For years, I have had my hair done for me. On Saturday morning, my mother would turn on the early morning cartoons as she was heating up the hot comb on the stove. I would brace myself as I sat in between her legs while she sat on the couch above sectioning off my hair into fours, then sixes, then into eight little rows. Every time I heard the singe of the hot comb hit my hair, I would tense up a little. My mother knew a few things when it came to hair. My grandmother knew a thing or two when it came to hairdressing, and whispered words of wisdom to my mother throughout the years. She can flat iron, braid (not flat braided), twist (not flat twist), and straighten hair, but that's really about it. I used to get made fun of for wearing platts to school. All the other black girls had their hair straightened. My mother wears her hair in a little puffball in the back of her hair, and when she wants to feel fancy, she does a little twisted crown around her scalp. When that ship sailed, I bounced from salon to salon, trying to find someone to care for my thick 4a/4b hair (I didn't find out my hair type until years later). My mother had gotten tired of doing it. Besides, around that time, I was probably being a little brat, but I begged my mother to get my hair straightened. I've had a love/hate relationship with my hair. My dad and grandfather would tell me that my hair would look so pretty with my hair straightened. They did not know what they were doing, but it did hurt my confidence a little bit. But I let it get to me, and it got to my mom, and in the fourth grade, my hair transformed from it being flat ironed once a month, to being straightened professionally once a month. I kind of went around to different people. The salon on the North side, the lady at church with the weird cat that bites your feet, the woman with seven kids but only has two of them, I went to many people. When I was fourteen and starting high school. I wanted my mane to cascade my shoulders. My mom and I were out of luck when it came to finding a new hair stylist. Our old neighbor had given us a scrap of paper with a ladies name on it and her number. She did hair, but the lady insisted that she was crazy. "I'd still like to try her. I mean, we're crazy too." Sunshine (that was my hairdresser's name) was amazing! I loved her. I went to her for four year. She took care of my hair to the max. My hair grew when it was in her care and it was nourished. She actually was the one to introduce me to natural styling. My old neighbor was right, she was bonkers! But she knew her facts about hair. Every time I would get my hair washed, she would tell me new facts about African history. Mansa Musa, Thurgood Marshall, and Dorothy Dandridge to name a few. I am obsessed with her to this day. She introduced me to twists after she suggested them to me. I had gotten my hair straightened constantly for eight years. The way she did them were. Little strands of magic. I wanted to learn how to do them. I couldn't believe someone could have the skill and patience. The last time I got them done by her was August 2016. I couldn't wait to book my next appointment for November. That's when I found out that she moved. She was gone, she was no longer in Chicago anymore. She moved on. The first thing I thought about was the visits and hearing her speak about black history and how I should wrap my hair at night. She was so talented when it came to hair. I panicked! Yet again, I was alone in the hair process, and since I was in college, I couldn't run to mom. I was too embarrassed to ask for help. But I mustered up the courage to. I went up to my natural peers: I'm fairly outgoing, but some days I just don't feel like stopping a random person with an afro and blurting out, "tell me how you did your hair! Give me the tips!" The girls that I use to hang out with, if they introduced me to someone and they had a natural hairstyle, I would ask them what they did to achieve their length or style and what their routine was. Research! Research! Research! The internet is your friend. You got forums, blogs, videos, YouTube....you name it! I learned how to twist. I learned about co-washing and conditioning. I do the LCO method on my hair every night. I massage my scalp and put my bonnet on proudly. I think it was a blessing for her to stop doing my hair. She went on and is living her best self, and I was forced to assume responsibility. That's the best thing that could've happened to me. I want to be able to tend to the crown that grows out of my head in the correct way. I have learned to love the texture, all of its little idiosyncrasies. I have many important women in my life to thank for that, and my mother is definitely one of them. But, if it wasn't for Sunshine, I wouldn't have taken my natural hair journey any further. Thank you Sunshine.