This blog post is dedicated to Shakira! Just kidding . . . except, not really. Shakira was one of the first (and only?) people to make me feel good about my hair when I was younger. Representation in pop culture can be so powerful.
My curly hair journey began when I was born, obviously, but wasn't something I started to really explore until late in high school. I had Shirley-Temple ringlets as a little girl, and then thick/bushy/course hair as I got older. My mom trimmed my hair at home, until I begged for a big chop at a local salon when I was around 12.
My mom has thinner, rather smooth, wavy hair (comparatively). My Grandma Ruth has hair a lot closer to mine, and I wish she had lived nearby when I was little to teach me any tips and tricks she'd learned through the years. Although, really, everyone's curls are different! So it might not really have made a difference either way.
I absolutely hated my hair when was a pre-teen and teen. I bombarded it with chemicals and heat damage, trying to achieve the silky, straight, smooth hair that I thought was the only definition of beauty. One day, my straightener broke. That's when my curly hair journey really, truly began. I stopped fighting against the natural state of my hair, and focused on learning how to love my curls.