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Curls Unleashed: My Journey of Overcoming Hair Insecurities and Embracing Self-Acceptance

Transforming and Empowering Souls: A Tale of Triumph Over Hair Insecurities and Embracing Inner Beauty

By Jaci GonzalesPublished 4 months ago 8 min read
Top Story - June 2023
Curls Unleashed: My Journey of Overcoming Hair Insecurities and Embracing Self-Acceptance
Photo by Nik on Unsplash

My hair care journey has not been an easy one. My entire life, my frizzy, curly hair has been one of the main stars of my insecurities. It was either too thick, too frizzy, too thin at one point (due to health issues), or too dry. This led me on an 8-year curly hair and body acceptance journey. Today, I am bringing you along on my raw and honest journey to hair and body acceptance.

The issues with my hair started when I was around 13 years old. Growing up, my hair was thick and long. I broke every hair tie I used when I tried to wrap it around more than twice. I ended up going to the salon once every 2 months to get it thinned out because it was too much to manage. Once I reached Middle school, puberty hit, the bullying began, and insecurities hit. I saw the other "popular" girls with blonde, pin-straight hair and began to despise my own dark brown, curly hair. So thus began my long and tedious curly hair journey.

My natural hair.

I did not know the first thing about hair care at the time. So I did what most people nowadays do when they have a problem. I searched it up on Google. I stumbled across many articles and videos and finally landed on Youtube. I scoured the site and watched hours of content on the "best hair products and tips." I tried them all. But the problem was, these videos were made by again, girls with blonde, straight hair. So of course, nothing worked. This only fueled the problem even more because it seemed so easy for everyone else to have gorgeous hair, so why was it so hard for me?

About a year later, my eating disorder began. This only made problems worse. I was not giving myself the nutrients I needed and this caused my once-thick hair, to turn thin and brittle. By the time I was in 8th grade, I lost most of my hair and was pulling it out in clumps. I had bald spots on my scalp and would cover them up with eyeshadow. Now I had even more problems than what I started with. As I battled with this disease, I also decided to highlight my hair around this time. Although the highlights I had were pretty and helped a bit with my insecurity about my hair color, I became obsessed with dyeing my hair.

Then I reached High School. Throughout this time, I was constantly finding things about my appearance to change. My weight, my face, and my hair. I wanted to look like the people on social media or the girls in school. I thought if I looked "perfect" or like everyone else, my problems would go away. But of course, they didn't. They only got worse. I was beating up my body in search of an unrealistic goal. And that goal was Perfection. I got more highlights and dyed my hair purple, and blue during this time period. With all the hair dye and the eating disorder still raging, my hair was at its most vulnerable, unhealthy state.

My purple hair. Thin, and no curls.

After graduating High School, things got even worse. I graduated with a 4.0 and Valedictorian and gave a speech. Everyone was so proud of me and had these high expectations for me because of this and I feared I was not living up to them. I was working at Mcdonalds, depressed, starving, and insecure. I then had the idea to dye my hair red. Before this, I never bleached my full hair to color it. But this time, I did. I bleached all my hair and then colored it red. I loved it! I felt like I was on top of the world. I then fell into the wrong crowd and things went from better, to worse.

My Red hair. Dry, brittle, and again, no curls.

I had a group of friends I met during my senior year. We smoked, partied, and had our run-ins with the cops. I was living a double life. By day, I was a hard-working, straight-A student, and by night I was a full-time party animal doing my best to escape my reality. After graduating, I had all this free time outside of work to hang with that friend group. I thought I was living my best life. At this point, I was doing drugs regularly. Popping pills, smoking, and drinking. On my days off work, I spent them drunk, or high. I had it under control, or so I thought. Then one night and one bad decision sent me on a course of destruction.

One night, one of my friends brought over a new drug. I will not say what it was for privacy. But this one I knew could cause weight loss. I was nervous to try it and had second thoughts, but my insecurities trumped that and I did it. And I loved it...I felt confident, happy, and free. I began doing this drug every single day. I would do it even without those friends. The weight quickly dropped off and within 4 months I went from a size 8 to a size zero. I was in love with myself. I had my red hair, and I was finally skinny like I always wanted, this time without any effort! What more could I ask for? No one knew the secret behind the weight loss besides my friends at the time. I remember thinking I could do this forever. But again, I was just lying to myself.

After a year of doing this, all my friends stopped and I continued. They wanted me to stop, and so I lied to them that I would. My family caught on and I was seeing a therapist who constantly warned me about the dangers, but I would not quit. Nothing anyone could say would change this because I wanted to be skinny and "pretty" more than I wanted to be healthy. After about a month of people warning me about the dangers, things started to get bad. I began having breathing problems and heart problems. Suddenly, the drug stopped giving me a good high. Every time I did it, I would get paranoid, sad, or have panic attacks. Why was this happening? Why was it not working like before? I thought I could keep this up forever, but I was beginning to realize I couldn't. So I made the decision to stop.

The journey to sobriety has been a tough one. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to go through. After 4 months of being sober, my weight shot back up. Now, I was unhappy, sober, and picking up the pieces of what I tried to leave behind. This time without any drugs to fill the void, I had to sit there and deal with the feelings. My red hair faded around this time and I felt like I lost everything. I had to quit my job to focus on getting better and leave the environment that was a trigger for me. So here I was back to square one, back at the beginning. This is where the transformation happened.

Back in January of this year after quitting my job, I decided to try and work from home. I began a business that wasn't working out. Then I found out about a thing called UGC. I love making and editing videos, so I figured I would give it a shot. This was a great decision for me! I have always wanted to work with social media, and now I could! I was in front of a camera every day, watching footage of myself, and my insecurities started to pop back up. But this time, I had something I was passionate about. I didn't want to do anything to jeopardize this job, so I stayed sober and did the hard work on myself. I started making lots of money with this job, getting sent packages every day, and having the freedom I have always wanted in a career.

Beginning of my hair restoration journey. Curls starting to hold their state.

I was comfortable with my body weight, but my hair was still an issue. So I hopped back onto the internet in search of the solution. This time, I stumbled onto the curly hair side of TikTok. I found lots of girls with hair like mine. I saw the beautiful curls they have now, and I saw what theirs used to look like. I felt seen. So I began buying the products they used and applying their techniques to my own hair. After a month of doing this, my hair was thick again and holding a curl for the first time in years. I was so excited! That brings us to the present.

At this moment, my hair is still not exactly how I want it. I have bad hair days or days where my insecurities get the best of me, but I have learned important lessons along the way. I learned that everyone is different, and that's okay. I learned that acceptance and positivity toward myself feels a million times better than what I was doing. I also learned that just because one thing worked for this person, does not mean it will always work for you. And that definitely doesn't mean you are a failure or need to look like them. It means, you need to find what works for you and that is okay.

Me now. Lots more curls :)))

Throughout my life's journey, I had many rock bottoms and many days where I thought that I was not good enough. But I am striving to have more good days than bad. I am striving to live life in my own body, instead of changing it to look like someone else. With all the health problems I have now because of the damage I brought upon myself, I realize I took things for granted. I have eyes that can see. ( I have glasses, but I'm not blind), I have working arms and legs, and most importantly, I wake up breathing to see another day. Some people do not have these luxuries so it is important that you and I remember this as we go through life's up and downs. Everyone has different preferences in beauty. As long as we wake up every day, that's a blessing in and of itself. We try our best, and we move on.

I spent so much wasted time chasing perfection, and I want those who are reading to leave that idea behind. I will leave you with this quote: "Strive for continuous improvement, instead of perfection.” – Kim Collins


About the Creator

Jaci Gonzales

Meet Jaci, an Amazon influencer & UGC creator. With hours spent researching the latest products, Jaci offers valuable insights to her audience. Check out her blog for an informative read on all things Amazon & UGC.

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Comments (17)

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  • Vidula3 months ago

    Very intrest

  • Vidula3 months ago


  • Sharon Bethea3 months ago

    Overcoming adversity is the power from within and letting go off inner strong holds shows perseverance to succeed and revealed your purpose and passion for living.❤️

  • Hi everyone! First off, I want to say thank you so much for all your kind words! It means a lot to me. I never expected this story to take off like it did. I wrote it thinking only a few people would read it, so this was very unexpected. My goal in writing this was to inspire others and help people not feel so alone. Judging by your comments, I think I achieved that! I am happy to give a space where people feel safe to share their own stories. Thank you again for the support!

  • Misty Rae4 months ago

    I felt every word of this. I grew up mixed-race in the 70s and 80s. I have thick, thick, frizzy curly brown hair (now purple, but that's another story). Not kinda thick, not wavy....those of us who know, we know, it's not the same...I'm talking evil thick, fuzzball, unruly, to the point that as a kid, my father braided my hair because my mother couldn't fit her hands around even half my head. I hated my hair. I broke brushes, combs, elastics, you name it. I wanted to be like the white girls with pin-straight blonde hair that submitted to things like curling irons and mousse. Now, at almost 52, my hair is my superpower. Of course, we also have products now that help. I love the honesty and vulnerability with which you've told your story. Well done and well deserving of a top story. You've gained a new follower. Can't wait to see what else you've got to say.

  • Excellent post and deserved Top Story.. We have featured it in our Community Adventure in the Facebook Group Vocal Social Society and would love for you to join us there

  • Fatima Nazeer4 months ago

    plz subscribe to my channel too ... i will be so grateful to you fatima nazeer

  • I'm so sorry for what you have been through 🥺 I'm so happy that you're better now. You're beautiful!

  • Karissa E.L. Cuff4 months ago

    Thank you for sharing this story and the vulnerabilities involved. The curly hair part is extremely relatable. I can’t understand why the media used to always promote straight hair over curly hair instead of both. Glad that’s somewhat changing. Also glad to hear you’re doing better now and congrats on top story!

  • Lena Borondia4 months ago

    Okay, at first I was like... dude who cares!? But you made me care. This is a wonderful way to tell your story. Our hair really does tell our trials and emotions. PS. You're very photogenic! Subscribed :)

  • MT Poetry4 months ago

    Your story touched me deeply💕💕. It's inspiring to see how you've gained perspective and embraced a healthier approach to life. Thank you for sharing such vulnerability and congratulations on achieving a sense of self-acceptance.🙌

  • Heather Hubler4 months ago

    What a heartfelt journey to share. I love how much perspective you have now and that you've found a healthy way to move forward :) Thank you for sharing your story as I know so many can identify with the impossible feeling of striving for perfection. And I hear you about the curly hair. I'm blonde but my hair has never been straight. It's always been a curly, frizzy mess. Congratulations on Top Story!

  • A. Lenae4 months ago

    Thank you for writing such a vulnerable and poignant piece. Congratulations on finding what you need to make a healthy life for yourself every day. Your hair journey is so painfully relatable. The insecurities we all face when we feel like the world wants us to be smaller and smaller yet just fester until we challenge them. This is truly special and beautiful.

  • Canuck Scriber4 months ago

    From one curly wavy haired girl to another I totally get it. This is a refreshing read. Sorry about your struggles but with hair and self image, always best is to work with what you got and relax. I am happy to subscribe to your work!

  • Babs Iverson4 months ago

    Raw & courageous. This is an amazing story and journey. Definitely loved your closing quote!!!❤️❤️ 💕

  • Ken Waugh4 months ago

    Excellent…there is two sides to everyone’s story, most we will never know because they lack the courage to share. I have always chosen to look past the failures of others and instead focus on the what they could someday be. I still see the same thing in you I saw many years ago…greatness. And…I am again surprised by the immense talent you possess. This is excellent writing. Don’t stop. ;-)

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