For those of you who haven’t seen any of my videos or heard of me before…….(it’s ok if you haven’t :P) I’m The Curly Cockney. I’m all about celebrating and loving the unique curls that YOU were blessed with.
Everyone’s curls are unique, like fingerprints.
I share the hints, tips and styles that have worked for me over the years, in the hope that they may be of some use to someone out there!
I grew up around different parts of the UK (we moved around a lot!) but I’m originally from East London/Essex. Growing up in the 90’s, you can imagine that I didn’t see a lot of people who looked like me (I’m mixed Nigerian and English)……my white mother had no idea how to deal with my curls so I wore my hair in random braids for most of my childhood.
Every time she took me to a salon, hairdressers just looked at my beautiful curls with contempt and begged my mum to let them put a relaxer on it! Eventually, it just “made sense”. In my mothers head, a relaxer would make my hair more manageable and in my imagination, I would FINALLY be beautiful! I was so fed up of being an ugly duckling…..(I related to that story faaarrrr too much as a child!)
So we all know the story here…..at 10 years old I got a relaxer. The pain was unbearable, I cried my eyes out the entire time. I had scabs all over my scalp afterwards. My hair was tailbone length……however over time it slowly broke off. I had to change hairdressers, and in one visit, the new stylist chopped off my mid back length hair to chin length……I was devastated.
I spent my early teenage years natural, however I didn’t have a clue how to maintain my beautiful curls! I ended up dry brushing and blowing my hair out after every wash, which led me to believe that I had no curl pattern at all. I had no clue how to style it. I had no clue about ingredients and products. It was always dry and misshapen. So what did I do……
At 16 I got ANOTHER relaxer! I wanted to be “fit” and I felt like I could never be attractive with my dry, fuzzy hair. Whilst my relaxed hair was fine, silky and shiny….again, it broke off! After another heartbreaking trip to the hairdresser, I had my hair chopped off from bra strap length to chin length….again!
Distraught and very hormonal, I marched straight to the next afro shop and bought two packs of Premium Too 14 inch human hair extensions and a truck load of glue. From that point on, I flat ironed my hair everyday with the cheapest, crappiest products you can imagine and glued extensions in.
And from that point on I experienced even more bad hair days……one time I used so much glue that my hair actually stuck together and I needed to cut huge chunks out. I regularly wore extensions that didn’t blend with the colour of my own hair and looked like a total idiot. I regularly flat ironed my hair with crappy products which led to burnt ends and severe heat damage. I developed bald patches from sleeping in my clips in. My hair also never grew past chin length, everywhere I went I left like broken ends around me like some kind of trail.
Then to top it all off…..one day I discovered colour! I dyed my hair everything from red to black to light caramel brown. My poor curls!
Then one day, after completely wrecking my hair from trying to go from black to blonde by myself with a box dye……I decided that I’d had enough.
I’d just turned 21 and I was so sick and tired of trying to be something I wasn’t. I just kept thinking, why can’t I just leave my hair to do what it does naturally? Why do I HAVE to wear a weave/extensions?! Why do I HAVE to wear my hair straight?! I’ve tried EVERYTHING and my hair won’t grow…..maybe I should just try doing NOTHING instead?
From that point on, I decided to put the flat iron down and ditch the nasty clip ins. Over time, my bald patches grew out. I still suffered from heat damage and breakage, so I turned to the internet and found tons of blogs and YouTube videos. This was back in the day when Taren916 was just starting out! The community was still so small and knowledge was fairly limited.
Now this has been a fairly loooong story…..and there’s a lot more to it! Yeep……..I blundered much more than what I’ve mentioned above! I just wanted to give you a little background into my hair history, I just wanted to give you a flavour of where I’m coming from and what drives me to be the passionate natural hair advocate that I am!
I’m preparing to discuss ALL of the rest in future posts! But for now……watch the first ever video that I made about my hair story!
Please comment below and let me know your hair story! Were you as stupid as I was?
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