“I thought all white women woke up with their hair perfect in the morning,” my black friend responded to my praises for Pantene Root Lifter. I thought it was a joke, but she was serious. I’ve been hanging out with her family for over forty years and I was stunned by her comment, having struggled with thin, lifeless hair until I discovered permanents in my forties. The point is that we didn’t know each other nearly as well as I thought we did. I’d slept in her bed, eaten at her table and showered in her bathroom and she still thought my hair was perfect in the morning! What we had was a misunderstanding between thinking we knew one another and knowing one another.

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