Natural Hair & Self-Love
Growing up in a Dominican household curly hair was not something that was encouraged unless you had the “good” curly hair. To old school Dominicans my hair is considered a “pajon” or “messy”. In their defense, I just don't think they were taught by their parents that natural hair is beautiful. It's a domino effect really...
I believe my first “desrizado” or “hair relaxer" happened around the age of 6 or 7. My mom would send me to the hair salon religiously every Saturday morning for a dreadful 4 hours of washing, roller setting, torture under a HOT hair dryer followed by a 30 minute blow dryer session that involved a lot of hair pulling and tears. My hair-dresser would always say “el que quiere pelo bonito aguanta jalones." Translation “if you want nice hair you must endure hair pulling and pain." Good times!
I got relaxers every 3 months from that age until I reached my teenage years. I stopped at the age of 17 though because I couldn’t stand the chemical smell and kind of wanted to see what my natural texture was like. I didn’t get to see natural texture for many years though, I was still addicted to blow outs, bleaching, dying and straightening my hair. The last straw came after I went to a new hair salon for highlights and most of my hair began to break/fall off. That's where my curly hair journey began:
My journey was ROUGH at first. I was going through a lot of life changes, heartbreaks and growth. My hair and I were in it together. I had to learn how to love and take care of myself. It was an amazing learning experience and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in this world. Throughout this journey I wanted to prove to myself that I didn't need straight hair to be "beautiful" and feel accepted. I now know that I'm fly whether my hair is straight, curly, frizzy, in a bun, in braids or under a wig. Confidence is what really makes one beautiful. Don't ever forget that you are enough as you are. If others can't see that, then they simply don't deserve to be in your life.
To those of you that ask me “what do I do when I have to go somewhere nice or when I get the itch for straight hair?" The answer is; get creative. Sleek buns, braids and wigs are always great options.
To those of you that ask me “well, how do I start this journey?” Simple, throw away your hot tools and just go for it. If you really want it, you’ll push through the insecurities and keep your eyes on the prize.
-Trim the dead ends often or do a big chop. I recommend Devachan salon. See my curly cut video below.
-Protect your hair with buns, braids, wigs
Some products I recommend to help start you off:
You got this!!
Dear Dominican moms, teach your daughters how to love and care for the hair they were born with. Don't refer to their hair as a "pajon", don't take them to a hair salon and force a relaxer on them when they're too young to understand the damage it will cause. It took YEARS for my hair to come back to life after all of the heat/chemical damage I put it through. The natural hair journey is long and difficult at times, but if you put in the work I promise the rewards will come. The number one thing this journey has taught me is the importance of self-love. I am more than enough! I am magic and so are you ❤️