Thandie Newton was told her hair was too ''ghetto'' for her school photograph.

The 'Mission: Impossible II' star inherited afro-curly hair from her Nigerian mother and she's recalled how the nuns who ran her school in Cornwall singled her out for looking different.

She said: ''My mum braided my hair - for her it was the neatest, prettiest style, the equivalent of having your hair freshly cut and styled.

''I went to the best school in town, which was run by nuns, and they wouldn't let me have my photo taken because of my hair.

''I think they thought it was a bit 'ghetto', though we didn't really know what that meant. It was absolutely not 'ghetto'. The next day my mum went into the school. I don't know what was said, but I had my photo taken.''

Although the 42-year-old beauty has now grown to love her natural curls, she admits she began chemically straightening it as soon as she was old enough and continued to do so for many years because people preferred it.

Thandie explained to The Sunday Telegraph newspaper: ''There were layers and layers of low self-esteem attached to these early experiences, and I continued to have very low self-esteem for years.

''So as soon as I could I had my hair professionally 'relaxed' with chemicals to make it 'normal', and it stayed straight until only a few years ago. It was how Hollywood wanted my hair too.''