Natural Hair Confessions – Struggles of a Curly Girl

drawing of woman of color with curly, natural hair
Tara Santos, Curly Girl

February 2019

“Am I a 2c, 3b or 4c?
Wavy, curly, coiled, kinky.
Monday, Wednesday, Saturday. Is it wash day again?
Water for a refresh OR water mixed with conditioner?
Diffuse or Wash-n-Go?
CG Method?
Is my hair low, medium or high porosity?
POLYQUATS?! Was I supposed to learn that in high school during Chemistry class?
Shrinkage. Everyone despises shrinkage…”

Those are some of the thoughts and questions a curly girl (or boy) asks when trying to embrace their natural hair. Having curly hair can be like a guessing game with no clue how your hair will end up until its dry. You have your good hair days, great hair days and downright bad hair days.

Taking the good with the bad

Wearing natural hair is not always seen as “beautiful”, “neat” or “professional”. It poses as a struggle for many to embrace their natural state and instead spend money on straightening or chemically treating their hair to be accepted and meet the socio-economic pressures. This also proves to become a mental and emotional challenge.

NYC Leading the Way

As a curly girl myself, it makes me so proud that NYC has become one of the very few municipalities in the country to ban discrimination based on hair. The New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”) protects the rights of New Yorkers to maintain natural hair or hairstyles that are closely associated with their racial, ethnic, or cultural identities. May this be a step in the right direction to empower and embrace all ethnicities equally! After all, A LOT of product studying, research, and trial and error is required in order to maintain natural hair.

To read more on the new law click here:

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8 thoughts on “Natural Hair Confessions – Struggles of a Curly Girl”

  1. Rosanette Toscamo

    Congrats Tara from a curly hair to another that love this hair but it will take a long time to understand. Besos!

  2. It’s about time this law was passed. There’s no reason why anyone should pass judgment over someone else’s appearance. Our uniqueness starts with our hair.

  3. Lisa A Sheridan

    Great article Tara!! Although you present your story in a light and humorous manner, we can see the bias that exists in the business world. You are so correct to recognize the importance of NYC’s new law.

    Thanks for sharing the struggle!

  4. Soralice Guevara

    Hey Tara,
    Girl the struggle is real. I totally identify with you. I enjoyed reading this very much. By the way I still don’t know what type of curly hair I am. Great job. Te felicito y mucho exito, besos.

  5. Lissette Santos

    Thanks for your Article.
    Keep Up the Great Work you’re doing, You Always Keep Reaching for More and I Love it.

  6. Sol D. Revilla

    In her first novel, The House on Mango Street, the popular Mexican American poet and author Sandra Cisneros, wrote a chapter entitled “Hairs/Pelitos”. In a nonthreatening, sweetly sensitive style of writing Cisneros brought to light the differences in the hair textures of her family members. I commend you Tara for using a similar writing approach to weave together two social issues…the unique struggle with hair textures and the NYC Human Rights law which bans discrimination based on hair. Your article was such a eye opener in more ways than one.
    S.D. Revilla

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