The Journey of the Beautiful

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I remember at summer camp or pool parties, specifically, being so embarrassed about having to braid my hair back and wear caps to keep my hair dry when I wanted to go swimming. While my friends, who were mostly white, could wet their hair in the shower and come out with it still looking sleek, mine poufed up and I was really sad about it. I thought my hair was ugly.

I'm not even exactly sure why I thought that about my hair. I just remember when I would watch TV as a kid, no one's hair was like mine.

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There was no representation. On top of that, kids would joke about my hair, and call me Buckwheat , call my hair nappy. I think I internalized a lot of that, too. I ended up perming my hair in , my senior year of high school. But I also dyed it within the span of two weeks, back to back, and my hair fell out.

Life Isn’t Always Beautiful But The Journey Is

That's when I started going back natural to help my hair grow. But even though at that time natural hair was becoming more popular, with my texture, I still worried about being able to get a job, because we're taught that natural African American hair is not professional. But I've definitely grown to appreciate how different my hair is since. And getting compliments from people who say they love my texture helps a lot, too.

These days, I feel like I can wake up and it'll look good if I just fluff it out, I don't even feel the need to do any extra twisting or anything like that to manipulate it. The joy I've found through my hair is finally being able to appreciate my heritage, and understand that beauty is diversified.

One day, I'll probably have a daughter who may have hair like mine, and I'll be able to encourage her to love her hair, too. Then one year, I went to Afropunk with some friends, and I saw so many girls with their natural hair out, and I wanted that, too. That marked the beginning of my transition. Once I had a good amount of new growth, I was finally ready to cut off my permed ends.

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And ironically, it was New Year's Eve that day — the perfect time for a new beginning. I went to a salon I had gone to a few times in Astoria, NY, to get my cut, and I thought it looked amazing once my stylist was done. It was the first time I was really getting to see all of my texture, and I got really, really excited thinking about all the things I could do with my hair in its new form.

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When it was time to get my hair styled, I remember I went to an Afro-Latina woman's chair, who appeared to either have a relaxer or tight curls she straightened a lot. While she was styling my hair, I could see it in her face that she was getting really frustrated. Then she said to me, 'You need to put something in this. You need a treatment like keratin or something, or else it's just going to be Afro-y.

I immediately got up out of her chair and told her she didn't need to style me, then I went home and just did it myself. It just sucked hearing those words from another black woman.

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But from there on, it was honestly a whole learning process — and at times, a struggle. I couldn't do a lot of the styles I used to do when my hair was permed anymore. I had to find new products, make extra time on weekends for wash day, things like that. I also had to let go of certain expectations I had for my hair, like being obsessed with having a defined curl pattern.

Sometimes my hair just does whatever it wants to do, and I'm really comfortable with that now. The joy of having 4C hair is the fact that it's so strong. My hair can handle a lot of different styles. And once you master your hair care routine, you just are so much more confident.

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That's when I transitioned from using a perm to going natural. I started off wearing braids for about a year to help my hair grow, and then after I took them out, I finally got to explore my hair texture a little bit. But to be honest, I didn't know how to work with my hair. Sign in. Choose your subscription.

My Journey Into The World Of Men's Beauty

Not sure which package to choose? Try full access for 4 weeks. For 4 weeks receive unlimited Premium digital access to the FT's trusted, award-winning business news. Premium Digital. Team or Enterprise. Premium FT. If you are really paying attention you may even get to see one of the tiny treasures along the glistening leaves in the gardens of Blue Osa. True yin and yang, Susi is a nature lover and tech geek.

Primarily an IT Consultant, whose passion for the rainforest launched her adjunct career as a Wildlife Educator for young children. Susi recently launched a socially conscious bag company, SolB as the Designer and Founder. Different styles of bags for all kinds of adventures from yoga mat carriers, water bottles to small pet carriers. Yoga, kayaking, and movies are favorites, and of course, traveling to towns near and far, both solo and with family.

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Even a trip around the corner, down a different road, can be an adventure! I look forward to continuing to live life and meet its challenges head on. Your email address will not be published. Learn More.

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Favorites of the Forest The plant and animal life provide enough riches to last a million lifetimes. Stars enlighten our taste buds Our taste buds too can be satiated by the edible jewels of the rainforest including fresh flowers, plants, and fruits. Jungle Gems The fauna and flora of the rainforest of Corcovado are indeed true jewels to be treasured. Ask us how you too can indulge your mind, body and soul while connecting with the jewels of the rainforest! Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published.

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