Ever since Chris Rock called us out in the documentary, “Good Hair,” everyone has been discussing why weaves are…well, horrible. Men are complaining that they can’t run their fingers through weaved heads without hitting the tracks or “speed bumps,” or “choo-choo’s” as they call it. Women are applauding celebs like Kandi from Bravo’s Real Housewives of Atlanta for wearing their own hair while side-eyeing her castmate, Nene’s weaved haircut.
In fact, on our magazine’s website, commenters talked about weaves like they were for bald-headed misfits that secretly hate themselves. Like the natural hair on weave-wearer’s heads is so nappy, thin and sparse, the only way we can get out of bed and face the public is if we put some poor Indian woman’s hair on our heads. Not true!
On behalf of weave lovers everywhere, Ferocia and I are doing a two-part post breaking down myths about being weave-a-licious—and proving that it’s not a bad thing.
-MYTH: Only women with short or no hair wear weaves.
I recently had a weaved bob (see below), took it out last night and wore my real hair to work the following day.
Everyone—from men to multicultural women—had the same question:
“If your real hair is long and healthy, why do you wear a weave?”
I thought such ignorant concepts about weave disappeared in the 90’s, but maybe I’m wrong. No longer are weaves the saving grace for people with no hair.
In my opinion, it’s old news that women with flowing beautiful hair down their back (and even white women…hello Khloe Kardashian! (If you don’t believe it, watch her segment on Wendy Williams where she talks about putting a bobby pin on her track) are wearing weaves for a number of reasons. Let’s name a few:
(1) To try a new color or cut without committing. I wanted to rock the asymmetric bob trend without cutting my real hair and having to suffer through that awkward stage as the hair grows back. I also wanted to energize my look with a sexy new honey blonde color. A weave allowed me to experiment with cut and color…and take it out as soon as I was over it (for me, this is a two week span). Genius! A lot of celebrities—from Rihanna to Mary J. Blige—wear weaves for just that reason.
(2) Some weaves are easier to maintain than real hair. As I prepared to travel to Southern Spain this summer (most amazing trip…ever! btw), I knew I would want to swim in the ocean everyday. Instead of wearing my real hair, which would entail me washing, blow-drying and flat-ironing daily, I wore a weave that could withstand daily trips to the beach.
(3) To add texture and volume to your real hair. Many women just sew in a few tracks of weave (of the same length or shorter) to make their own hair fuller. Run your hands across the scalps of your favorite famous Hollywood starlet and I guarantee you’ll find one or two tracks in the center or bottom to give her that glamourous red-carpet volume.
(4) To give your real hair a break. Curling and flat-ironing your real hair takes a tremendous toll. Many women circumvent this by applying heat to style weaves while their real hair remains safe from harm.
Sure, weave has its share of setbacks. For example, sometimes, your scalp just needs to breathe which is why it’s good to rock your hair out every couple of months.
Also, sewn-in weaves can cause breakage by tugging at your real hair in cornrows. For this reason, when getting a sewn-in weave, it’s important to avoid braiding the hair so tight that the weave pulls at your real hair. My hairstylist even braids synthetic hair into my cornrows so the tracks don’t strain my real hair as much.
One complaint that isn’t a setback? That men “can’t run their fingers through weave.” Trust: I wouldn’t let you touch my hair, real or weaved, anyway. =)
Discuss: What’s your opinion on weaves?