Ivy is a 21 year old clinical research assistant, originally from Kenya who grew up in Worcester, MA. Like so many of us, the women in her family have greatly influenced her hair journey. Read all about it below.
My name is Ivy, I’m 21, and I’m a clinical research assistant. I didn’t have hair until I was 5. It hurt when people did my hair, so I just didn’t want it. Then when I got to first grade I was seeing all the girls with their long hair, so I started doing braids. We did these cute little kids braids with the shell beads, and that was my look until I was about 7. I don’t think I ever wore my hair out really -- I was still living in Kenya at the time so it was easier to maintain if kept braided, because it was so hot. But I just copied everything my sisters did, so because of that I started relaxing my hair. My mom didn’t let me do anything different with my hair, other than braiding and perming it, until my senior year of high school. I wanted to go natural because my sister went natural in college. And she obviously looked great. But my mom freaked out because my sister had super long hair but chopped it all off. But it looked so good and it looked so healthy, and my hair was always breaking off from the relaxer, but with me living at home it was a little harder for me to chop of my hair. So I kept relaxing it to avoid conflict. My hair is still relaxed, and it’s because taking care of it is a lot for me. Like I sometimes cry a little when I have to wash it. It’s not even like I think I look better, my hair looks awful relaxed – I have a big head – it’s more me being able to manage it. But I always wear my hair out in the summer, because I have more time to do it. Although I guess that will probably stop now that my life doesn’t revolve around the school (lol). I got my first weave junior year of high school. It was my friend’s quinceanera and I was in the court and everyone had a long hair and I guess at the time I didn’t want to be different so I was like let me get a weave. It was also the first time my mom let me do my eyebrows so thank god for that quinceanera! But weaves are just fun! I’m wearing one now. I really want to try out wigs. I’ve always wanted to try out a bob, even though everyone in my family thinks I’d look really bad in it, but like if it looks bad I’ll just try something else!