Hair… is a Black girls crown, it lets her embrace her African roots, it is our connection to a lost heritage. My hair is my crown. I embrace it in many styles. Perm, press, natural, braids or weaves, I have done it all. The Perm This can be a challenge if you do not take care of your hair. Having the process in my hair was hard work. Some will agree when I say if you do not take care of your perm the damage could ruin your hair as it did mine. It was a struggle to get my hair back to a healthy state. From treatments to cutting, having to cut the permed hair out, it was a long process. The Press I call this wonder the five-minute perm. Because if you sweat your hair instantly like Cinderella’s carriage turned back into a pumpkin, it will return to its natural state. Although this style can give you similar effects of having a perm, there are some severe side effects to consider. Anyone who has ever had their hair pressed may agree there is always the lurking fear of getting burned. Braids and Weaves I love braids and weaves just like most fashionistas. However, in New York City it can be quite hard to find a place that can do your hair without having a fear of the style not coming out the way you wanted. Even worse is the fear of losing your edges, fear of further damaging your hair just for a style. We try to see what style braided or weaved that will work best, and we push through the challenges. When it works, it can be an excellent way to help African-American hair to grow. The Natural Growing up, my mother always did my hair. She took care of it and always made sure my hair was nice and neat. As I got older, I outgrew little girl hairstyles and wanted different looks. Before I knew it, my time had come for me to take care of my own hair and go on my own hair journey. The Journey Doing my own hair started off pretty well until one day I went to a hair salon in high hopes of having the style I desired. When the beautician was finished, it was not exactly what I wanted. The braids were so tight, but I did not protest. I simply paid the lady, believing the braids would loosen up in due time. The braids help to grow back my hair that was damaged from a previous perm. A phase I was going through when I thought I wanted straight, flowy hair. When it was time to take out the braided style I was completely wrong. Not only did it take what seemed like forever for the style to loosen up, I ended up losing more hair in the back of my head. I was so devasted, I could not believe it. I was in a state of shock. I cried because all of my hard work of trying to manage a steady path of taking care of my hair was now ruined. All was not lost as going natural has allowed my hair to get back on a healthy track just like when my mom used to take care of it. I am more cautious about what products I use and where I go to get my hair done. When walking into a hair salon, I look for a positive atmosphere; I look at other clients’ hairstyles in hopes of seeing if it is being done nice. I also look for a place that’s not going to overcharge me for simple styles and a place that will take their time and do the style I request and the right way I asked for it to be done. Needless to say, I am still on the search for a hair salon that can meet up to my expectations.