It has been burned. Snapped. Pulled. Bleached and shaved. If I had treated any other body part this badly, people would call it self-harm. 

 

The first time I mistreated my mane, I was 14 years old. My best friend’s mother looked at me with sorrow swelling in her eyes. It was my father’s funeral, and she asked her daughter if I’d dyed my hair as a reaction to his death. We belly laughed at the notion, our naive teenage giggles betraying our youthful inability to process the severity of bereavement.

 

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