Black women and weaves have a lengthy on-again and off-again relationship. Human hair extensions and wigs alike have gained their notoriety and popularity among Black women over the last few decades. There are a dozen theories behind the rationale for Black women indulging in these fabulous hair accessories’ vanity –but what’s the real reason we take such pains to install this hair?
However, the thought that every Black woman who installs a hair weave is doing so because she is desperate for “Good Hair” is absolutely wrong. Believe it or not, some Black women wear weaves just for the pure joy of fashion. That’s right; Hair weaves are a fantastic accessory that, much like earrings, a blouse, nail polish, or even a pair of shoes, allows one to change her look on a whim. Translation? Not every woman who decides to install a hair weave suffers from a complex about having natural hair.Are Black women wearing these for the look and feel of what society perceives to be “Good Hair?” Black women have had to endure phrases like “Good Hair” all of their lives from people who perhaps do not recognize the gift of our natural texture brings. Natural hair is not always seen as “Good Hair” in the African American community. Soft curls, clean waves, and bone-straight textures are seen by others as “Good Hair.”
Rejection of Black Culture
Black women wear weaves as a rejection of their natural culture. FALSE. Black pride is not dictated by the hair on a Black woman’s head. Many onlookers might make an erroneous assumption that just because a woman chooses to sew-in a few tracks or don a gorgeous lace front wig that she is in effect rejecting her culture. To make such an assumption would be like assuming that because a white woman chooses to spray tan her skin, she is abandoning her Irish heritage. A woman has the right to do the things that bring her joy in exterior transformation.
Is it possible that the main reason a Black woman is willing to sit in their stylist chair for hours to install hair extensions has everything to do with the need to assimilate with their European descendant counterparts? To give a hard ‘no’ to this answer would not be entirely accurate for an entire population of Black women. The reality is that some women feel the need to wear wigs or install extensions for assimilation into the American culture. Let’s face it, even despite the implementation of state legislation to not discriminate against an individual for choosing to wear Afrocentric stylings, history has shown employers to be more accepting of traditional Eurocentric styles.
So, what is the takeaway? Do not make any assumptions that your Black sisters are wearing weaves to assimilate, reject their Black culture, or in hopes of acquiring what society deems to be “Good Hair.” For most of them, it’s not that deep. Many Black women would rather wear their natural curls, kinks, and coils than don hair from the Asian continent to “blend in” with American society’s European culture. Society has a long way to go as it relates to accepting kinks and coils, however one should not mistake society’s hangups for that of the Black woman.