Stigma against curly hair prevents girls from embracing their natural beauty


Photo by Brooke Dembin '22

Despite the fact that curly hair is considered natural, it still requires a ton of maintenance in order to achieve a natural appearance.

Brooke Dembin '22, Business Manager

I dream of having silky straight hair that’s easy to maintain. I want straight hair that isn’t frizzy 24/7, and straight hair that can be brushed through without causing me to turn into a lion. 

Multiple times a week, I find myself with my hair straightener in hand, burning away at my luscious locks of pure brown frizziness. I do it not only because I feel that it improves my appearance, but because straight hair tends to be known for displaying a professional, put-together look, while curly hair tends to be associated with messiness, laziness and wildness. 

There is a stigma against curly hair that results in a decrease in a girl’s self confidence and ability to embrace her authentic self.  I know, from experience, this is true.

There is a stigma against curly hair that results in a decrease in a girl’s self confidence and ability to embrace her authentic self.”

Ever since I got my first blowout in elementary school, I’ve always felt that a straight hair version of myself was a better version. I looked more like other girls and felt put together and polished. I didn’t dislike wearing my hair curly; I just preferred wearing it straight. 

But when I entered my last year of middle school, I started to feel ashamed of my natural hair, despite hearing all those fake little comments, “Oh my gosh your natural hair is soooo pretty. I wish I had it.” My immediate thought when hearing those comments was yes, I’m sure you’re just dying to have to put in four hair products to make it look somewhat decent. Oh, and of course you can’t forget having to spend over an hour clamping your hair with a flat iron to make it pin straight while you effortlessly rock it without even touching your hair. 

My hatred for my hair got so bad that I finally got not one, but two organic hair straightening treatments because the first wasn’t strong enough to tame my curls. 

But it didn’t take long before the treatment faded and my curls returned. Now looking back, that was probably a sign that my curls were meant to stick with me forever; they weren’t going anywhere. 

If I’m being totally honest, I still struggle with embracing my hair to this day; however, I’m taking steps in the right direction. I’m beginning to wear it natural more often in order to get myself more comfortable and confident in how it looks. I truly believe that everyone should be able to feel self-confident, especially in the things that make them different from everyone else. While this is something that’s always been a struggle for me, I hope to eventually overcome it and love my crazy hair the way it is. 

Deep down, I know that while curls are extremely high maintenance, when styled the right way they’re extremely dainty and original. Yes, it can be frizzy and hard to control, but it also portrays a fun and bubbly appearance which makes you stand out from the crowd in a positive way. 

Everyone wants to be someone they’re not. If you’re short, you wish to be taller. If you’re skinny, you hope to put on more weight. If you have curly hair, then you want it straight. Instead of being stuck in this narrow mindset, it’s important for us to be appreciative of what we have and own it. Dwelling over the perfect ideal version of ourselves that we have in our heads only leads us to misery; nothing good comes from it. Embracing our differences will allow us to all be unique and confident in the individuals that we develop into. So go unplug your flat iron and show off your voluminous curls.