Editorial Notebook

Understanding Hair

My hair has changed with me as I’ve grown into the person I am today. It’s a great source of pride for me now, but it wasn’t always that way. I’d go as far as to say that I hated wearing my hair up until I was 16. Since then, I’ve learned to love my hair, and I’d like to look back on it now.

As a young kid, I had straight hair like my mother. Many said it suited my face perfectly and that it was an iconic part of my beauty. I loved showing it off to anyone who could see. I couldn’t imagine myself looking any different as I got older. Then, it slowly changed in middle school. While I was prepared for changes that were to come during puberty, I didn’t expect my hair to be part of it.

Slowly, my once-straight hair turned frizzy and uncontrollable. My hair always seemed to spring up no matter how much I tried pushing it into a ponytail. It was impossible to brush through and constantly seemed to be tangled up in a knot no matter what I did. I couldn’t recognize myself and desperately wished my hair would magically return back to how it once was.

My family couldn’t help with these feelings—they didn’t even understand what was wrong. They kept preaching different hair care solutions whenever I came to them, and eventually, I gave up trying at all. I daydreamed about a “big plan” to finally fix my hair but was too scared to try anything new. I couldn’t handle my hair getting any worse. Being kept at home during quarantine, I thought it was a perfect opportunity to experiment with my hair. No one aside from my family would witness a potential mess-up.

In my research, I stumbled upon videos indicating I may have curly hair and detailing specific techniques, products, routines, and accessories to maintain healthy hair. All together, it was a bit expensive, but I ended up putting my savings towards buying my first batch of supplies. Unfortunately, for the first month or so I barely saw any progress. I thought it was a dead end but kept pushing myself to keep going. One day, I got the first compliment about my hair I’d gotten in years. I felt like I hit the jackpot. As I kept going, more people recognized my hair and it became a good feature of my appearance again. I even helped my brother maintain his hair when he had seen my results.

Now, I understand my hair’s new state better. While it’s vastly different from my childhood, I have learned to love it and take care of it despite difficulties managing it. I see it as one of the things that’s grown in all the ways I have.