Aneya: Having naturally curly hair is both a burden and a blessing. It's a handful to work with, it gets knotty and tangly within minutes, you can't run your hands through it, and you can only brush it when it's wet. It's also something many women envy, and pay good money to obtain.
Lauren: That's the truth. It can really be a pain. If someone tries to touch or brush it, it is just painful, but curly hair can just add a lot to someone's face. I feel like my crazy, knotty hair is an extension of my personality if that makes sense. I just don't look like myself without my frizzy head of hair. Aneya and I are among the group of women who have curly hair and embrace it.
Aneya: Then there's the other women. The ones that shun their curls, and spend hours painstakingly straightening their hair every morning. This is such a common thing in the States, you'll hear many women say "Oh, I have naturally curly hair, but it looks horrible that way." Well that's kind of an insult to those who wear their curls loud and proud. But that's the States for you. Whatever's in, is what's important. Right now, for instance, Hollywood is going through the "Miley Cyrus" wave, which is so fake looking it kills me.
Lauren: I know more about straighteners than I do about any other product just because I've had so many friends who have straightened or wanted to straighten my hair. There's the ceramic-plated ones, which are said not to burn your hair as much, the "gold"-plated ones. Women in the States will spend hours (and loads of money) trying to take the kink out of their hair.
Aneya: Here in Chile, Lauren and I have already noted the lack of vanity. Yes, there are women who wear lots of makeup and do crazy things with their hair. But the majority of women go au naturale, and the same goes with their hair. I've seen more dark curly hair here than anywhere in the U.S. And it's really quite pleasing to see. You'll see long, natural waves, short, tight curls, a mixture of both. The comforting thing is that you know it's all natural, and they are embracing what God gave them. I like that.
Lauren: There something about curly hair that forms a kinship between people, at least women for sure. It was something that Aneya and I instantly bonded over when we first met (Oh, the Daily Forty-Niner). You know that the person goes through some grueling morning routine, that no man will ever be able her touch her hair without her wincing or grimacing, and that she still would rather embrace what God gave her rather than create an artificial look.
Here in Chile there are so many women with curly hair, and I love it. For me it means 1.) I will be able to go to a hairdresser that knows how to "work with" curly hair and 2.) there are a litany of curly-hair products. Both those things are so hard to come by in the U.S. If you have curly hair and go to get your hair cut, the hairdresser always wants to straighten it or cut it for a straight look because that's what's popular.
Aneya: People here are just more relaxed about everything, including their hair, it's almost a relief, really. Coming from L.A., where everyone looks perfect and put together all the time, you feel pressure to look a certain way too. There were times when I wished my hair was more "normal" or easier to maintain. But then I think about the women, especially black women, who spend thousands of dollars and countless hours getting weaves put in just to have hair like mine. And that's when I realize how lucky I am. Cause it's all natural, baby. No chemicals, no weaves, no fake, curling iron ringlets. Just what's on my head. And that's good enough for me.
Lauren: There's definitely no pressure from anyone to change how your hair is here. So many women embrace their curl it actually feels liberating.
-- Aneya & Lauren