Amandla Stenberg admits that the journey to embracing her natural hair hasn’t always been easy.
In an interview for the September issue of Glamour magazine, the 17-year-old actress opened up about her relationship with her hair and why learning to love her locks has been a “constant battle.”
“I’ve gone through so many different hair stages,” Stenberg told the magazine before describing some of the various styles she’s rocked. “My first stage was when I was younger, and I thought my hair was too big, so I always kept it in this giant poof on top of my head. I wasn’t that great at doing ponytails, and so it was always really messy.”
Stenberg said it wasn’t until she underwent puberty and pressure in middle school that she began making her hair smaller and straighter. She said she attempted to tame her hair through Keratin treatments and by applying constant heat to help maintain her bangs.
“It was awful. It was like frying the front part of my hair off,” Stenberg admitted. She said that her change of heart eventually came about thanks to positive images of women of color who were pictured proudly embracing their natural hair.
“I came to the realization that I ― because of the Internet honestly, because of seeing people on the Internet post pictures with their natural hair, I realized like, ‘Oh, wait, this is actually so cool. Why have I been fighting this component of myself for so long?’” she said.
Overall, she sees her hair journey as being one that has been totally rewarding.
“I chopped it all off and slowly grew it back in its natural state, and now I love it,” she said. “I still have moments once in a while where I feel the need to conform, but that’s also not really my ― those are not my original ideas, like I don’t really feel that inside. It’s just when you look around and you see people with straight hair in media, you kind of feel the need to fit in, so it’s kind of a constant battle loving my hair. It’s something that I’m continuously working on.”
Leave it to a queen like Stenberg to always keep it real. Slay.