The Truth About Weave Part I

Hey Glamazons!

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.

My hair in a (weaved) bob

My real hair after I took the weave out

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?




Beautylicious said...

Great post! I agree, I have a healthy head of hair, most recently someone even said my scalp was healthy! but guess what, I'm still putting on a weave! I love the fact that I can dye it, cut it, fry it while my real hair is chillin while I put the weave through hell.

Mish said...

Exactly!! I have natural hair and I rock weave, wigs, and all. All the reasons you gave are why I do as such. Sometimes we just want to look different. Hair now is an accessory just like earrings or shoes, you can rock a new one each day. But I have to add I love for a man to be all in my head.. LOL!

Piano Praise said...

Wow. Thanks for this. I am a stay at home of 1 baby and 1 toddler. I was thinking about getting a wig just so that I don't have to devote so much time to doing my hair and I can just spend that time with my kids or doing other things that need to be done. Kids are a handful and my hair tends to get messed up easily from playing with them and working around the house all day. A wig would be a nice break, and it would keep me from looking like a frumpy house wife if I have to answer the door for anyone who comes to my home.

Christian said...

no girl under the age of 40 and without cancer should rock a wig. I'm sorry. i cannot agree.

a few tracks for bounce and length or body is cool...but if you hair is so healthy underneath and you never wear it, whats the point of it being healthy????

Anonymous said...

I don't understand what is the big deal about weaves. I have had long hair for most of my life.I refuse to bleach my hair ever again.When I'm in the mood for some highlights I put pieces in my hair or if I feel like being Mocahontas for my bday a long weave is sewn in. ;-)

FashionFreeP said...

@ Christian What does having Cancer or being over 40 have to do with wearing wigs? This makes no sense, there are many reasons to wear a wig, simple reasons like the one stated by Piano Praise. I wear wigs when my real hair is not done, when I want a style for a day, etc. I don't have cancer and I'm not over 40. Obviously you don't know anything about wigs. Wigs were considered a luxury by the Egyptians, Romans, and Europeans. Worn by kings , queens, politicians and aristocrats they were a sign of wealth, high status, and power.
Next comment, there's no point if of having healthy hair underneath if you never wear it? If you gel, dye, fry, chop, and screw your own hair it would not be healthy anymore. The solution is weaves and wigs, so you have options to wear your hair and express yourself however you want.

Miss Yaya said...

Love the post.

I think so long as you're doing it for you, go ahead and do the damn thing.

Everyone looks beautiful when they are most confident, so if that is with a weave, do you. Just don't overcompensate, or throw your rent away for it :)

FunkyStarkitty50 said...

I have Alopecia and I have bald spots all over my head. I have worn afros, twists and other types of braids, so I'm not afraid of going without a weave. But for the last couple of years, I have had no hair at all growing in those spots, so I wear weaves to make my hair fuller and for the versatility of styles. I don't have the pretty-shaped head to go bald, so weaves and wigs are my only option until a cure is found for my condition.

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