Curly hair maintenance can be difficult, and many with textured hair struggle to learn how to properly care for their hair, resulting in frizzy or dull manes. Those with curly hair have long been pressured to straighten, relax, and damage their hair to look more ‘professional’.
Curly Chronicles documents the joys and struggles of curly hair care in an illustrated e-book, with links to further online video resources. Our aim is to promote greater awareness and celebration of hair diversity. We hope to encourage readers to learn how to care for their own hair and see the beauty and wonder in their natural hair.
We interviewed 8 of our friends who have naturally wavy/curly/kinky hair. We asked them to make doodles of their hair as well, and to describe their drawings. Their descriptions ranged from comparisons to ramen noodles to adjectives that showed how difficult their hair was to care for. We asked them about how they first learned to care for their hair, and found that their answers varied widely.
Those whose parents had passed down knowledge about how to care for their curly hair tended to have a much more positive view of their curly hair, whereas others were at a loss and had straightened and hid their hair throughout their lives. We chose an e-book format to make it easy to link to resources where readers could learn more about how to care for their specific hair type.
The impact of hair beauty standards have an especially great impact on people of color, for whom natural hair suppression has often overlapped with racial injustice. Yet curly hair is a source of pride for many, and a source of connection to their cultural, racial, and personal identities. We included these historical tidbits to educate readers on the societal significance of curly hair.