To those around Jergen Black, beauty equaled having straight hair; it was an equation that she never quite understood. All her young life, Jergen watched her now thin-haired mother, Mamma Dee, constantly smoke up the kitchen with a hot comb while straightening people's hair and bragging about how beautiful they were going to look when she finished. Jergen's choice to wear her hair natural is constantly critiqued by those around her, as well as by her "ghetto" grandmother who dates Stockton, the town drug lord who is half her age.
Not only does Jergen have to worry about her mother becoming bald from burning out her own hair, she also has to worry about her grandmother's dangerous lifestyle getting the best of her. Jotting down the events of the day in the new diary that her ex-boyfriend's mother gave her provides Jergen with an outlet for her to express her thoughts freely. Jergen is able to make it through with the help of her three best friends who call themselves "La Natural"- four very smart black beauties who happily wear their hair natural and show it off despite the reaction they receive from the outside world.