These Online Communities for Curly Hair Are Helping Southeast Asian Women Embrace Their Natural Texture

As a Cambodian-American, Rosie Chuong grew up seeing discrimination piled up on those with darker skin tones, broader features, and textured hair in the Cambodian community. This experience mixed with the lack of representation she saw in the media prompted her to found API Curls, an online community for Asians and Pacific Islanders from around the world. around the world to share tips and discuss the ups and downs of caring for and keeping their natural curls. “We deserve more than having to think about demographics on other platforms,” says Choung. “I just had to be brave enough to take the lead in building it.”

Choung describes API Curls as a “multicultural hairdressing movement” that aims to dispel negative definitions of curly hair among people in Asia and the Pacific. The message is clear as you scroll through API Curls’ Instagram page, which is filled with hair journey stories, curly hair tutorials, and even discussions on topics like anti-Black in Asian community as it relates to textured hair.

Choung’s journey to embrace her curly hair has spanned more than 10 years: She says her hair texture turned frizzy after she started her freshman year of college. During that time, she will receive conflicting messages surrounding her sudden change in hair structure.

“Everybody around me who isn’t Asian tells me how much they love my hair and how it makes me look so much weirder,” she says. “However, in the Asian community, the conversation surrounding my curls suggests that it is an anomaly, an odd appearance, and needs to be corrected with straightening.”

But through her own journey, she has come to understand that there is power in community. “What I’ve discovered since starting my curly hair journey is that I’m not a freak and have a growing community. Social media is changing this conversation a lot. a lot of.”

With API Curls hitting the two-year mark, Choung hopes her platform can expand partnerships with beauty brands to help expand access to curly hair products globally, while helping more Diversify selected ambassadors to promote their products.

“I envision the Curls API [growing to become] a destination for members of our community, especially those just starting out on their own hairdressing journey, where people can naturally connect with each other, simply because there is finally a place that can make this a reality. “ These Online Communities for Curly Hair Are Helping Southeast Asian Women Embrace Their Natural Texture

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