We were first introduced to blogger Natalie Gray through her lifestyle blog By Natalie Gray, where we recently came across a post about our new, customizable hair mask and hair serum. While we loved her honest review of the products, what we found to be most interesting were her revelations about her personal hair journey and the struggles she’s faced with her naturally curly hair over the years. It was a post that our team could personally relate to, having dealt with our own often frustrating hair journeys throughout the years, and one that touched upon many of the same stories that we’ve heard from women across the world since starting Function of Beauty in 2015.
Inspired by Natalie’s positive message and interested to learn more about her personal hair journey, we reached out to the Seattle-based blogger to have her share more about her relationship with her curly hair and how she’s come to love and accept her strands today. Read on for more about Natalie’s personal hair story.
Can you tell us a little bit about your “curly hair journey?”
I believe everyone with curly hair goes through their own personal hair journey. Part of my curly hair journey was learning to accept my hair in all its shapes, forms and textures over the years. Growing up, I rarely saw people that looked like me or had curly hair like me. Since I wanted to fit in with everybody else, I began to feel ashamed of my natural curls. In fact, I began to hide them by straightening my hair all the time. I put “straightening” in quotation marks because my mom did a horrendous job and it was always in a weird state of being half blow-dried and half straightened. It wasn’t until I went to college that I realized big, frizzy curls can be just as beautiful as straight hair. I was surrounded by people of all different colors and ethnicities, which was really refreshing and eye-opening for me. It inspired me to embrace my natural curls and start to love my hair, rather than loathe it.
What has your relationship with your hair been like over the years?
I’ve always had a weird relationship with my hair, never feeling comfortable wearing it naturally; never feeling comfortable straightening and wearing it down because it never laid correctly; never feeling comfortable with others doing my hair because I would only trust my mom and myself. It wasn’t until recently that I realized the reason why I disliked my hair so much was because I didn’t understand it. I regret wasting all of that negative energy on loathing my hair instead of learning about it. I am grateful, however, to have had the revelation during college that I don’t have to straighten my hair to be considered beautiful or to feel beautiful.
What struggles have you faced with your hair?
Aside from struggling with accepting my natural hair texture, I would say that it’s been difficult to find the perfect methods, techniques, and hairstyles to suit my hair, along with products that work well with it.
Another struggle that I’ve dealt with is letting my boyfriend see my natural hair. We are an interracial couple and I was always worried about showing him my natural hair, along with the long process of “taming” my curls. It would take me up to two hours to condition, wash, comb, blow-dry, and straighten my hair and I never felt beautiful throughout that process. It wasn’t until almost two years into our relationship that I let him see my hair fresh out of the shower. He was so happy for me and made me feel more beautiful and confident than I ever felt before.
What is your relationship like with your hair today?
My relationship with my hair today is a lot better than it has been in the past. I am learning new management techniques and hairstyles and trying new hair products, which have helped an immense amount. I am so excited to continue this journey of loving and embracing my natural hair, especially with my new Function of Beauty products, including the new customizable hair mask and hair serum!
To read Natalie’s full review of our new, customizable hair mask and hair serum, check out her full blog post here!