Colegio Curls

This project, features a series of pictures of women who embrace their curly hair around Colegio.

By: Keysalis J. Fermín Pacheco

“My curls define me”

“My curls define me”

Mileidy Crespo, 19, poses for the camera with a proud smile while showing her amazing curls in the Metropolitan cafeteria. As a little girl, her mom used to braid her hair for school all the time, in middle school she always wore a pony tail or just completely tucked in a bun and it wasn’t until her second year of college that she started letting her curls loose and taking good care of them with different products to enhance volume and moisture. “Wherever I go, people know me for my curls, they look wild like my personality, they are distinctive characteristic of me and I wear them proudly because they represent my genes, my family and my culture.”

“Curls with volume”

Jeysika , 21, smiles for the camera while sitting at La Cueva de Tarzán wearing her natural curls. Jeysika shared that the key to having great curls was always having a lot of moisture. “Don't you ever comb your hair while dry if you don’t want to end up looking like The Lion King, and to the people who say women with curly hair have simple lives because they don’t need to brush their hair… YOU’RE WRONG!”

Jeysika Zayas, 21, smiles for the camera while sitting at La Cueva de Tarzán wearing her natural curls. Jeysika shared that the key to having great curls was always having a lot of moisture. “Don’t you ever comb your hair while dry if you don’t want to end up looking like The Lion King, and to the people who say women with curly hair have simple lives because they don’t need to brush their hair… YOU’RE WRONG!”

“Naturally crazy and beautiful”

Kathiria Escalera, 18, happily displays her highlighted mane near the Barcelona entrance in Colegio. If  women with curly hair ever wanted straight hair, they could get it but if a woman with straight hair wanted curls like hers she could never get them . “People tell me I have beautiful hair and others just like to say I don’t brush my hair at all and they’re both correct; why brush it if it’s already beautiful natural?

Kathiria Escalera, 18, happily displays her highlighted mane near the Barcelona entrance in Colegio. If women with curly hair ever wanted straight hair, they could get it but if a woman with straight hair wanted curls like hers she could never get them . “People tell me I have beautiful hair and others just like to say I don’t brush my hair at all and they’re both correct; why brush it if it’s already beautiful natural?

“It’s my best accessory”

Kritzalis Fermín, 18, proudly faces the camera to show her golden mane in the Chardón building. She used to wear her hair in pony tails and buns until she started high school. “This employee at a water park in Florida came up to me just to tell me that I had beautiful hair and that she could not believe it just grew like that and stayed curly even when it was soaking wet, she also told me she was jealous of me because the only way she could get hair like mine was by buying a wig or getting a weave sewn in her head.”

Kritzalis Fermín, 18, proudly faces the camera to show her golden mane in the Chardón building. She used to wear her hair in pony tails and buns until she started high school. “This employee at a water park in Florida came up to me just to tell me that I had beautiful hair and that she could not believe it just grew like that and stayed curly even when it was soaking wet, she also told me she was jealous of me because the only way she could get hair like mine was by buying a wig or getting a weave sewn in her head.”

“A big nmane of unruly curls”

Jeyra Rivera, 18, photographed in front of The Student Center wearing her slightly purple big curly mane. Jeyra has been wearing her natural curls for approximately 5 years now and when interviewed, she confessed that the thing she loves most about her hair is that in case she ever needs to take a nap, she literally doesn’t need a pillow to do it. “The funniest question anyone has ever asked me about my hair came from a 6 year old and he asked me if I had stick my tongue in an electricity plug.”

Jeyra Rivera, 18, photographed in front of The Student Center wearing her slightly purple big curly mane. Jeyra has been wearing her natural curls for approximately 5 years now and when interviewed, she confessed that the thing she loves most about her hair is that in case she ever needs to take a nap, she literally doesn’t need a pillow to do it. “The funniest question anyone has ever asked me about my hair came from a 6 year old and he asked me if I had stick my tongue in an electricity plug.”

“Fresh and free”

Margarita Caraballo, 22, photographed on a sunny day in one of the many Chardón hallways. Known as “La pelúa” around her circle of friends, Margarita has been wearing her natural curls since she was born and described her curls as fresh, free and creative. “I wash my hair with shampoo and conditioner twice a week and after I’m done I apply a cream specially made for curly hair that lasts for days and I only have to dab some water on it to activate it day after day.”

Margarita Caraballo, 22, photographed on a sunny day in one of the many Chardón hallways. Known as “La pelúa” around her circle of friends, Margarita has been wearing her natural curls since she was born and described her curls as fresh, free and creative. “I wash my hair with shampoo and conditioner twice a week and after I’m done I apply a cream specially made for curly hair that lasts for days and I only have to dab some water on it to activate it day after day.”

“Spectacular”

Paola Colón, 18, also photographed near the Barcelona entrance of Colegio, describes her hair as easy to manage, full of life and with a lot of volume. Paola confessed being called Mufasa, Burbu, Pelúa and all other names you can imagine that could describe a head with big curls. “I love my curls, I’ve had them for as long as I can remember… they are a part of me and they give me a unique “chic” style, I’ve tried straight hair but its just not for me.”

Paola Colón, 18, also photographed near the Barcelona entrance of Colegio, describes her hair as easy to manage, full of life and with a lot of volume. Paola confessed being called Mufasa, Burbu, Pelúa and all other names you can imagine that could describe a head with big curls. “I love my curls, I’ve had them for as long as I can remember… they are a part of me and they give me a unique “chic” style, I’ve tried straight hair but its just not for me.”

“An ongoing surprise”

Raquel Pantojas, 20, also photographed in Chardón gives the camera a shy smile while displaying her beautiful curls. As a little girl, Raquel always wore her hair straight which caused her a lot of insecurities. “I never knew how pretty my hair could be until the day I stopped straighten it, when I finally did, it changed me forever because all of a sudden I started getting compliments on my hair which helped me gain confidence in myself, now I never know what to expect of my hair and I love that.”

Raquel Pantojas, 20, also photographed in Chardón gives the camera a shy smile while displaying her beautiful curls. As a little girl, Raquel always wore her hair straight which caused her a lot of insecurities. “I never knew how pretty my hair could be until the day I stopped straighten it, when I finally did, it changed me forever because all of a sudden I started getting compliments on my hair which helped me gain confidence in myself, now I never know what to expect of my hair and I love that.”

“Easy to tangle”

Perla Valencia, 23, from Arecibo, Puerto Rico shows her striking curls with a smile while sitting at La Cueva de Tarzán. Perla said that when she was in elementary school they used to call her “mapo” because of her curly hair. Today she takes time in making it look good by washing her curls every two days and using different hair masks to keep the same texture, “I love my hair when it’s curly because it just looks great.”

Perla Valencia, 23, from Arecibo, Puerto Rico shows her striking curls with a smile while sitting at La Cueva de Tarzán. Perla said that when she was in elementary school they used to call her “mapo” because of her curly hair. Today she takes time in making it look good by washing her curls every two days and using different hair masks to keep the same texture, “I love my hair when it’s curly because it just looks great.”

It has a mind of it’s own”

Naomi García, 19, happily shakes her curls for the camera in the Department of Banda y Orquesta. When she first started working as a tutor for 3 kids who all had straight hair, Naomi was asked by one of the kids if her hair was like that all the time to which she replied “yes!,” she says she had never been so proud to answer that question before because she could see a genuine interest from the kids to understand why she looked so different. “My hair reminds me of where I come from, it’s hopeless and uncontrollable but it reminds me that I'm free.”

Naomi García, 19, happily shakes her curls for the camera in the Department of Banda y Orquesta. When she first started working as a tutor for 3 kids who all had straight hair, Naomi was asked by one of the kids if her hair was like that all the time to which she replied “yes!,” she says she had never been so proud to answer that question before because she could see a genuine interest from the kids to understand why she looked so different. “My hair reminds me of where I come from, it’s hopeless and uncontrollable but it reminds me that I’m free.”

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