Weave and Black Women: Identity Issues?


Weave-such a controversial topic these days. Though I can’t for the life of me figure out WHY, given a woman can do whatever she wants with her hair…or lack thereof. However,  I DO realize that some people view women who wear weave as being artificial, superficial, or lacking in the self esteem department. I don’t agree with ANY of those assumptions, but as usual, I’m down for a discussion.

So let’s talk about the history of hair weaves. Hair weaves date all the way back to ancient Egypt. The Egyptian ladies used to make cool wigs and were known for their elaborate hairstyles. Later on down the line, African Americans and Europeans caught on to the trend. By the 1940’s almost all women wore some kind of hair extensions.

Fast forward to today. In 2015, it’s not uncommon to spot a woman with a hair weave. People have made a  business out of selling hair, and women seem to have no problem posting selfies indicating their new hair weaves were “installed” by such and such, not forgetting to give a shout out to their hair dealer in the process.


I remember back in the 90’s, when telling a woman that she had a hair weave was an insult. Women were a bit more reluctant to admit that they had gotten a little help in the hair department. But now, a lot of women are wearing their newly purchased hair like a badge of honor. Weave is no longer a thing to be ashamed of…right?

Well…according to the things I’ve been seeing…I couldn’t be more wrong. Apparently, much like the criticism women who choose to relax their hair run into, women who wear weaves are being accused of not loving themselves. They’re also being accused of trying to “look white.”

While, I understand why someone would say that, as someone who DOES wear weave, (not often, but I do) I have to say that trying to “look white” is the last thing I’m thinking about when I get a hair weave.

In case you guys didn’t know, maintaining your hair, especially without a relaxer, especially when it’s hot outside…is a lot of work. In the Summer time, when Black girls want to go swimming, or are prone to getting really sweaty, it’s really a pain in the ass to have to constantly wash, blowdry and straighten your hair. *cue the “why don’t you wear your hair natural” questions*

Because I don’t. Fros aren’t for me, and my natural curl pattern is bad. So I choose to straighten my hair.

And also, I wear weaves because I WANT TO. Sometimes I simply want a different look. Like Lil Kim, some days I just wanna switch it up. Sue me. And for the record, Black women aren’t the only ones who wear weave!

But then I saw this picture…


It gave me a funny little feeling in my gut. This picture made me wonder…ARE some Black women trying to escape their “Blackness” by sewing all of this foreign hair onto their heads? Did some us feel PRETTIER when we had a weave? Do weaves have more of a psychological effect on us than we think? Are we trying to be something/someone we’re not?

How do you feel about Black women who wear weaves? Is it a self esteem thing, or is just not that deep?


One thought on “Weave and Black Women: Identity Issues?

  1. Let’s just stop lying to ourselves,the issue of black women wearing European and Asian weaves started in America. African people learn a lot of of things from Americans without realising that not everything is good about America. Black Americans have identity issues and that weave thing exposes them to a large extend. I am a South African and i know wht happened to African our great fathers and mothers who where taken into slavery across the Atlantic. If i lived in America i would never call myself a Washington or a Jackson knowing very well thts not my ancestors’s name but my ex-master’s. I’d rather go find any name in Africa and call myself that;it would be better. Wearing a weave of an Asian or European woman does not make an African woman look prettier or gorgeous. Black women try to be something they are not. Thers no blonde person in Africa but these days you see a black woman with a blonde ‘hair’. Its high time our black women stop embarrassing the black people and go back to African braids and dreads an stop using creams to lighten their complexion. Black women must be conscious of who they are,AFRICAN.Black American women let African women astray.

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