My natural hair brought me closer to my roots!
Since it’s Hispanic Heritage Month, I wanted to give you a little insight into what it’s like to be a Dominican woman who proudly wears her afro.
I grew up in the Dominican Republic, where going to the hair salon to get your hair straightened was almost a right of passage into womanhood. I remember going to the hair salon with my mother and sisters and spending hours going through the arduous process of straightening my hair. Needless to say, there would not be a curl in sight by the end of the process. After years of following this routine, it became my norm.
Fast-forward to now: I’ve been wearing my natural curly hair for a few years and feel so much closer to my roots. For years I was forcing my hair to do something it didn’t naturally do, and that made me feel like I was denying who I was and where I came from. Unfortunately, following this path does come with stares, questions and even uncomfortable comments.
To an old-school Dominican, the act of wearing one’s natural hair seems rebellious. But to the new generations, breaking the norm and wearing our natural hair has become an option. I get really excited when I talk to my young cousins in the DR and they tell me how much they love embracing their curls.
The reality is that the natural hair movement is not a trend; it’s a movement that is here to stay. Some people will understand it and some will not, and that’s okay. For me, I feel closer to my Dominican roots and I feel proud to represent natural women in the process!
For Curly Tips, help with your transition and all things curly, you can find me on YouTube at Jiolka Peralta and on Instagram @diazynochex. Free the fro!
By: Jiolka Peralta