Sunday Pinspiration No. 7: Curls!

 My hair has had a secret identity since I was 8 years old.

That was when I got my first chemical relaxer, kicking off a lifetime of expensive salon visits every three months to tame my spirally curls into straight submission. Which doesn't mean much — I still have to flatiron every time I wash my hair.

My parents and their parents are from the Dominican Republic, where a relaxer is a rite of passage. I've always had a complex about my hair. Black girls ask if it's real. White girls are perplexed by it. I spent years perfecting how I styled it in response to teasing from boys. And if you want to kill me, you could just throw me in a pool. Not wanting to get my hair wet is one reason I never learned to swim properly.

For all these reasons, I'm surprised that it's just now dawned on me that having curly hair might not be so bad. It might be fun. Maybe my fear of being perceived as childish and unsophisticated, which I associate with my hair being curly, is bull. Maybe I should believe all the people who, when I've let my hair air dry curly with some gel in it, have said they prefer my coquettish spirals.

I'm 25. It's far past time to outgrow a decision I made when my age was a single digit. 

Yes, I'll save money, time and release this idea that I'm not me without straight hair. 

But I'll also be able to indulge curiosity. I walk my talk, ya'll. I'm a beauty adventurer, and this is uncharted territory. I estimate I can grow out the relaxer and get my hair to the length I want in about eight months to a year. Until then, dealing with two opposing textures will be a hassle. The learning curve is steep.

I'm ready.

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