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My Curly Hair Journey – With Locks of Love :)
A Tamil curly girlie's journey.
Niresha Umaichelvam
Solicitor
United Kingdom
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Something a little different from my usual blogging of human rights issues and current affairs…during lockdown I embarked on a little venture of embracing and helping girls around the world learn to love their curls!

My Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/curly_popx/) is my little page of all things curly hair related; from sharing my tips and tricks, hairstyles, products and little snippets of my personality and quirks. 

For example, curly hair meets hat hair? I’ve got you covered with 5 hairstyles to rock snapbacks galore…

https://www.instagram.com/p/CCy8gnrJj4M

Growing up, curl by curl

I’m a Sri Lankan island “gyal” (haha!) born and raised in London, UK. Apart from my love of Sri Lankan Tamil food - I love the culture, colours and curls my motherland has given me.

Growing up, I used to straighten my hair everyday and sadly lost my curls in its entirety due to heat damage. It was actually my dad who encouraged me to love my natural hair. My mum used to have the most beautiful curly locks I ever did see, but growing up, I could never achieve what she had. The road to recovery from excessive heat damage to restoring my curls, which I love to call “my locks of love”, made me realise how unique my hair is and is a part of me. I did find during my university years, I struggled with embracing my curls in comparison to other south Asian girls who had silky, straight hair. I wanted to fit in as opposed to stand out. It is funny to me that now I prefer to stand out than blend in.

I would question myself: I would never put myself down, so why was I being so abrasive towards my hair? I learned to embrace my hair and new growth of curls and found beauty in every ringlet. It wasn’t easy at first but as with all things, time is a great healer.

Curly hair represents my culture to me. I know so many Sri Lankan girls who have curls and waves but turn to straighteners because there are perceptions that our curls are “unruly”; need to be “tamed” and look “untidy”.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CAyDGr3lMEB

To me, my curls defy breaking boundaries and empowering self – love in all its natural glory. No two washdays produce the same results and I adore the versatility that my curls offer me.

Here’s a video of how I fix my curls during a washday!

https://www.instagram.com/p/B_-i1OtJSRA

Sharing curl power

I think a turning point for me was when I cut 10 inches of super healthy curly hair last August for The Little Princess Trust and raised enough money for the Charity to craft a wig, for children with terminal illnesses. When I spoke to elders for their support, I think a newfound respect emerged of just how much our tresses play a role in our self-identity. Cutting my hair, for me, was like sharing a piece of my heart with another prince or princess. More so, since my donating 10 inches, I do not care for other people’s opinions on my hair, albeit I have never really encountered any negative commentary about it.

After cutting my hair in August 2019

Your hair is YOU. Don’t let anyone put you down and tell your hair is any less than a counterpart with silky straight hair. Wear your hair with pride, in its raw and natural beauty. We sadly live in a world where being an ethnic minority comes with many daily qualms but our hair does not deserve judgement from others.

Wear your locks of love, with locks of love, always.

🙂

 

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Niresha Umaichelvam
Solicitor
United Kingdom
Sharing my articles on legal matters from my blog, https://nireshanegotiates.wordpress....
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