Nicole, 19, Freshman, NYC
When I was younger my mother believed in letting my hair grow a lot so she would braid it a lot. So I would wear my hair in box braids, sometime cornrows. She thought it would grow a lot in the braids. As a young person, I didn’t see the difference. So, I didn’t want them and I would always want my hair long and straight because I was in school with other girls with long hair. She was like “yeah, you’ll get long hair in braids.” So I did that for a few years and then when I was around 12, I started doing my own hair. The first style was like a high bun with the little donut things you would get from like Claire’s? I would wrap my hair around that. It was like a ballerina bun. I would do that a lot.
At that point it was relaxed. My mother relaxed it when I was younger, starting when I was around 9. But, I got older and I didn’t want to do that anymore because I realized the damage it was doing to my natural hair. So around 10th grade, I did the Big Chop. I was scared at first. I didn’t want to have short hair. I love long hair. But at that time becoming natural was really popular. So I was like you know, I might as well cut it! So I did the Big Chop and I never looked back. I’ve recently started doing protective styles a lot. Like, I’ve started wearing wigs more. I love wigs now - I can have my hair long but my natural hair protected underneath it - it’s great. But when I need to give the wigs a break because of the glue and all that, I’ll go back to my ponytail. I have a lot of wigs. I have a kinky curly, a kinky straight - like a blow out, this one which is a Peruvian body wave and a curly. I love that wigs are so versatile like, I can do anything. Like this one was a side part, then I made it into a middle part and it was straight then I made it wavy. I can do so much with it that I can’t necessarily do with my own hair, so it gives me a chance to try different things. I haven’t made my own wigs yet but I want to so bad. That’s my goal to learn how to make them myself but I don’t know the ins and outs.
I really think hair just means doing whatever you want with it. Like it shouldn’t, if you’re natural that’s great but you don’t have to be natural all the time. You can wear wigs and wigs, you don’t have to be confined to one way of wearing your hair. I personally think everyone should try different hairstyles - whether it's one or five different styles. Changing my hair makes me feel like a different person almost. It makes me feel like brand new. And I’ve noticed that people notice and like to see different stuff. Like even when I just change my part, people will say “oh you look different and I’m like yeah *laughs* I like that!”
I’m a Youtuber. I love beauty. I want to talk about hair more on my channel. I got into it by watching Aaliyah J, and she loved makeup and I loved makeup and hair. So I was like maybe I should make a channel. Because everyone needs a hairstyle! So I can be like “Oh I have this wig and I did this specific style.” I want to help people and show them how to style things in a way that is healthy for their hair and for their wigs so they last longer. So it’s nice to help people through YouTube. I get a lot of inspiration from YouTubers. Like I haven’t done colors but I know that if I watch enough videos with electric blue hair, I might do an electric blue one day *laughs* I only started wearing wigs because of YouTube. Without it I never would have even known about them and probably wouldn’t have found that.