Until I was about 13, I had virgin hair. My long black strands were shiny, healthy and only incurred slight damage from daily blowouts and the occasional hot curlers. But one day, on a whim, one of my older sisters suggested I get highlights. With the older-sister-knows-best mentality, I went for it — despite the fact that I knew my mother would be livid. She believed in going au naturel when it came to my hair color because she thought it made me look more Chinese and less Americanized.