‘You had this very feminine style, always wore high heels, always had your nails done etcetera. And now you have this alternative style,’ Danaë said. ‘What is it that made you change?’, she continued.

It was the spring of 2019 and we were sitting at a café at the Wilhelminaplein (Curaçao). Danaë was referring to the time when we were studying in The Netherlands, years before.

Danaë’s question sent me right back to the end of 2011, the year I was about to embark on a world trip with my then boyfriend, Mark.

Mark and I had prepared for years for the trip; we had saved money, had roughly decided on an itinerary, had bought suitable backpacks, etc. Something else I had to prepare was how to take care of my hair.

Before the world trip I used to weekly visit Su. Su is a friend who took care of my hair as no-one else could. I would leave her house with flowy hair, making me feel beautiful and confident.

Su, however, was not joining us on our world trip. This situation sent me on a quest to alternative hair treatments, which eventually led me to my so-called natural hair journey.

My natural hair journey has taken me to all sorts of new places,teaching me about social conventions, the role of partners and social media in changing beauty standards, and observing my own insecurities and confidences. 

In this series of four stories, I share parts of my natural hair journey. The other three will follow soon. Stay tuned.

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