Black Girls Who Wear Weaves Don’t Hate Themselves

Gosh. About a week ago, I caught a few women and men ranting about women who wear weaves and the assumed lack of confidence they must have for doing so.

Jeez. We can’t do anything without criticism.

I dated a guy not too long ago who was obsessed with my “natural” hair and felt some type of way when I put a weave in. While I found his little obsession with my real hair kind of cute, there was nothing more annoying than hearing him suck his teeth while running his fingers through my weave. Caught on to the talk about Black women and weaves and what it supposedly means when we wear them, he complained about how women who choose to wear someone else’s hair usually have low self-esteem and are trying to hide who they really are.

Now, I’ll admit that I’ve met a few women who don’t feel confident with what God gave them. And while I would never judge women and their insecurities, I would hope they could find beauty in their natural selves. But let’s get real: most of us don’t wear weave because we hate ourselves and think we look so much prettier with a Brazilian, thin weft sewed to our heads. We wear it because WE DON’T FEEL LIKE DOING OUR DAMN HAIR.

We also wear it because, as a woman, it lets us change up our look instantly. Oh, and the other obvious reason: it’s a free country and we can do whatever the hell we want with our bodies.

Beauty, hair, and nails…they’re a part of girlhood and womanhood. The willful right to play up, play down, change up and even stick to a signature look as a woman, is one of the perks of living in our skin. So when women are criticized for doing just that, it becomes frustrating and burdensome. It’s like we can’t win.

Black girls get bashed for wearing weaves, but other women don’t

For Black girls wearing weaves, the feared notion is that people (more specifically, Black men) will view us as having low self-esteem, being ratchet, hood, prissy, high maintenance, and so on and so forth. I’ve even heard a few men say that Black girls who wear weave look like “strippers”, and that the only “classy” types of weaves are those that are mid-length or shorter.

Huh?

So, a woman can never have a weave in because we just feel like having a one in? The bashing of Black women wearing extensions has become quite normal in our culture, but we forget that White women, Asian women and women of other cultures wear extensions too. And very often. But there is rarely an issue made about them rocking their clip-ins, fused hair extensions and even lace fronts (yes, I’ve peeped a few White women wearing lace fronts). What’s the deal with the double standard?

A lot of us really like our real hair; we just don’t want to do it

That some of us includes myself. I actually feel so pretty with my real hair. I love it. I love the texture, my curls and the way I look when my hair is pulled up in a bun, showing off my facial features. But the truth is, sometimes I want to switch it up and other times, I just don’t have time to do my hair. That’s why I throw a weave in every now and then. I work long days, live in NYC, go out with my girls, date and workout 4 times a week. I don’t have the patience or time to do my hair for 30 minutes every morning. The summer is even worse. I’m natural, which means I’m left with three options: a slick back, braids or a weave. And while all three are fabulous, a weave, for me, is easier to maintain and keep my hair healthy.

And for the record: women who wear weaves aren’t bald, OK?

No matter how many Black female celebrities like Gabrielle Union, Nicki Minaj and Keke Palmer post their real hair on Instagram and social media, there is still this ridiculous myth that women who wear weaves more than likely have very little or “undesirable” hair.

No boo boo, no. Many times, if they’re wearing weaves correctly, these women have more hair that not and it’s actually healthier than you’d expect it to be. Why? Because if you get a weave installed properly and take care of it and your hair correctly, your hair is doing nothing under there but growing and resting. There’s no direct heat being applied, no harsh sun damage happening or even excess product being put in your hair. It’s just chillin, unbothered.

And so what if her hair is short? Or if she’s bald under a wig? She could have cancer. She could have just done the big chop. She could have just wanted a new look.

The moral of the story is: Black women don’t wear weave, extensions or anything other than their hair because they lack confidence. We do it because we like to change it up and have fun. We’re not low in self-esteem and don’t need permission to do whatever we want with our hair. So please, miss us with the ignorance.

  • One word Yassssss in you I am definitely finding my blogging voice again so glad I came across your awesome blog. The last paragraph was and is everything.

    • Melanie

      Thank you so much! I hope you come back 🙂

  • Xerxes

    As a black man, its less about wearing weave but more about length. Many black women, who under no circumstances, would grow hair that extends to the small of the back. Or the texture tends to be the polar opposite of their natural hair. Many don’t take care of their weave, by not washing regularly.

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  • SayuriEra

    It is a good article. Objective. Yet, its obvious that your message theme did not get through to some. The comment above that “its about the length’ makes that clear. How critical he is. Why is that necessary? Sad. It is a fact that my white friends pulled me into the world of weaves. The girls were weaving in their ‘long’and ‘longer’ hair many years before I joined the trend. I have had all kinds of styles, long, longer, short, perm, fancy braids and in any color I desired. I can create beauty in any way I want. I love to change it up and I think that, all females, irregardless of race and culture do too. Blacks are way too critical of each other. If this is a new trend, please stop. Black is Beautiful no matter how its styled, so stop tearing it down. I am always amazed (actually I laugh) at the way Black men respond to women of other races and cultures as if they were born beautiful and actually wake up looking fabulous. Please stop buying into the hype.

    • Melanie Yvette

      Exactly! I feel the same way. Especially the part about how some Black men respond to women of other races waking up looking glorious and us, not. It’s a mess. But thank you for reading and coming to the site!

    • Melanie Yvette

      Thank. You.

  • Kalua

    Loved the article! I’ve worn half wigs for most of my adult life. I have a cycle, grow out my hair, wear it natural, half-wig during winter. Every couple of years I big chop to a pixie and then get bored with having to flat iron it and then put on a wig. Every article I”ve read spoke to “self-hate” as you have stated. Truthfully I just wanted change and I liked the looks. I have never worn weave down my back however, but I do wear natural looking styles. I think that you look gorgeous in each one of your photos. I needed to read this article today because I was just thinking that I don’t like the way the stylist cut my hair this last time. Life is change and change is life. Keep writing, you are awesome.

  • eve

    As a Black woman, I find the logics of what many of us assume for wearing weaves to be hilarious. First, every other women wear weaves but it resembles thier natural hair so we can’t easily tell if they wear weave. When we wear it, it just doesn’t blend with our hair. Come on, why the hell a Black woman, especially a dark skin one, need to wear bone straight hair that passes her buttocks? Secondly, what the hell is protective hairstyle? This is just another ridiculous reason to wear weaves. I was also a believer of this idea. Then I watch how my brother take great care of his hair. It has become really healthy and long -without him wearing a weave. This is the reason I go natural. You are correct in some instances. We, women have the right to do what we want but the wearing of European style weaves goes back to our history of self-hate. I wear weaves but they are only afro- textured such as Marley and Afro kinky.People often asks me how I get my hair so long. The weaves I wear blend with my hair so it looks authentic African.