14 Years of Hair Straightening

Ever since I was young,
I was told that my hair wasn’t nice.
I’ve been straightening my hair since elementary school.
Everyone around me made fun of me.
They called me “brillo pad.”
I kept straightening my hair until I was 24,
Which means I straightened my hair for 14 years.
My hair bothered me so much,
That I started wearing the hijab when I was in middle school,
So people would stop looking at me.
At least outside the house.

I used to get scared that one of my friends would come over and see my hair.
I was even afraid that my husband would see it when it wasn’t straightened.

Then, suddenly, when I was 24,
I decided to stop all this nonsense.
I figured out how to deal with my hair’s natural texture.
It became curly,
And I liked it more that way.
It’s true that I still get negative comments,
But I feel better.

Warning The stories on our story archive could contain potentially sensitive and/or triggering material. If a story causes you discomfort or pain, please remember to breathe and check in with yourself before continuing or stop reading completely if necessary.