Everyone goes on their own curly hair journey. Whether you’ve always loved your gorgeous mane, or you’re new to curly, you are always welcome in the curly hair community. There’s room for people with curls, coils, waves, kinks and frizz. Royal Locks has a goal to help more people embrace their natural hair texture, find the perfect curl care routine, and learn to love every part of themselves along the way.
In the name of self-love, and to inspire you to love your curls even more, here are stories from real people about their curly hair journey.
“I grew up in a small, predominantly white town with not much exposure to different cultures or diversity. I remember getting my hair straightened for the first time by a friend's cool older sister with a literal iron after a pool party in the 5th grade, and that was the beginning of me wanting straight hair. I wore it straight all throughout high school and university and it was only recently that I really started to embrace my curls. It’s been a long journey, but I’ve finally learned to love the hair I was born with, as it is a continual reminder of my roots and a love letter from my ancestors.
I wish I could go back and tell baby Hauwa her curls were beautiful, but I know she would be proud of me now!
- Hauwa, @hauwaclara
“I only wore my hair straight in high school and college and I feel like there’s so many people that we probably know who have curly hair and we have no idea! I truly wish that there has been more resources and people willing to set an example of curly hair being normal and a good thing! It’s definitely a journey. It’s kind of fun to be different and I love that my curls give me a little something extra that not everyone else has.”
- Briona, @bripetrous
“Ever since I’ve embraced my curls and found ways to style it, I’ve found a certain type of confidence that only curly headed folks can understand. I was in my junior year of college when I started getting my hair cut by someone who has experience in cutting POC hair, and only a few years after would I be given tips on how to style it. This new discovery opened up views on curly hair which I didn’t think was possible. I might have even learned that I have a type.”
- Harry, @harrys.rm
“Being a mother to two curly-headed kids was a huge reason I was inspired to begin my own curly journey. My son in particular always talks about loving his curls, and refers to them as his “beautiful curls”—it’s important to me to instill confidence and self-love in my children so they will always love who they are. This starts with embracing my own natural hair in confidence to model those beliefs. Always, always embrace who you are—and if that means naturally curly then be curly as a mother!”
- Destiny, @curly.as.a.mother
“When I was little, all anybody ever talked to me about was my hair. With a head of copper curls, adults always felt the need to come over and touch it while telling me I was a combination of Shirley Temple and Annie. My mother told me it was what made me unique; what got me my various modeling and acting jobs, and that I had to preserve it. She never let anyone use water when styling my hair for jobs; I had to use a very painful bathing cap whenever I went swimming; if my hair were ever a little flat, I had to sleep with foam curlers in, the night before an audition.
The day I experimented with scissors was met with fury from my Momager. So, understandably, when I got to my preteens and stopped acting, I wanted to have autonomy. I decided to grow my hair out, which made my curls heavier, and used heat on it incessantly. It was fried. This was 2010, when crispy, straight hair was the ~look~.
As an adult, being bombarded with product advertisements and the desire to lock down one’s identity via one’s looks, it’s been overwhelming. I’m such a low maintenance person (I blame it on being a Taurus), that hair care has always stressed me out. Part of it is not understanding my hair type, and what to do with it. As my hair grew back to its healthy self, air drying led to a frizzy wave. It would take a professional blowout to get the smooth, glamorous hair I thought it was supposed to be. Whenever I brushed it with the boar bristle brush I was once recommended through an ad, I would turn out looking like Hermione.
I just thought, “well, this is it. I lost my once-curly baby hair, and turned into this natural frizz ball and I just have to keep it up all the time.” Which is what I did. Too much work? Throw it in a bun. It wasn’t until a friend (thanks, Taylor!!) posted an infographic on hair types that I realized what my hair’s full potential was. I learned that I have 2B/2C hair, and that with just a little nurturing, I would have beautiful, defined curls like when I was little.
I started hair masking, using a little mousse right when I got out of the shower, and scrunching it with a cotton shirt. My hair feels so healthy and bouncy; I can’t believe I’d wasted all this time trying to make it something it’s not. This is all from the Curly Girl Method by Lorraine Massey, and an AMAZING reddit thread. I definitely still have a long way to go, but I finally appreciate my hair for what it is, and I’m not so overwhelmed with the process.”
- Jaycee, @jayceeportrait
“My identity is largely surrounding my curls. I have always been the curly sister, curly friend, and family and friends have told me they use my curls to find me in large crowds. I love my hair and love that I have an outlet on social media to share my experiences with the curly hair community.”
- Sam, @dailyfrizz
“Accepting my hair in its natural state hasn’t always been easy. Like a lot of other people with curly hair, I spent many of my adolescent years straightening it into a more manageable texture. My friends would sometimes tell me that my hair looked untidy and that I looked better with straight hair. I was so eager to be accepted that I began to feel ashamed of my natural hair. But as I've grown older, and have begun to value self acceptance over social acceptance, I realized how much I adore the way my curls messily fall around my face.
Now that I’ve learned how to love and properly care for it, spending time with my natural hair has become a sacred expression of appreciation for myself. For all the times it’s made me confident, for all of the times it’s kept me warm, and for all my family and friends who have braided their love into my scalp, I am so thankful for the hair I've been blessed with, and I love and appreciate it endlessly.
- Tiare, @t.iare
“My relationship with my curly hair has been a journey. I hated my curly hair most of my life, as I was usually the only one in school with curls. I felt like “the other,” I didn’t want to be different. I saw so many girls with long, straight hair. I thought that’s what was considered beautiful.
My curls are also a product of my genes, my lineage: my Jew curls I call them. The entire side of my Jewish family has these curls, these ringlets: some hair more coarse, some more frizzy. But the curls are a given in our family. So the times that I straightened my hair for years, it also felt like I was erasing my identity. That I should be ashamed of what my body was naturally growing, that naturally grew in my family for generations.
For years I straightened my hair. I had a friend in high school who literally wouldn’t be seen with me if I had curly hair. I felt ugly, I felt different, I felt like no one would be attracted to me if I wore my curls.
Slowly over time (I’m talking years), I began to wear my natural curls more, and when I did I was met with so many people commenting on how beautiful my curls were! Though we shouldn’t let others’ opinions dictate how we feel about ourselves, we all fall into that, right? When I was met with love and acceptance, I began to love and accept myself in my natural, beautiful state.
I now wear my natural curls all day, everyday! I haven’t straightened my hair in years! I love my curls, and what I love most is that they look different everyday! Everyday with my hair is an adventure and I wouldn’t want anything else.”
- Emma, @emmaheywoodhypnosis
How Do You Love Your Curls?
As you can tell from these stories, sometimes all we need is a friend, a styling technique, or a journey toward self-acceptance to help us embrace our curls for what they are. We promise that if you give your curls love, they will give it back to you and then some.
Have these stories inspired you? Do you have a story you would like to share? We would love to hear all about your experiences with your curly hair. Leave us a comment to tell us your curly hair story. The journey to love your curls is a personal, but important one. Embracing your curls is an important step in loving yourself for your authentic, unique, beautiful self.