CurlFest 2017

Hair Goals AF: In The Presence of Melanin Magic

This past weekend I attended CurlFest and for those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s basically a magical gathering of  women and men of color embracing their natural hair. Hosted by Curly Girl Collective, the event featured music, food trucks, art, tons of vendors, and a whole lot of good vibes. It took place at Prospect Park in Brooklyn on Saturday and the area was packed with people rocking fros, dreads, braids, twists… almost anything you could think of. And let me just say, they came to SLAY. There were a lot of natural hair bloggers and brands around, I even scored some free samples of products. Overall it was such a great time.

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Why It Matters: My Curly Hair Story

Every since elementary school I didn’t know what to do with my hair. My mom braided it for me for a while, but when I started doing my own hair I would just throw it in a fluffy ponytail. Since I’m biracial, my curl pattern was moderately loose, but very thick, mildly course, and it would frizz very easily. By sixth grade I started straightening it with an iron… an actual clothes iron. Eventually I did get a hair flat iron, and I became increasingly more confident with my hair straight. Why is that? It’s because straight hair is thought to look more “tame.” More professional, more acceptable, more beautiful. Guys always flirted with me more when my hair was straight and girls would always compliment me more.

It’s because straight hair is thought to look more “tame.” More professional, more acceptable, more beautiful.

I straightened my hair at least every other week all the way through high school. If I had school pictures, a date, or an awards ceremony guess how I wore my hair. It wasn’t until college when I started getting tired of the damage and decided to take a break from straightening it as much. But, even so, I wouldn’t say I actually EMBRACED my curls until very recently. I made some new friends this past year in graduate school (beautiful, intelligent women of color) and they talked to me more about black hair than anyone else had offered me before.

Being in a new city and a new environment alone showed me how much people who I didn’t grow up with were amazed by my natural hair (not to mention the fact that I dye it a new color like every other month). I mean of course some of my friends from home liked my curly hair (my best friend is obsessed with it) and I’m from the Detroit area so it’s not like I only knew white people. But my hair was different than the other black girls I knew and nothing like the white girls I knew, so it just wasn’t something people were exposed to often in my hometown, myself included. That’s the thing about being mixed, you’re either not white enough or not black enough and my hair was definitely an example of that. The two other mixed girls I knew didn’t really know how to care for their hair either to be honest.

That’s the thing about being mixed, you’re either not white enough or not black enough and my hair was definitely an example of that.

Fast forward to now, I have lived in New York state for over a year and in NYC for about a month and I have already seen so many more women with similar curl patterns to my own. And, thanks to the Internet, I have also been exposed to so many more ways of styling it and caring for it. Now I can actually say that I EMBRACE my curly hair. No matter how big it is. As a matter of fact, the bigger the better! ❤

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Outfit Details:

Sheer Rose Bodysuit: Forever 21 // Black High-Waisted Jeans: Forever 21 // Infrared Jordan 10s // Graphic Collage Purse: (A street market in Italy) // Rose Lace Halter Bra: VS Pink

xoxo, Kayla

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