In Harlem, hair isn’t just a style, it’s a way of life: 125th Street alone is home to dozens of braiders and their shops.

Many hail from Africa and the Caribbean, like Assana Azpire who runs Soraya’s House of Beauty at the corner of Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd and West 124th Street.

Producer Noëlle D. Lilley

Additional video and sound Julia Vriend, Anna Livia Dekort