27-year-old Victoria’s Secret model Sharam Diniz revealed why cutting off her hair was the “best decision” she’s made.
The Angola, Africa born and half Portuguese model, said she’s been chemically straightening her hair since the age of five because her natural hair was so unbearable to manage, but deep down she also envied those who had “long straight hair.”
“When I looked at covers of magazines when I young, I didn’t ever see a Black girl rocking an Afro, so I became obsessed with the hair I saw on TV and in music videos and magazines. I wondered why I didn’t have that. But after 15 years of treating my hair with aggressive chemicals, it lost its life, so I took a break from relaxers and started wearing wigs,” Diniz expressed to Refinery 29 in an interview “that it felt amazing.”
Wigs soon caught the attention of the model and since her mother was an international flight attendant, she would bring back all sorts of hair wigs for Diniz to try on. The Victoria’s Secret model admitted she loved playing and experimenting with a variety of looks because it transformed her into different characters.
Diniz began her modeling career at 17 when she moved to Portugal because of the European fashion industry. She signed with her first major agency, but right off the bat, the model’s agent told her to “straighten” her hair.
“I had an Afro, and although it was a weave, it was labeled as “too commercial” at the time. To land high-fashion, editorial jobs, I needed straight hair. I didn’t really understand why, but because I already had so much experience with changing my hair often, I was okay with it,” Diniz said.
Years later, she moved to New York and was fed up with relaxing and flat ironing her natural hair, so she returned to wigs instead but even that became a tedious process. Diniz thought about cutting her hair off plenty of times but chose not to out of fear.
“Seeing so many beautiful and bold women, like Maria Borges and Lupita Nyong’o, rocking their natural texture and forcing the industry to accept what natural beauty is made the decision easier,” she said.
“I had a lot of fears about cutting it all off — I had all the fears. How would it affect my career? Would I lose jobs? Would my agent drop me? It was my decision to make, but it still took me five months to actually take the risk and do it.”
Diniz filmed the entire process on her YouTube channel and noted long hair doesn’t equate to beauty, “you can see the beauty of a person with short hair, too.” The model has since dyed her hair pink and rocking her short-do.
At the end of the video she told her viewers, “Beauty isn’t about hair. Beauty is about the way we see ourselves, being comfortable with our perfect imperfections and own it and embrace it.”