Location: Los Angeles, California
Occupation: Vlogger, Dancer, Vocalist, Musician
When I was young, I had really curly hair. As a toddler the ringlets looked cute, and my mama left it long. As I got older, I got a “proper” boy’s haircut, meaning short and cropped on the side with a slight quiff on top.
I would say I wore that hairstyle for my entire childhood-adolescent years.
The first time I really noticed that my hair was different than the other boys was on picture day of my 6th grade year. All the boys in my class were wearing their hair in spikes (an ode to the early 2000’s) and naturally, at that age, I wanted to look cool like all the other boys in my class.
I asked the grandma of one of my friends to comb my hair like she had combed her grandson’s.
She agreed and pulled out her gel, spray bottle and comb. However, when she put the products into my hair and began “spiking” it, my hair immediately became very coarse and thick and almost matted.
She then let out a little chuckle and told me that I “didn’t have good hair for spiking” which immediately gave me a slight complex.
Because that’s exactly what a 12 year old boy wants to hear, right?
I mean, it wasn’t bad enough that I was the ONLY Latino/Mixed boy in my class, slightly overweight, glasses-wearing, super socially awkward and way too self-aware for my age.
Now I added to the list…”weird hair”.
You see I didn’t hear the “for spiking” part, all I heard was “you don’t have good hair” which in turn was translated as “you’re not good”. It may not seem like a big deal for some, but when you are already teased and outcast for being different, it just seems like another leaf in the pile.
But that’s all a story for another time.
I went through my teen years fighting against my hair. Keeping it short, straightening it, and gel it to death attempting to keep puffiness at bay.
In high school, I attended a private school that was very conservative and a bit repressive tbh, when it came to any sort of artistic endeavor…or individuality for that matter.
I mean, they didn’t allow us to dance at all because they thought it would lead to sex….really…not joking. No school dances, no talent shows. Nada. We weren’t even allowed to talk about it…lame.
They were adamant that boys hair be no more than three inches long on top and the sides could not cover your ear or touch the collar of your shirt in the back. Let me tell you, they were vigilant when it came to the enforcing of these rules.
It wasn’t until I graduated from high school and got myself away from ignorant, small-minded people, that I really discovered who I was as an artist/dancer/ musician/performer.
That’s when I decided to let my hair be free. It was sort of a metaphor for all the junk I had carried around for all those years and a sort of rebellion to the ones who thought long hair was only for hippies and drug addicts.
I guess I kinda saw it as a way to say “hey, look! I have long hair, I am still a good person, I still love God, I don’t steal, I have manners.”
It was a polite middle finger to the world, I suppose.
So, four years later my hair is long and natural and I love it and I have no intention of cutting it anytime soon. Funny enough, it has kind of taken on a life of its own. From my arsenal of hair products to all the attention and stares I receive, I have come to realize that I am my hair.
Last week I had the awesome opportunity to meet the WONDERFUL chica from DailyCurlz.com. We were both rocking the big curls in Miami! Check out her blog and YouTube for great tips, product recommendations and tutorials for curly hair. Connect with Daily Curlz on Twitter & Facebook!