Growing out my curls

I was cleaning up my blog the other day and stumbled upon an old post where I link my personal growth and hair evolution together. The essence of it was the less I put to my hair through with all the ammonia from hair dyes, the more I was “maturing” in way.

At the root, it was mostly about embracing my darker hair. But I wasn’t really embracing it fully just yet as I was still annually getting new hair growth chemically straightened, a process also known as “re-bonding”. This breaks the natural structure of hair usually with chemicals or heat or in some cases, both.

It’s a popular procedure in the Philippines, because according to beauty standards there, you are considered “beautiful” with straight hair. On top of that, there is also a collective shame that comes with having curls as if you had a choice how you were born 😅 This shame along with other experiences growing up is something I carried on my shoulders.

Last year was pretty rocky for me, but an important lesson I got out of it was that I still have a long way to go for me to finally embrace who I am.

It may sound silly that I’m making the connection with something as trivial as hair with the “journey” of embracing an identity. But I’ve started to realise how my need to be perfect in the eyes of others closest to me (and beyond) caused me to lose identities that actually are a core of who I am.

All of that is correlated to the need to be accepted and not be the black sheep in groups that I’m in. In the Philippines, I was weird for having curls. In the UK, I was bullied for having huge hair. Weirdly, getting my hair straightened was also a way to get myself in line with everyone else.

At the end of that blog post, I shared:

I’d like to one day rock my natural curls again

Well…that time has finally arrived. Better late than never!


Step 1: cut it all off

Over the year, my hair got shorter and shorter.

It wasn’t really about getting a new look per se, but I increasingly felt that I needed to release the build up of stress and tension that was the result of not-so-great situations I put myself in. That might be another post in the future. 🫣

I started 2023 off with 20” of hair.

Then 16″ – I wasn’t a fan of the cut here.

14″ – I actually really liked this length!

8″ – I stopped here because I realised that any shorter didn’t feel like a great idea.


Step 2: dye it back

Shortly after this, I did go to the salon one last time to dye my hair back to full black and completely removed my highlights.


Step 3: let it grow

My hair has grown since, but it’s difficult to tell as I’ve really patiently tried to get my natural hair come back. And curls are obviously shorter. 😆 At this rate, to get back to the length it was before I’m expecting it to take another year or so. Even that’s generous!

I don’t like giving up easily, especially after I set my mind to a goal.

But there have been moments where I’ve nearly booked a re-bonding appointment to just straighten it all out. 😅

For now, I’m in this awkward phase of half my head being chemically straightened and the other half curly (mostly near my roots!)

To bypass this transition phase, you may see me making the most out of hats, french braids, clips, headbands and good hair days which admittedly are very rare these days 🤣


Whenever I feel like giving up, I’ll return to this post. 😄

If anyone out there is going through a similar hair transition, I recommend checking out this Instagram account. It’s actually all in Portuguese so I don’t understand most of the content, but it is motivating to see others go through similar journeys!

For a sneak peak of my natural state, you can go back and read my hair evolution blog post.

Thanks for reading! 👩🏻‍🦱

One response to “Growing out my curls”

  1. I think the curls look cute honestly. shrugs I mean sometimes curly or wavy hair can be a pain. Mine is naturally wavy and when it gets too long likes to puff out which I hate.

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