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Hello beautiful 4c curls, bye bye Western beauty standards!

Western beauty standards? These standards can be thrown in the trash! As a child with two nationalities (Surinamese-Dutch) I grew up with a Surinamese mother who came to the Netherlands as a child. She has in her youth always had the pressure from home to “adapt” to her new environment. That beautiful bunch 4C curls did not belong there. From the Hot comb to different brands of straight have damaged my mother’s hair. My mother never got to learn how to handle her natural curls in her teenage years. That is why she always put castor oil in my hair and braided my hair.

In this article:

In this article:

Hello first time curly hairdresser

Blog Shanella
My hair before I went to the curly hairdresser

As I got older and had to deal with my hair myself, I didn’t know where to start. I had no friends with hair like mine and soon felt left out. 

The insecure adolescent years dawned and I did everything to belong. 

Dyeing my hair lighter, straightening it, dyeing it lighter again… until my curls disappeared.

My cousin, the pioneer of the family when it comes to curls, took me to a curly hairdresser when I was 15. This was the first time for me. 

Because before that time I always wore my hair fixed or straightened it was very damaged. The scissors went in and after one hour I stood outside with a short cut and curls that bounced with every step I took. 

Did I love my hair back then? Definitely not! Despite visiting the curly hairdresser, I still didn’t know how to take care of my hair. 

In addition to not knowing what products were good for my hair, I was still washing my hair every day. At the time I did not know how harmful that is.

Where the curls at?

blog shanella

Despite my fresh cut I still missed people around me with the same hair as I had. Not only in my environment I missed the curls, but also on TV and media. 

 The image of all women of every color with straightened hair did a lot to me. Fortunately, I grew up in a time of social media. 

Indeed, online I did find several women with curls like me. This made me feel no different than the rest. 

I saw my curls more and more as something special!

When I look back at pictures of my 16th year I do not understand why I was so insecure. I had curls and was different from those around me, but that was a beautiful thing! 

 I did not realize that at that time. Then I did not want to be different and besides I simply did not know any better.

How are my curls now?

Blog Shanella

Fortunately, in recent years I have been working intensively with my curls, it’s a lifestyle, this bunch of curls. Online I have made many friends, who faced the same obstacles as I did in their youth. 

This does me good! It is nice to feel that you are not alone anymore. Being able to exchange tips or ask questions to each other. 

When a lady randomly stuck her hands in my hair on the train to tell me how special she thought my hair was, I finally had someone to call after this unpleasant experience. Very nice!

A special routine I got from a “curly friend” is that after experiences like this it is important to wash and care for your hair properly. You could think of it as a cleansing ritual. 

First I wash my hair with a black soap shampoo. This way I get all the clogged fats out. 

After washing the shampoo, my hair needs a nourishing mask, Novex My Curls Deep hair mask is my favorite.

Next, I pick up my hair routine. When I am done with my routine I cleanse my hair with sage. Sometimes I meditate in the process to claim my curls back.

Also, there are several influencers who have taught me more about taking care of and embracing my curls like @thecurlyhairnetwork and @kurlify. The information shared on these platforms is great for anyone wanting to learn more about curls. 

In addition to information, I also get a lot of inspiration for new hairstyles. That way I don’t get stuck forever in the half up half down phase either.

Do you have any questions? Ask them in the comments!


    • Yes it really is! 😍

  1. Looking back at photos from when I was 16 years old, I have no idea why I felt so uncomfortable. Having curly hair and standing out from the crowd made me who I was.

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