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"It wasn't like the hair that girls around me had."

Jan, 25, 2016

Zendaya is nothing if not creative with her hair. We've seen it top-knotted, sleek and straight, in locs, and cut into a cute bob—but the actress' natural hair is curly, and apparently it took some getting used to.

"Growing up, I wasn't very confident in my curls," Zendaya tells People. "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."

Zendaya says she "wanted different hair than what I had," but learned to appreciate her natural curls as she got older. "I hope that I can help a lot of other young women get there," she continues. "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."

Could CoverGirl have made a better choice? Zendaya's inspiring approach to beauty alone makes her icon-worthy.

This story originally appeared on MIMI.