Girl Behind The Blog :: I AM (not) My Hair…

Hair… Beautiful, pretty-ful hair. I had such a love-hate relationship with my hair growing up. I use to wish I had straight hair so I could fit in with my straight haired cousins and would take a flat iron to it whenever I could… Then, when I finally embraced my curls in college, I resented the fact that my hair seemed to be my only claim to beauty. My face is not symmetrical, my smile is crooked since I was born without a canine tooth, I have a lazy eye and my jaw bone is nonexistent (hello no chin)… According to “society’s beauty/photogenic standards”, I am not pretty. Maybe exotic but not beautiful. But my curly hair? My hair has always been “beautiful” even in those moments when I felt I wasn’t…

When Charles and I first started dating, my hair was even longer than it is today… I remember when I told him (after a year into our relationship) that I was going to cut my hair super short. His eyes went wide and he said, “But why? I love it long…”And in that moment, I wondered if he loved my hair more than he loved me. Crazy, right? But it was an honest thought that crossed my mind… I told him to get ready to love it short and left for the salon with renewed energy to chop my hair off in retaliation. Cutting my hair that day turned into a form of protest… A test to see if he loved me the same without my hair… A test he obviously passed since we’re still together 7 years later. I now know he would love me bald if it came down to it. 
I remember the day I walked into what would be my future apartment in NYC over 3 years ago. I had found a place on Craig’s List that seemed too good to be true and had scheduled an appointment to check out the apartment in person. The minute I walked through the door, I was welcomed by 3 curly haired women and we formed an immediate kinship. Needless to say, I moved in a month later and in the following 2 years, I learned so much about curly hair from my roommate, Meg, a curly hair specialist (all you curly folks in NYC need to set up an appointment with her via Devachan Salon asap). Meg taught me self love in that through her teachings: I learned that for all the justifiable reasons why I believed I was NOT my hair, there were just as many valid (and positive) reasons for why I AM my hair… Love you Meg. Thank you for helping me to embrace my natural (inner & outer) beauty. 

Hello there… My name is Setarra and I can finally say without any doubt or sarcasm: I love my hair. It’s not perfect.. There are days when my curls look spectacular and many more days when it’s a frizzy mess… But my hair is a direct reflection of my mixed heritage; a cultural kaleidoscope I’m proud to represent. 

Where am I going with this? I have no idea. These are just moments in my life that come to mind when I think about my hair journey and I simply felt like expressing my truth. I haven’t straightened my hair in 2 years and feel pretty damn proud of myself for not “giving in”. But who knows, there may come a day in the future when I feel like straightening my hair and when that day comes, I won’t beat myself up about it either. Whether long or short, straight or curly… It’s just hair, right? Looking back I realize how hard I was on myself… But no more. Beauty starts with confidence and confidence comes from within.

And you? What’s the story behind your hair? Love it? Hate it? Building a better relationship with it? I’d love to hear your story in the comments below because if there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that everybody has some kind of hair story to tell :)

*photos taken by Charles on a moody Friday afternoon while sipping on wine and listening to Michael Buble…

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