How 8 Women Learned To Love Their Natural Hair In College
Sara Charles, 27

College: The Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA

“I went to a predominately white college in a predominately white town, so it was extremely hard to find a hairdresser who I could trust with my hair. There weren’t many options in regards to products to try either. At the time the ethnic hair-care section at the local CVS and Walmart had few items to choose from.

“I was fascinated by the rising natural hair movement. When I wasn’t doing homework, I was on Youtube researching natural hair. I was curious to see what my natural hair pattern looked like, so I decided to grow out my relaxed pixie cut. Though my hair was growing, it was still super damaged because I would use a flat iron almost every day. Eventually, I had to give up the flat iron. Instead, I began styling my hair in fro-hawks and Bantu knot-outs. Hats and head scarves were also some of my best friends in college.

“There weren’t many YouTubers with my hair 4C hair texture at the time. But some online personalities like MoKnowsHair, BlakIsBeautyful, and My Natural Sistas helped me during my transition. Once I moved back home after graduation, I was also able to experiment more with products. That’s when I discovered brands like Cantu, Eco Styler, Dark and Lovely Au Natural, and Creme of Nature.

“While so many people were also going natural when I did, it took me a very long time to be comfortable with my hair. I would watch YouTube videos and compare my hair texture to women with looser curls. But two years after I graduated college, I finally accepted that my hair is mine. I couldn’t compare it to others and needed to find the best way to cater to my hair. My journey came with plenty of trial and error, but I don’t regret it one bit.”