• Crystal Aguh

My hair struggle was a blessing in disguise


Growing up, my absolute best friend in the world, Vivian had long thick flowing locks. I, on the other hand, was on of those unfortunate kids who had hair that could barely form a ponytail the length of my index finger. Every time my mom would do a new hairstyle on me I would ask "is it going to make my hair look like Vivian's?" At 5 years old, I didn't know what the term "hair envy" meant, but I definitely had it.


Fast forward several years and my go to style was a heavy rotation of braids and weaves. From the time college began until medical school ended, very few humans had the privilege of seeing my hair as it grew out of my head. I became known for me perfectly coifed "Stepford Wife" weave and didn't feel comfortable presenting myself without it. If I did think about wearing my hair out, I would run it by a close friend or my sister who would carefully point out that my hair was so damaged that I shouldn't dare be seen in public with it, and I would go back to tucking it into my weave.


It was not until I was a dermatology resident that I went to a weaving salon and they stylist gasped at how easily my hair would shed in her hands. My hair had reached a breaking point. Literally. The little I knew about dermatology at that point reminded me that I was letting the best hair years of my life slip away. I decided at that point to learn everything I could about hair care so that I could nurse my hair back to health.


Two books later, I now am so grateful for my lifelong hair struggle. Without it, I would not have had quite the passion for hair care that I do now. I am grateful to share everything that I have learned you all now and hope we continue to learn and grow together.

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Johns Hopkins Department of Dermatology,

Baltimore, MD

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