You guys know how I am about my curls.
I love them. They’re a part of me. They connect me to my boys in a way I find special, and they give me a confidence I wouldn’t feel daily without them.
In a way they define me.
As I enter the saggy, waggy, everything-wiggles-and-nothing-holds-shape phase of my life, they seem to be the only physical element that I don’t have any beef with.
But, it didn’t used to be that way.
My curls used to be a THING.
And, not a really cool, beautiful, fun thing.
A please-don’t-say-anything-about-my-hair-or-I-will-cry thing.
They made me noticeable. They made me unique. But mostly, they made me different.
I didn’t want to be noticed or unique, and in no way did I want to be, gasp, different.
I wanted Sandra’s long straight braids that hung down to her waist, or La’Tijera’s short, pointy braids that stuck out from her head like Pipi Longstocking. I begged my mother daily for two long, thin pigtails, bow at the top, barrette at the bottom.
When I hit middle school, I wanted Kelly’s 90210 style…
Massive fail, clearly, but I was committed to not having a big bush of intrigue and excitement following me about where ever I went.
I guess it was a personal confidence thing. I didn’t like extra attention. I didn’t like people asking my mom about it, and commenting on it, and asking if they could touch it, or not asking and just touching it.
There was a brief period in high school where I enjoyed the male flavored attention I received because of my “good hair” blessing, but it was short lived and not positive enough to make it a part of me. In fact, I pretended like I loved my hair because I was supposed to love my hair, not because I actually loved my hair.
Sadly I was not alone. According to Dove Hair, only 4 in 10 little girls with curly hair think their hair is beautiful, and only 10% of women in the U.S. with curly hair feel proud of their hair.
Well, that blows.
Every little girl (and boy) deserves to feel beautiful and I hate to think about the sadness and shame that some other little lady is out there feeling right now simply because she was blessed with curly hair.
I want them to know it’s beautiful and embrace its awesome. Like I do now. Like my Dudes have always.
For me, I couldn’t learn to love my hair until I learned to care for my hair.
When I went on What NOT to Wear in 2010, my hair was my biggest concern. I remember sitting in Ted Gibson’s chair, crying, real life tears, over my hair and how much I love-hated it. I wanted to love it, but I hated it because I didn’t know how.
Ted helped me start.
He gave me a good cut, that was flattering and manageable, and he talked to me extensively about how I could care for my hair in a way that would make it continue to look and feel the way it did after he finished with it for years to come.
Ted was my hair genie.
But everyone can’t afford a high powered hair genie.
Dove is trying to make it so we don’t have to.
The “love your curls” campaign wants curly girls like the one I used to be to skip all that love-hate business and get straight to the lovin’.
Dove Quench Absolute line helps women grow and keep healthy curls. The kind that are as manageable as they are beautiful. The kind that don’t leave us frustrated and unhappy. The kind we can be proud to rock.
The products infuse your hair with protein and nutrients so that no matter your cut, not matter your style, your curls are left hair feeling silky and smooth and light and free. Exactly the way curly hair was meant to feel.
Have a curly girl in your life? Personalize and share the Love Your Curls book with her! The stories and poetry inside were inspired by girls and their curls and Dove hopes that the beautiful words and images captured there by author Taiye Selasi and illustrator Annick Poirier will help curly girls everywhere embrace and celebrate the beauty that is their hair. You can download a free copy here: Love Your Curls.
*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post brought to you on behalf of Dove Hair, Love Your Curls program. They sent me product and compensation to facilitate this post. All opinions, awkward tween years, and epic curls are my own.