It’s not just hair, though. It is my crowning glory, they said. It’s what matters more than anything else, they said. It’s about beauty and class and pride, they said. I hate how much I miss my hair. I hate how much I grew to depend on it as a source of confidence and self-esteem and how quickly that has been taken from me. I started losing my hair in September of this year and it’s falling out fast and loose. I know why I’m losing it, but I’m stuck, unable to leave what has made this happen. “Wait until something better comes along” is predicated on the idea that all of this is temporary. My senior year of college, I took a memoir writing class and I wrote about the black woman’s relationship to her hair. I wrote about how my mother began to lose her hair at the same time that I began to lose mine. Hers was stress and age. Mine was medicine. I wrote about how we stood in front of the mirror together and how I oiled her bald scalp and how I played with the long extensions that hid everything that was thinning on my own head. My professor said it was not deep enough, or raw enough, or critical enough. I thought, how can you tell me what is relevant in my life? What is tragedy if not the pursuit of value through vanity? The feeling of knowing better and still caring, shamefully and endlessly…that feeling is all I had.