How Spending My Teen Years in Foster Care Affected My Beauty Routine

“Let’s dye your hair—it’s much too dark for your pale face.”

My foster mother said this to the hairdresser as if I wasn’t sitting right there—as though I were some specimen, some object to be decided upon and shaped up. She meant well, she really did, but I liked my black, thick, wavy hair. It was one of the only things I had left. Often foster youth are uprooted with nothing but a bag of items—but my hair was mine, natural, something I could link back to my parents. It was like a photograph in a locket. And I wore it with me each day.