3 Women Share Their Natural Hair Journeys

by nyljaouadi1
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Growing up, I always wanted hair that I didn’t have: straight and blonde. Instead, I had light-brown, wavy, frizzy locks that I absolutely hated. I did everything I possibly could to change it. There was that one time I had a friend glue extensions in. (All I really remember now is crying in the shower trying to get the glue out.) Then there was the time I insisted on dyeing my hair red with black tips while on vacation. (This was during a very questionable stage in my life.) And the time I was in ninth grade and went to a very fancy salon to have my color completely stripped and colored again. Not only did it take seven hours, but the bill was $700. Let’s just say my dad was not happy when he picked me up.

All of this got me thinking about the bonds we all have with our hair. I sure as hell put mine through a lot, but in the last eight years, my relationship with it has totally blossomed. I wonder had there been a tool years ago like the Dyson Corrale™ Hair Straightener ($500) that uses intelligent heat control to automatically control the temperature based on my specific hair type and flexing-plate technology, which essentially gives more control on each pass, maybe I would have had a healthier relationship with my hair all along. Over the years, I’ve realized just how much my hair is part of my identity, a reflection of who I was at each stage in my life, and no matter how I feel about it at any given time, the bond I have with it can’t be broken. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way, which is why I tapped three women—Who What Wear market editor Indya Brown and content creators Natacha John and Melany Rodriguez—with different hair types to share their personal journeys and how they’ve learned to accept and love their locks too.  

“I remember every Sunday I would sit on the living room floor between my mom’s legs and she would braid my hair for the week. It was always such a long, tedious process but looking back it’s such a sweet memory. I’m sure every Black girl can relate! I also bleached my hair to get golden-blonde curls. It was cute until it was fried! I love that now I feel like I have more options to switch up my hairstyle without seriously damaging or losing my natural curl pattern.” — John 

“As I’ve gotten older, I’ve definitely learned to see the beauty in my hair in all its forms. I love how versatile it is and how tools like the Dyson Corrale have helped changed the relationship I have with my hair. It fits seamlessly in my hair routine and helps me have fun with my look without being too stressed that I might damage my natural curls, and it’s all because of the flexing plates which make it easy to gather all of my hair and do less passes. I have 3b/3c curls, which is deceiving because my hair can get so big and look really full, but it’s actually low-density. Because of my hair type, I use the 410-degree heat setting, but it always comes out so silky-smooth.” — John

Editor’s note: Flexing plates shape around the hair, gathering it neatly together on each pass for more control. This means you can achieve the same style with less heat and up to half the damage compared to conventional solid plates.

“I used to be hyper-fixated on having my hair ‘done’ at all times. I always believed that in order to go out or look presentable, my hair had to be in a very polished style. I would use so much excessive heat on my hair and then decided to bleach it platinum blonde. I had such terrible split ends you could honestly see them from a distance. I wish I would have realized much earlier on that my natural hair was just as beautiful and I didn’t need to try to change it and damage it in the process. I want to scream this from the rooftops to all the little girls around the world who feel the same way I did.” — Rodriguez

“As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more conscious of what I use on my hair to avoid thinning and more damage. That’s why I love the Dyson Corrale. It’s helped me find my love for styling hair without feeling guilty. The technology is truly unlike anything I’ve ever used before, like the intelligent heat control that helps avoid excessive heat damage. I only had to use the 365-degree heat setting to get this wavy look! I took a piece of hair at my roots, placed it into the center of the plates, and worked my way down, rotating it at the ends to get the wave. It only took me 25 minutes—about half the time it’d take me using another tool.” — Rodriguez 

Editor’s note: Intelligent heat control essentially responds to the thickness, texture, and length of your hair and automatically controls the temperature for optimal styling results.

“I’ve always looked at my thick hair as a challenge. Having hair that’s difficult to style definitely made me feel insecure. Something as simple as putting it in a ponytail required a lot of manpower and extra-thick scrunchies. Growing up, I definitely would think things like, If only I had a looser curl pattern, or If only my hair were less dense. Up until the age of 10, I always wore my hair curly and, during elementary school, mostly in cornrows or other elaborate braiding styles. Having silk-straight hair always seemed like a dream to me, but my mom never let me put in a relaxer to permanently straighten it.

“Around fifth grade, I went to a Dominican salon in the Bronx, and they applied a texturizer to my hair to loosen up my coily texture. I came out having silky-straight hair, and I remember once I went to school, everyone I ran into was shocked—it was like that Manny Degrassi moment. My straight hair was a hit with my classmates, but it sort of ruined my hair because I didn’t know how to properly care for chemically treated hair at the time. But that didn’t stop me. I started to religiously get relaxers for over a decade, and while it cut down on the time I spent styling my hair, in the end, my hair never truly felt healthy. I finally decided to stop getting them once and for all when I found that my relaxed hair didn’t agree with tight braiding styles. It would just fall out in clumps after having it braided for weeks.” — Brown

“Now, I’ve learned to embrace my hair and try to figure out what works harmoniously with it rather than try to make it something it’s not. Occasionally, I wish I had a hair texture that would allow me to do wash-and-gos like it’s nothing, but I realized when it comes to hair, the grass is always greener. That’s why I’m so into the Dyson Corrale. It has saved me so much time. I would rarely straighten my hair because it always felt incredibly daunting to tediously detangle, blow-dry, and straighten it in small sections. But paired with the Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer ($400) and the comb attachment, the Corrale allows me to straighten my hair in half the time. I love that this combo gives me straight hair with lots of volume. After my hair is dry, I use the 410-degree heat setting to straighten it and pass it through my hair in small sections once. It’s also great that I can do it cord-free for up to 30 minutes—long enough to complete my hairstyle!—because having a dangling cord wrap around your arms while passing it through is not fun!” — Brown

Editor’s note: The Dyson Corrale has up to 30 minutes of cord-free run time. Whenever it isn’t in use, keep it in the charging dock to maximize its cord-free run time. 

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