‘Going Natural’ Improved My Confidence & Self-Identity

World Mental Health day passed recently and it got me thinking about my own struggles with my identity growing up with “curly” hair. The reason I say “curly” in that fashion is because up until 2 years ago, “curly” was in no way part of my vocabulary to describe my hair. I never knew my hair was like this what-so-ever. 
Going natural had a huge impact on my life. It is ‘just hair’, but especially as a female, with much emphasis put on the way you look, there was almost a sense of not being good enough as you are. Add to that the feeling that I had to in some way fit in with my white peers and already theres a whole lot of feeling and emotion developed around my hair at such a young age. 

A curly-hair-shaped chunk of the self esteem puzzle was missing. The isolating thing is that at the time it feels like you’re the only one  in the whole world experiencing it. I often wondered how many others experienced this… and through my instagram page CurlyGalLal I eventually found out the answer was MANY - more than I could fathom! Going natural was my ‘aha! moment’ I found the missing puzzle piece and wanted to use it to help fix others puzzles!  Not only this but at the time, embracing my natural hair felt rebellious! This was a powerful feeling that I still carry with me now. It gave me strength to begin accepting and fulfilling my true self - instead of concealing it and trying to be something I am not, something I did often and followed me through adolescence. 

Little did I know that simply straightening my hair was putting a band aid on so much that, like many, I didn’t have the vocabulary to describe as a 12 year old. This new found acceptance for myself started to filter into others areas of my life. It sounds superficial but it runs deeper than that! I can say I am truly a happier person now.

Who knew curls would have such an impact on my life? You see, when you get so incredibly involved in the ins and outs of your hair, you start to look at life differently! I started thinking ‘maybe I shouldn’t be wearing as much makeup and embrace my skin more’ and so I learnt all about my skin, how to care for it properly. It changed up my wardrobe! Clothes look way better with my curly hair - look out Zara, the shops are my oyster now! For me, if I feel good on the outside, I feel good on the inside! As superficial as it seems, each level of acceptance laid their bricks into forming the foundation of new found self confidence.

Am I really saying that if I knew words such as plop, DC, condish or to put the irons down - maybe I’d be happier and more confident and more accepting of myself. I guess I am and you could be too! Having spoken before, and had many accounts from other transitionees, about how I didn’t know the potential of my hair, it’s astonishing the community of people who grew up, and from infantilism had already garnered such negative feelings about their hair. 

Well now there is no excuse - with curly haired models landing in magazines, strutting the runway, adorning advertisements and curl-specific products stocking the shelves on the high street you are adequately armed to go forth and be curly - unashamedly. Remember - You’re hair doesn’t define you as a person, but it is a part of you that is amazing and unique and beautiful.



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