My name is Quess and I am 20. I used to have a high top fade I had started growing hair on the top of my head when I was about 15 years old, in high school. Before that, I was bald, because my mom always told me “your hair is nappy, so you don’t need to have it, just cut it off” *laughs* Literally I was younger I would want to grow my hair and have a big afro, because I would see that all my friends were doing it. But my mom was like that would be too much to manage so I just cut it. But when I was 15 I started growing my hair and by the time I came to college, my hair was long enough that I could start doing different styles with it, so I started to experiment, and my sister who is 26 - she’s older than me - she knows how to do black hair, how to braid, and do protective styles and all sorts of things, so she taught me how to do my hair and so I started learning from her and I started doing my own thing while I was at Williams. I started with little twists, then I did braids, and faux locs, and I liked it because It was like a new me every time It felt like I could switch up and be a different person for a few months. I feel like different hair styles brought different things out of me. Like when I had the faux locks I was like a cool laid back stoner, doing my thing, it was nice. When I had my long, golden box braids, it just felt like I was bad braids, because gold against black skin is such a statement, especially when it’s so long and visible and everyone can see it. I really felt confident in my own skin when I had those braids. Previously, even in high school when my hair was shorter I started doing twists, I started with black rope twists, and they were short but just long enough so they can be put in a man bun *smiles* and tat was also a different me! But at the end of last year I decided I wanted to cut my hair. Because for one, I was getting sort of attached to it, because I felt that, because my hair always needed to be kempt, and put together and look good, because it’s 4c and it takes a really long time to preserve my curls and my routine was so long and the maintenance took a lot out of me. And it just felt like I was attaching my self worth to how my hair looked. So my mom was like “why don’t you just cut it” and I was like, “I’ll cut it!” It was really not that big of a deal — I’d had short hair before. And I did it, and it was really restorative for me. Now I’m thinking of dying it blonde. I’m probably gonna dye it next week! I like [extensions]! I like putting hair in my hair, like it’s fun to have a lot of hair on your head. And when your natural hair is a lot shorter, you don’t have all that hair so when you add it in it feels so cool that you can just whip it around. Especially me being a dancer I love to have a lot of hair, it just makes my movement all the more dramatic.