How to Embrace Natural Hair

Our hair says a lot about us. It’s part of our identity—something that has been with us through thick and thin, quite literally, and is a direct reflection of who we are at each stage in our lives. Hair is a unique form of self expression; thus, it should always be celebrated. Every woman has a story about her hair, and to my good fortune, my lovely friend and co-worker Anna Dominguez, Who What Wear’s associate fashion editor, was down to chat with me about all things hair. Below, Dominguez shares her personal hair journey (and not to mention some extremely cute childhood photos) in hopes of inspiring others to embrace their natural texture.

When Dominguez was a little girl, all she wanted was to snap her fingers and suddenly have different hair, especially when she was around her crush or girls she thought were cooler than her. “I always envied my friend in high school who had long, perfectly straight hair because everyone always gave her the attention,” Dominguez tells me. “I know it’s silly to say now, but growing up, there weren’t a lot of boys who had crushes on me because—I felt—I looked different.” This feeling of being out of place was present for Dominguez from a young age, which ultimately led her to experiment with a number of hair treatments, tools (like straightening her hair every single day for years), and hair dyes (including bleach!) in order to feel as if she fit in better with her white peers. Not surprisingly, her strands were left dry, brittle, and downright damaged. It wasn’t until just a couple of years ago, when Dominguez was 22 that she really felt ready to embrace her hair in its most natural form. “I was sick of always needing to cut off more length than I wanted, and deep down I just knew that I needed to preserve the health of my hair,” Dominguez tells me. 

The best part about accepting her curls is her newfound hair health. “I cry happy tears every time my hairdresser comments on how healthy my hair is getting,” says Dominguez. But she can’t take all the credit—in fact, she says that it’s the Dyson Supersonic™ hair dryer she’d mostly thank. Yes, a hair dryer of all things. “Not only does it take like five minutes to style my towel-dried hair using the diffuser, but it also helps define my natural curl pattern, and the heat control protects against extreme heat damage.” And for someone who has put her hair through a lot over the years, nothing is more comforting than knowing she won’t be anymore.