There has been a debate going on for a long time now about Black women wearing their hair natural vs. Black women who wear weaves, wigs, relax their hair etc. The main people who have something to say about Black women and our hair are Black men. A lot of Black men have become very vocal, critical and even brutal when giving their opinions on Black women who choose to wear weaves and relax their hair. Some of the men are presumptuous in thinking that a woman who chooses to wear a wig or weave or relax her hair has low self-esteem, does not have knowledge of self and/or is trying to be White. As though we aren’t criticized enough for our looks by Whites, we have our own men launching verbal assaults over a hair style! But these same men are quick to say how bad Beyonce is with her blonde weaves and hair extensions. These same men are quick to say how “Bad” Nikki Minaj is or some video vixen/model chick with hair weave and make-up. They put these women on pedestals and turn them into the standard of beauty but throw shade to the non-video vixen for choosing to wear her hair the same way. The debate is heavy in the “pro-black” “conscious” community and to me, it’s really stupid.
I’d rather see a person with a natural mind and processed head than a processed mind and natural head – Erykah Badu
I’ve worn hair weaves as well as my natural hair. What a lot of men don’t seem to understand is that it takes a lot of work to maintain our hair. I myself, when I first began growing my hair naturally, had to learn which products agreed with my grade of hair. I find that Shea Moisture products, olive oil and coconut oil works wonderfully in my hair. I was at a total loss for how to style it until I began subscribing to various Natural Hair Care Youtube Channels. Sometimes, our hair needs a break which is when we go to “protective styles”. Protective styles can vary from individual braids (box braids aka “Poetic Justice” braids) Faux Lox (I did them once, they took a long ass time to put in but they looked FABULOUS when I was done and my hair grew a lot while I had them in) and sew in weaves or weave caps. I prefer sew ins because my hair is braided, it’s protected, there isn’t any glue and it gives my hair a chance to chill without constantly combing in it. If the sew in is done correctly (I do my own because the shop jacked me up one time and that was not happening again) there is NO breakage. When I first began wearing my hair natural, I previously was wearing a short cut and my hair had been relaxed. The new growth in the area that was cut close was not processed, but the hair at the top was (Chile I looked like Samuel Jackson from Unbreakable where he had like three different hair styles, part fro, part press & curl part I don’t know what the fuck it was LOL). I cut all that shit off and carefully braided my hair and wore various sew ins for 7 months. My hair grew like crazy. Why? Because my hair stayed braided for four weeks at a time ( I did a new sew-in once a month), after each sew in I gave myself a deep conditioner with natural hair care products and ever so often, I would go in between the tracks where my hair was braided and moisturize my scalp and my roots with olive oil or coconut oil.
I do not wear weaves because I am ashamed of my natural look, have low self-esteem or lack knowledge of self or where I come from. To me, weave is a fashion, a form of art, nothing more nothing less. If I want to be short and sassy and don’t want to cut my own hair, pass that tara hair and I gets it poppin’. If I want a dope bob and I don’t want to apply too much heat to my hair, pass me those hair extensions, and I gets it poppin. If I want to add a little color or rock something wild, curly or crinkly, pass me those hair extensions and I gets it poppin. It’s only hair. It’s not that deep. How a woman wears her hair does not change who she is inside. At the risk of sounding like India Arie, “I am not my hair”. I will still debate you on Black Culture, the importance of Black Lives Matter, where the generation got it wrong before us at the end of the Civil Rights movement and anything else pertaining to the history of Blacks, our culture, the changes that need to take place during the present to enhance and solidify our future whether my hair is in a flat twist blow out or rocking a soft, curly weave. For the men (and some women because I’ve been coming across a few who turn their noses up at women who wear weave and then I scroll back in the Facebook or Instagram and see them rocking the tackiest Remy weave or laced-front wig) who are quick to tear a woman down based off of how she chooses to wear her hair, assuming she is something that she probably is not, what makes you any different than the millions of white people who have their assumptions about us based off of this good-good melinated skin we have before getting to know who we really are?
Being natural is about more than just how a woman wears her hair or if she wears make-up or not. It’s about her being comfortable in her skin and confident in who she is regardless of her outside appearance. It’s about her being who she is unapologetically and fearlessly. Whether her hair is defying the laws of gravity in a huge afro or cascading down her shoulders, blowing in the wind. If she is who she is fearlessly, acknowledge her and respect her, period. *Drops mic… well pen LOL Y’all know what I mean*