Zendaya: How I Learned to Be Comfortable With My Curls

01/20/2016 at 09:00 AM ET

When it comes to confidence, Zendaya has a ton of it — especially in the hair department. She fearlessly changes up her style from red carpet to red carpet, and has even started a movement in the process defending herself from hair critics. But the Chi spokesperson reveals that it took some growing for her to get to that point.

ZendayaChristopher Polk/Getty




“Growing up,I wasn’t very confident in my curls,” the actress tells PeopleStyle. “It wasn’t like the hair that girls around me had. And nobody really knew what to do with my hair. My mom is white and my dad is black — they have two very different hair types. So we learned how to manage my hair together, and I also watched YouTube videos to find easy styles to do.”

RELATED: Celeb Style and Beauty TBTs That Blew Our Minds

Yes, even Disney stars aren’t happy with the hair they’re born with (sound like any other teens you know?). “Obviously you want what you can’t have, so I wanted different hair than what I had,” she shares. “And it wasn’t until I got older that I learned you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.”

But, like the rest of us, growing into herself allowed her to accept the things she wasn’t comfortable with. “There is nobody out there that is completely, 100 percent satisfied with every portion of themselves,” she admits. “And as you grow up, or as you grow older, you have to learn about yourself and you have to become more familiar with yourself.”

These days, she’s constantly experimenting with new, bold hair looks, and that has come with some practice too. “When I was younger, I was afraid to experiment with my look because I was worried about what people thought,” she says. “But as I’ve gotten older and become more confident in myself, I just don’t care.”

Which is why, when she found herself in the middle of some hair-related drama at last year’s Oscars, she spoke up.

“I think a lot of lessons were learned from a lot of different people,” she says about the situation. “I didn’t know that people were going to pay attention to the paragraph that I wrote on Instagram. I was just thinking that someone out there is going to read this, and it’ll stop them from being insensitive. I was raised to stand up and say something when you feel that something is wrong.”

RELATED VIDEO: Giuliana Rancic Says She Got Death Threats after Fashion Police Comments

And she’s equally as dedicated to sharing that confidence with other girls. “I like who I am, and I hope that I can help a lot of other young women get there,” she says. “I think that a big part of that is showing that you can dress and wear your hair however you want. People will say whatever they have to say, but as long as you feel good and you feel confident and you’re taking those steps to feel comfortable with yourself, then you’re good!”

Key in that demographic? Her sweet younger relatives. “When it comes to my nieces and stuff you have to get them to love your hair, especially my little niece who’s gorgeous with a curly head of hair,” she says. “I just really want them to love what they have.”

For more from Zendaya, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on stands now! And tell us: do you love her ever-changing hair as much as we do?

— Jillian Ruffo, with reporting by Jackie Fields

Add A Comment

Got something to add to this post? Fill out the fields below to make a comment, ask a question or share a tip. We'd love to hear from you.

Note: If this is your first time commenting on Style News Now, your comment will need to be approved by our moderator before it will appear. Thanks for your patience, and check back again soon.

Showing 26 comments

Kendra on

The hair is ok, but the nose rings, finger rings and nails make her look like a cheap hooker. But then again, that just may be the look she’s hoping for!

dapple on

Anything to stay in the public eye because no one know who this person is except when she is ticked off at something! you are going to be in trouble for saying that Kendra LOL as long as she doesn’t smell like patchouli!

cds on

Zendaya is young and adorable — she should do exactly what she wants with her hair. The girl is not in this world to live up to other people’s opinions. As she gets older and more mature she will find that many people are cruel and mean spirited.

Zendaya Reveals She Used to Be Insecure About Her Curly Hair – Seventeen Magazine | Great makeup online on

[…] In an interview with PeopleStyle Watch , Zendaya opens up about struggling to accept her natural hair. “Growing up, I wasn’t very confident in my curls,” Zendaya revealed. “It wasn’t like the hair that girls around me had. And nobody really knew what to do with my hair.” […]

Zendaya Reveals She Used to Be Insecure About Her Curly Hair – Seventeen Magazine | Top Perfume Market on

[…] In an interview with PeopleStyle Watch , Zendaya opens up about struggling to accept her natural hair. “Growing up, I wasn’t very confident in my curls,” Zendaya revealed. “It wasn’t like the hair that girls around me had. And nobody really knew what to do with my hair.” […]

Zendaya Reveals She Used to Be Insecure About Her Curly Hair – Seventeen Magazine | Bath And Body For Women on

[…] In an interview with PeopleStyle Watch , Zendaya opens up about struggling to accept her natural hair. “Growing up, I wasn’t very confident in my curls,” Zendaya revealed. “It wasn’t like the hair that girls around me had. And nobody really knew what to do with my hair.” […]

Zendaya Coleman Admits She Did Not Always Like Her Curls And Wanted It Changed | that1960chick.com on

[…] actress, Zendaya Coleman in an interview with People Magazine has revealed that she was not always comfortable with her curls and wanted different hair but she […]

Zendaya opened up about learning to love her hair and the importance of self-expression - How to do everything! on

[…] in a culture where she was often surrounded by people who didn’t look anything like her. She opened up to PeopleStyle about this feeling, and how it affected her self-image, especially when it came to […]

Zendaya drops wisdom about confidence and learning to love her hair - How to do everything! on

[…] in a culture where she was often surrounded by people who didn’t look anything like her. She opened up to PeopleStyle about this feeling, and how it affected her self-image, especially when it came to […]

Zendaya's Killer Beauty Streak Continues: She's the New Face of CoverGirl! – Quick Daily News on

[…] who is also a spokesperson for CHI, teased the partnership on Instagram earlier this week, hinting that “something beautiful” was […]

1 | 2 | 3 | Next | Show All

From Our Partners

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,513 other followers

Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters