    Curly hair is sooo much easier to take care of than my extremely dense straight hair in a humid climate in the summer.

    I had so many short hair and pixie cuts, because I didn't know how to work with my waves and curls. When I had one of my pixie cuts I took a bike ride and was wearing my Superman t-shirt. I rode past this little boy and his mom playing in their front yard. The boy yells to his mom, "Look! He's wearing a Superman shirt!" My curly hair is best when it's longer, so it's kind of forcing me to be "feminine", even though short hair is the ultimate of easy and out of your face.
    2c-3a - med-coarse - normal-high porosity - high density
    NP/LP: CJ Daily Fix, KMF Whenever / Giovanni TTTT
    RO/LI: Aussie Moist, CJ Argan & Olive Oil, Hask Keratin Protein
    DC/PROTEIN: KC Stellar Strands / CNPF
    STYLER: CJ Curl Queen
    COLOR: henna, amla & indigo
    :thumbdown:: glycerin in high/low dews, polyquat-10 & 11, parabens
  • BotticelliBritBotticelliBrit Posts: 2,075Registered Users
    Basically, it means a tonne of money and time spent on finding products!

    Buuuut, more importantly, it means me finally accepting who I am and not fighting against it. Embracing my natural self, rather than trying to conform to other beauty ideals or blend in with the crowd. It means having the confidence to rock what I was born with and not try to change myself.

    I think it's important in the grand scheme of things and has made such a difference in my confidence, because I'm no longer worried wishing I looked differently (which is a very damaging thought to have), but instead I'm happy that I look the way I do.

    So basically, my curly hair means being proud of who I am.
    3B. Med porosity. Med thickness. Med density.

    LP: Shea Moisture (currently JBCO)
    Conditioner/CW: Jason Aloe Vera

    LI: Aunt Jackie's Curls & Coils Quench
    Refreshing: TRESemmé Naturals Aloe Vera & Avocado
    Gel: DevaCurl Ultra Defining Gel
    Aunt Jackie's Soft & Sassy Super Duper Softening Conditioner
    Treatments: Coconut oil/Coconut milk

    UK curly. CG since Oct 2013.
    Growing my hair to WL when dry :thumright:
  • FraenzyFraenzy Posts: 48Registered Users
    Boticelli Brit is so right!
    To me, being natural and wearing my curls as they are means acceptance. So many years I didnt understand my hair and hated it, I straigthened it, coloured or hide it in a tail or bun (a tight one, so no one can see its curly!) and even a year ago, when I went to my last job interview, I straightened my hair to look "more serious"! Now, a year later I have just a sad smile for my own thoughts a year ago.
    Wearing my hair curly always gives ppl the feeling u r a little more chaotic, messy or hot tempered - but only we can change this by wearing our hair as it is - showing that "straight hair" is not the better option, only one of a few!
    2c/3a curls
    low porosity, medium/high density, medium width (as far as I see now ;) )
    CG since March 2014

    Still searching for the best products!

    Routine now:

    Cleanse/shampoo with YTC Nourishing Shampoo
    Cleanse with SM Yucca Baobab Conditioner/Rainforest Moisture Conditioner
    YTC Pampering Conditioner/Loreal Everpure Moisture RO or LI
    For styling I use any Eco styler gel (do not like the Argan oil that much)
    For DC I mix SM Condi+Honey+Olive Oil
  • KauaiMareCurlKauaiMareCurl Posts: 317Registered Users
    Sexiness, even with all the silver coming in!
  • KaZenner1990KaZenner1990 Posts: 859Registered Users
    To me my curly hair means I can choose a different way to look each day by simply elongate curls or style then damage free and yet not have the same hairstyle everyday.
    My curly hair means to me youth, being very attractive, cute and sexy. I agree that a straight blonde would be way woman looking but my personality is not near mature.
    I am only grown up on my decisions. When I want to be fun I am practically a teenager. So that freedom and unique feeling comes from my curls.

    [Properties for mobile users]
    M+C/ii, high porosity, medium elasticity, growing old color
    2C/3A Botticelli/Corkicelli.Growing out color/heat damage
    M/C, Low/Medium/High Por, Normal Elast. Medium Density
    LP: INSIGHT DAMAGED HAIR Restructurizing Shampoo
    CO: Generic protein conditioner, Hair Academy Deep Cleansing CO
    DET/RO/LI: GNC Avocado And Shea Butter Conditioner +/mask,
    Styler: Schwarzkopf Taft Fixing GelWellaflex Instant Volume Boost Mousse
    DT: EVOO, C.O
    Goal: WL when curly
    CG since Feb 2014