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.
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.