“natural” weaves and protective style propoganda

natural weavei recently had the most shocking experience of my life. scrolling through one of my favorite blogger’s instagram pictures, i noticed she tagged her hair stylist.  initially, i was surprised that she used a professional hairstylist to maintain her afro since it always looked like a twist out; however, a few swipes revealed something that made my mouth drop open. the blogger whose style i admire and natural hair i’d envied, was wearing a WEAVE!

as a black woman, it’s my duty to spot a weave from no less than 3.72 miles away.  how many times have i rolled my eyes when a white co-worker or classmate was dupped by a sista’s extensions? (no, shanika’s hair didn’t grow 5 inches over night). but now, i’d traded places with these less-cultured-black-hair spectators and failed to notice what was right in front of me. these perfectly coifed crowns skating down my tumblr, facebook and instagram feeds are in fact not natural but fake.

natural hairi’m salty as hell that i’ve lost my weave cred behind what so many black women are calling “protective styles.”  first, let me say, weave, no weave, long hair, bald head, natural, fake, i’m not making a judgment on how sistas are choosing to wear their hair. i have no interest in policing the gates of natural hair heaven (envision streets lined with shea moisture products).  my issue is why so many black women are claiming to be using weaves that look similar to their natural hair in place of their natural hair. some would say protective styles are necessary for natural hair in the winter, and i concur. but natural hair bloggers have led an entire generation astray if we think that a weave is the only way to protect our hair. hats, twists, buns, beanies, braids, we’ve had options for generations that didn’t include fake afros.

for these reasons, i’m calling bluff on this protective style propaganda and will say what some folks are afraid to admit. it’s not always about protecting our hair, but about the texture and length that natural weaves can create. even us naturals still buy into the “good” hair myth, obsessively searching for products and now weaves that give folks the illusion that our hair is longer with a looser curl pattern.  while it’s not for me, i would respect the “natural” weave hustle so much more if folks didn’t proclaim some higher purpose before sewing in their kinky tracks. let’s keep it one-hundred: whether buying into the “good” hair myth or not, some of y’all just wanna rock a weave. and that’s ok.

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5 comments

  1. First of all, why does someone else’s hair mean so much to you? So what if someone decides to wear a weave that looks like an afro. So what if someone decides to rock a huge twist out crochet braid protective style? It’s THEIR hair to do whatever they please with it. It really shouldn’t concern you to the point that you become salty over their lifestyle because I’m sure that whatever they do with their hair and their time makes them happy. I know a ton of people who are naturalistas and rock their real hair whenever they feel, but still wear natural weaves with different curl patterns and guess what? I’m still over here minding my business and doing me because what they do to their own hair doesn’t concern me.

    I told myself that if my hair was a 4c curl pattern that I would get dreads because I personally was DONE with perms because my own personal problems with the chemical. When I found out I had a 4a curl pattern, I decided MYSELF to grow my hair out–oh and guess what? I wear weaves that are NOT my curl pattern -GAAASPP-. I wear weaves to protect my hair because it does break easily when I over-manipulate it. I get that there are other ways to wear it, but I prefer to wear weaves because I am not used to nor am I comfortable with wearing my twa out. It is my choice. I am still natural. There isn’t an ounce of relaxer in my hair.

    This natural hair movement is starting to look shallow the more I come across people who post things like this. Despite what others see, the person is STILL NATURAL underneath the weave. Naturals have their own journeys. Some people go completely bald and rock it from start to finish and some people big chop and some people transition before big chopping. Some people are all for seeing and rocking their curl pattern once it gets to a certain length and others are more comfortable rocking a twa. Despite what choices someone makes in their natural journey…it is still a natural journey. Do not pour salt on their life choices. That’s not cool and that’s not your business.

    I think certain natural movement followers are salty because the fake hair looks so good it could be real. Either way, I’m not mad, just disappointed smh.

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    1. first, about 95% of this post was satirical and not meant to be taken seriously. second, what i call into question at the end is not whether black women should wear weaves (i support black women’s right to bodily agency, including how we style our hair), but the notion that a weave is solely being used for a protective style. i open the possibility that it could be due to the good hair myth, but don’t emphatically say that’s true for everyone. in fact, what i say is “SOME of y’all just wanna rock a weave. and that’s ok.”

      thanks for reading and commenting. i always appreciate an alternative analysis.

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      1. I know I’m all late..my bad. I totally got what you were saying. I’m just confused by this ” I told myself that if my hair was a 4c curl pattern that I would get dreads because I personally was DONE with perms because my own personal problems with the chemical. When I found out I had a 4a curl pattern, I decided MYSELF to grow my hair out” Is she saying that 4c hair for her is undesirable and that’s why she’d dread it instead? Why not dread 4a hair too?

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