• Yulkendy Valdez

Mi Pajon goes to Work

Mi pelo. Mi pajon. Mi cabello. Let’s talk about hair.

Hair comes in different volumes, shapes, and lengths.

As a little girl in the Dominican Republic, hair was a family affair. Every morning before going to school, my abuela will make 4 or 5 ponytails or colitas tied together with hair bobbles, not ties. When it comes to the weekends, I remember trying to avoid “wash day” as detangling my hair was a process, to say the least.

I always felt like my hair had its own countdown clock ⌛, and it was waiting for me to turn 15 for that ominous first relaxer.

Which unfortunately did not feel like a day in the spa or like in Bruno Mar's video.

Instead, it felt like this:

It felt like I wasn’t in control, and someone else was deciding what was best for my hair 😟.

The reality is that it was more than a feeling. As I got older, I realized that my hair had been colonized along with everything else. Straight hair is a Western and White standard, and anything in between has been stigmatized.

So after I graduated from college, I made a big move. Well, better said, a big chop.

It was scary but I felt free of beauty standards, and even workplace standards of what is considered professional or not.

Now I walk into the office, every meeting like this:

Powerful. Intelligent. Unapologetic 🔥🔥🔥.

So to every chica out there and Afro-Latina like me, when deciding how to wear your hair for your next interview, networking event, or conference, do what makes you feel freer and more powerful. In your difference, lies your magic.

I love mi pajon, and you should too 🧡.

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