Dear Hair,

We've had our ups and downs together.

From the moment I was born, you've been on my head, protecting me, making me feel pretty, and not gonna lie, sometimes making me ugly too. Fully grown, standing up, you sheltered my puny head from the cold air of the hospital room. People looked at you, exclaiming in awe at its full bloom and the jet black that you were.

You've blessed me with thick waves cascading down past my neck. Even the hairdressers and preschool teachers who use to braid and trim you showered you with compliments, running their fingers through your silkiness.

You take so much for me.

I'm sorry much of you had to be taken away from me when I shared hairbrushes with my friends in second grade and the little pests decided to make you their home. From then on, me and you started a love/hate relationship. I hated your new pixie cut because in my eyes your shortness make me look ugly and boyish. I began the superficial tendency of resorting to looking at you to decide if I was pretty or not. So I hid you away from the light of the sun, moon, and LEDs under the same baseball cap until you reached my shoulders.

Once you reached my shoulders, I tied you up into pigtails that stood cute and proud from the sides of my head. You never failed and came back to me with time. But I took your natural beauty for granted and decided to bleach you and color you till your color couldn't withstand the fumes of the harsh chemicals. Again, I found my beauty in the color you tried so hard to shine in.

And once I decided you weren't pretty anymore, I tied you up into tight buns and ponytails until the imprints of the scrunchies bent and pulled you from your home. I caused you pain, in turn, hurting myself. I'm sorry I constantly pulled at you and threatened to rip you from the safety of my scalp when I was stressed and confused.

And only when I hid your natural color and texture from the world did I come to appreciate you for what you were. And so I drowned you in chemicals again, trying to help you reach your natural color. Now you have been lightened to an aged mahogany, teasing the sun with your subtle hues time has forced upon you.

I loved you when you were long and flowy. Now, I've embraced your cropped length that tickles my shoulders every time I turn my head. After years of torturing you with back and forths of love and hatred, I've come to learn that you are a feature of me that doesn't define my beauty but instead enhances my character. I use to rely on you to give me those moments of superficial confidence, but now I take you for what you truly are.

You are the simple frame for my wide eyes and shy smile. You hide my nervousness in times of discomfort yet never fail to shine bright in my times of happiness and joy.

I will continue to embrace you when you turn grey and then eventually white. But please don't leave me. Hug me forever like you always have, because put simply and sweet...I love you.

Thank you.

-From the girl you've grown together with