For those of you that know me, you know that I have insane hair. It's different textures, it's dark brown (borderline black), it's unruly, it's always knotted, it's always frizzy, there's so much of it, I can never control it, and I shed more than my dog did. But, despite its many many flaws, I still love my hair, although it hasn't always been that way.

When I was younger, I had beautiful hair. It was soft instead of coarse, it looked healthy and shiny, and, dare I say, it was even kind of straight (it still had a few kinks here and there). I didn't have to go to a special hairdresser and I didn't have to spend a bunch of money on fancy products that say that they'll "fix" my hair.

My hair started to change around fifth grade when I started to straighten it. I think that's what really threw my hair over the edge because I would straighten it without putting protective product in and now, some 8 years later, I can see and feel the difference between the hair that I used to straighten all the time and the hair that I left alone. One of the reasons why I straightened my hair was because I didn't love it. I grew up with the idea in mind that straight hair was the most beautiful hair because that's what the media was telling me. But, as I got older, I realized that I was being an idiot and that all hair (and a lack thereof) is beautiful.

Now, because of my 5th-grade self and mentality, part of my hair will always be heat damaged, but I don't see that as an issue. The damaged parts of my hair are a constant reminder to myself to love my hair, even if it is a mess. I stopped trying to control it and let it do its own thing. The most styling I'll ever do is put it in a bun, or a ponytail, and, on special occasions, I'll braid it or have one of my friends braid it (I have so much hair my arms get tired from braiding).

Even though my hair isn't like how it used to be, it's still beautiful. I might even say I love it more than my younger self's hair as it's representative and part of my journey of self-love because learning to love my hair also meant learning to love who I am.