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Curly Nikki

The Fake Hair Debate- A Discussion

By January 27th, 202188 Comments
by Christina Brown via Refinery29

At the root of every bad hair day is a desire to achieve the highest level of hair amazingness possible…and the subsequent failure to meet those expectations. We always want what we can’t have, so we set ourselves up for disappointment when our strands can’t live up to our high hair hopes. We all fall prey to mane envy, and with that comes the desire to enhance — whether it be through straightening, coloring, cutting, or adding extensions.

There’s been an interesting debate brewing recently over what “natural” hair actually is and whether hair enhancements like wigs, weaves, and extensions play a misleading role in how we define beauty these days. Is wearing your hair natural “better” than wearing extensions? What exactly gets everyone so riled up when a woman chooses to wear fake hair?

We found five real, stylish girls who have all dabbled with faux hair to answer those questions and more. Read on for their insightful opinions on this hot-button issue, then weigh in with your own thoughts on the “natural or not” debate.

The Fake Hair Debate- A Discussion

Stacie Smith, 25, ad sales finance manager

Tell us a bit about your hair.
“I consider it natural because I don’t have a relaxer. When it’s straight, a lot of people assume it’s a weave. I actually appreciate the people who just outright ask instead of staring and trying to figure it out, because it’s awkward and then I feel like I have to do something so that the question can be answered and they’ll stop looking at me.”

What’s your usual hair care routine?
“For the most part. I wear it straight but in the summer, I wear it natural. When I wear it straight, I wash it once a week, I blow dry it, and use a flat iron — Hair Art Infrared TI450 flat iron.

In terms of products, I swear by Matrix Biolage shampoo and conditioner. The reason I really like it is that their detangler works wonders. My hair gets really matted in the back section and when I put that in, I can detangle it really easily. I use Hair Art MorocVita oil to try to provide some nutrients to my hair. It smells good and it makes my hair feel moisturized and not greasy. I also use the Matrix Biolage Fortifying Heat Styler before I flat iron.”

Have you ever worn fake hair before?
I have, once. It’s funny because no one really noticed at first. Everyone thought it was my hair even though I purposely gotten something like a 20-inch weave. I actually got it because I was thinking about cutting my hair shoulder length and I wanted to see what it would be like. I had it for about 2 months and progressively cut it shorter and shorter until it was like a bob. It was fun being able to play with the hair and straighten it every day without worrying about heat damage, but I actually thought it was more difficult to keep up than just doing my own hair. I found it hard to wash my hair and actually get to my scalp clean, and it was challenging to manage and style the two hair textures (mine and the weave).”

What’s your stance on women who wear fake hair?
“I think it’s a personal decision. The one thing I do like about it is that it gives women options. With hair extensions, women are no longer confined to one particular hairstyle and can try different things without (or before) making a permanent change.

I do believe that women should love themselves as they are, but I don’t have a problem with a weave. Hair extensions can be viewed as an enhancement similar to fake eyelashes or other beauty enhancers. I’m not a fan of unkempt extensions! But besides that, the only thing I don’t particularly care for is that due to their popularity, some people automatically assume that everyone is wearing extensions.”

Why do you think there is such a huge divide between women who wear fake hair and those who choose to go natural? Why is it such a sensitive topic?
“Honestly, I see more of a divide between those who are natural (without a relaxer) and those are not. I also see a divide between those who choose to wear their hair in its natural state without straightening and those who do not.

The sensitivity comes because for some reason, in some situations, it’s taboo to wear a weave. It really shouldn’t be an issue or a sensitive topic. You will have the slightly awkward, ‘oh is that your real hair?’ questions, but if they’re not asked rudely, this just encourages dialogue on the topic, sometimes even between different races. I really appreciate when women just ask outright, ‘is that your hair?’ And I do the same. I’m from what I consider to be the black hair capital of the U.S. (Detroit) and I love talking about hair. And who knows, the woman may be asking because she likes your hair and wants to follow up with a ‘where did you get it done? or ‘what products do you use?’ or simply ‘it looks really nice, I like it.'”

The Fake Hair Debate- A Discussion

Alyssa Goldstein, 25, production at Gap

Tell us a bit about your hair.
“I have naturally thick hair with natural highlights. I wear it curly for the most part, but sometimes I like to straighten it. I recently dyed the tips turquoise, but that just faded out, leaving my ends lighter.”

What’s your usual hair care routine?
Currently, I’m using the Redken All Soft shampoo and conditioner. I try to use anything with moisture, just because I don’t like to have to cut my hair — I want it to grow. I use Matrix Biolage Hydrating Conditioner as well as L’Oréal Nature’s Therapy Heat Control Moisture shampoo and conditioner. If I’m leaving it curly, I don’t like to wash my hair every day, only two to three times a week. I use Bamboo Kendi Oil on it for the in-between days and it smoothes out my hair and makes it fresh. Sometimes I enhance my highlights with a box of John Frieda color.”

Have you ever worn fake hair before?
“I haven’t lately but I have in the past. About 2 years ago, I mistakenly cut my hair off and I didn’t like it, so I had a weave for most of the year. I prefer weaves — the braids hide my naturally curly hair. When I wear extensions I always wear my hair straight; I find it easier to keep my hair straight with a weave because I am straightening less of my own hair. Every once in a while, I’ll do clip-ins as well, but my hair has gotten really long recently so I haven’t had to use those.”

Do you think of fake hair as a way to enhance your mane, or is it more like false advertising?
“Enhancement! Hair (natural or not) gives women confidence and makes them feel sexy and beautiful. No matter what your hair is — natural or fake, short or long, straight or curly — you will radiate confidence if you love it. “

Do you agree that African-American women get more flak for wearing fake hair than women of other races do?
“Black women have a totally different texture of hair, so it’s more common for them to wear extensions. I don’t think they deserve any type of criticism for it though. I do think anyone who wears crappy extensions — black, white, hispanic — should receive flak! In my opinion, if you are going to wear extensions, you need to take pride in the quality because at the end of the day it is your hair and your appearance. In the past, when I wore a weave, it was 100% human hair and it matched my color perfectly — you could never tell the difference. If you have a good weave and a nice cut to go with it, no matter your race, no one should hate on you.”

The Fake Hair Debate- A Discussion

Janelle Grimmond, 29, fashion editor/stylist

Tell us a bit about your hair.
“I transitioned out of wearing weaves and now I wear an amazing wig, but underneath my wig I’m 100% natural and unprocessed. Usually I wear my wig all the time, but I am currently wearing a weave because I am taping a reality show based on hair.”

What’s your usual hair care routine?
“When I’m wearing a wig, I’m able to take care of my natural hair underneath a better than when I used to rock weaves. Every two weeks, I shampoo and deep condition with Hair Rules products, then get my hair braided up while underneath the wig.

With my wig, I can either manage it on my own, or I take it back to the salon and let them refresh it. They put it in the oven, they seal the cuticles, and really make it feel brand new again. When I take care of it at home, I use Moroccanoil shampoo and conditioner, then I blow it out like they do at the salon, and that’s that.”

Has anyone ever criticized you for not being 100% natural?
“When I was younger my dad used to say little things to me about me loving my natural hair. But honestly, I never get negative feedback about my hair. Even guys who are completely opposed to wigs or weaves, once they see mine, they’re cool with it. I always get a pass.”

What do you love most about wearing fake hair?
“I love to switch up my look and achieve whatever texture I really like. I live and die for an amazing weave, but I prefer wigs — it’s less stress on the hair. I like being able to take it off and put it on whenever I like and when my stylist, Q Hardy, isn’t available, my wig holds me down.”

Is there anything you don’t like about it?
“Wearing hair extensions can sometimes damage or pull out your hair. It definitely thins out the hair if you don’t take breaks in between.”

Do you agree that African-American women get more flak for wearing fake hair than other races? Why do you think that is?
“It really annoys me that black women get so much flak for wearing hair extensions when everyone else does the same thing. I was shocked to see how many women of all races come into the salons with extensions. One thing I can say is that the black women who do wear extensions and don’t care what it looks like (i.e. tracks showing, texture not matching) also contribute to the bad stigma. Get it right ladies, or just wear your natural hair. From experience, only black men have negative things to say. When you really think about it…it’s pretty sad.”

Why do you think there is such a huge divide between women who wear fake hair and those who choose to go natural? Why is it such a sensitive topic?
“It’s a sensitive topic because some women who don’t wear extensions feel like the women who do are hiding behind the fake hair and not proud to rock the natural tresses that God gave them. But that’s not always the case. Women who don’t choose to wear extensions should just respect the choices that other women make regarding their hair. Are we all supposed to look, think, and dress alike? No. Do what works for you.”

The Fake Hair Debate- A Discussion

Ebony Thorne, 24, clinical research coordinator

Tell us a bit about your hair.
“I’ve been getting it pressed every two weeks for so long, it’s conditioned to staying straight now. It doesn’t have as much volume because the curl has loosened over time, so I could never really wear the afro-kinky look.”

What’s your usual hair care routine?
“For my natural hair, I go to the salon every 2 weeks — I rarely do my hair myself. It’s such a long process and I can’t get my hair as straight as my hairdresser does. At the salon, they wash it three times. They do two washes with Matrix Biolage Shampoo, and one wash with Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Oil Shampoo. Then every other week, I alternate between protein treatments by Aphogee and either a clear rinse (it seals in the moisture of the hair without adding any color, and gives it shine) or I’ll get a coconut hot oil treatment. After that, I sit under the dryer and then get it straightened.

For my extensions, I do my own. I go to the local beauty supply and get a bunch of wig clips. I get a pack of extensions and I’ll measure them across my head how I want them to lay on my hair. I cut the track of the extension and sew the wig clips to the track. After that, I part my hair and clip them in. I do that until my whole head is full and then I’ll brush it, comb it, or curl it.”

What do you love most about wearing fake hair?
“I love experimenting with hair extensions and have always viewed them as an enhancement not only to my hair, but my lifestyle. I love the fact that I can wear a shoulder-length, angled cut one week and change to long, flowing tresses the following week, while also protecting my natural hair. When done right, hair extensions really are the best of both worlds!”

Do you agree that African-American women get more flak for wearing fake hair than women of other races do?
“Black women are criticized more often than other races for exercising their right to wear hair extensions, but I think it is targeted more so at those who go for long, flowing locks rather than a more kinky hair texture. Black hair is special and unique as it can range from straight to kinky, however it’s more often associated with being kinky. The fact that our hair tends to curl more tightly makes it more susceptible to breakage and more difficult (however not impossible) to attain longer lengths. I think that some people have a problem with black women wearing straight weaves down their back because they simply view it as being unrealistic rather than an enhancement of their natural hair.”

Why do you think there is such a huge divide between women who wear fake hair and those who choose to go natural? Why is it such a sensitive topic?
“Specifically in the black community, I feel the divide is rooted in the idea that those who choose to wear hair extensions are completely rejecting their natural hair texture and conforming to a European aesthetic of beauty. Some feel very strongly about this and while it may be true in some cases, not all black women who wear weaves do so for this reason and they should not be maligned for their preference in hairstyle. I feel that women should wear whatever style they enjoy that promotes healthy hair and makes them feel like their most beautiful and confident self!”

The Fake Hair Debate- A Discussion

Natasha Betty, 22, assistant buyer at Macy’s

Tell us a bit about your hair.
“I wear my hair natural about 70% of the time. I only wear my hair pressed about once every three months. I chopped my hair because I saw my sister’s hair when she had a Rihanna cropped cut. She told me she was natural and at the time, I couldn’t believe it — her hair looked so straight! So after seeing that, I was sold. I love the flexibility that I have with it. I can literally change up my hair every day. I don’t have to be straight, and I don’t have to be curly — I can be somewhere in between.”

What’s your usual hair care routine?
“My weekly regimen includes a shampoo or condition-wash biweekly (when I co-wash, I literally use conditioner to wash my hair), detangling, and then flat-twisting or two-strand twisting to do a style that can last without me having to change it. I also do a pre-poo regimen with coconut oil and argan oil before I shampoo.

My favorite shampoos are Hair Rules No-Suds Shampoo, Moroccanoil Moisturizing Shampoo, and Shikaikai Shampoo Bar (if my hair is really dirty, I prefer to use the bar). For deep conditioners, my favorite is Macadamia Deep Conditioning Masque. For styling, I love the Nairobi Wrapping Lotion and the Jane Carter Wrapping Lotion.”

What’s your stance on women who wear fake hair?
“For the most part, I believe that women who wear extensions use it as an enhancement and extension of their beauty! I know plenty of women who wear extensions because they simply like the look. They have beautiful, healthy hair underneath but refuse to wear their natural hair because they prefer the versatility of wearing a weave.”

Do you think there are any big issues with women wearing fake hair?
“One con is dependency on something that is not naturally your own. I have met several women who become so dependent on extensions that they literally refuse to wear their hair natural. They become used to the false look and have grown to prefer it over their own. To me this is a huge con because you should never become so dependent on something that it makes you dislike your natural features.”

Why do you think there is such a huge divide between women who wear fake hair and those who choose to go natural? Why is it such a sensitive topic?
“I think it’s a sensitive topic because some people believe wearing fake hair is false advertisement. It becomes a touchy subject specifically when women then claim the fake hair to be their own ‘natural’ hair. The game of wearing fake hair has it’s pros and cons and I believe that women should wear their hair the way they feel most comfortable. Because what truly matters is how you feel about yourself.”

photography- Erin Yamagata

Weigh in divas!


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  • deedee says:

    would u wear afro textured weaves?

  • deedee says:

    Very weak argument. Perhaps if the teen girls loved themselves through positive self image (YES HAIR IS ONE OF THEM BECAUSE IT IS A CROWN) then the pregnancy rates wouldn't be as high.

  • 3kimberlydawn3 says:

    I have thin, straight hair – and lately, the trend is to have really thick luxurious hair – so yes, I cheat a little…but just a little! I wear one extra (chunk?) of curly hair on either side of my head, attached with clips! Okay, it might sound weird, but it has made me feel so much better about myself! The fake hair fills out my sorta thin face, so I have more confidence in my looks. I don't see why anyone would have a problem with that!
    I think people have a problem when women over-do it with extensions, like Miley Cirus did…just miles and miles of fake hair….or when celebrities and models and so-called beautiful women pile the extensions on, and everyone goes, "Oh, they're so gorgeous"….well, how would they look without all the fake hair tumbling about…people give them credit for being "gorgeous" when it's really a fake element that is making them look so (along with other fake elements, like botox, etc..)

  • CiErra says:

    It's not about being 100% natural But it is about the freedom to be natural. The fact that most will do what makes you feel good and feel good about your self is an eye opener. If you can't feel good about yourself without the added or chemically altered look than that's a self-esteem issue. To many it's on the same lines of wearing make up EVERY day. You should be able to be you. I know someone who will not leave the house unless they have a bag of hair in their head. That is an issue. It's an issue when 2year olds are getting perms. It's an issue when I go to a job interview with a low ponytail bush and I'm told that my hair is wild. There is a real problem.

  • Sky Blue says:

    I don't know why this is such a big issue

  • Renee says:

    My sentiments exactly! Thank you for articulating it so well! We have a HUGE percentage of Black women wearing fake hair, that speaks volumes to me and it has to have something to do with racial inferiority. Of course, no one will say that's how they're feeling (unattractive because their hair isn't long and straight), but that's what it is MOST of the time. It's truly psychological, I don't care what anyone says about style and flexibility. It's insane!

  • dandi_lion says:

    There is versatility but natural hair is about dedicating time to what works for you. I wear my hair protectively 99% of the time because I can't be fussed, but I always appreciate the patience I've had with my hair when I get compliments or inspire someone to be natural. The same ppl who were vexed when I cut of my relaxed hair now say how much more beautiful it is in its waist-length natural state. We've all had second, third or fourth thoughts and relapses because natural hair is an investment and requires patience but when find what works, it's the bomb. Check out haircrush on utube for inspiration and someone with a similar texture to help set a visual goal. Your post is a bit old so I hope you've had better luck in the meantime :)

  • dandi_lion says:

    Now when it comes to hair, especially other ppl's, I'm of the attitude that shoot, do whatever you like, it's yours. Or would be if I wasn't for that Thing. That big black elephant in the corner of every room everywhere since white ppl invented white and black ppl and the ruling standard of beauty in their image. It's negative impact lives in the burns on the skin of ghostly looking individuals and the burns and traction scars branded on the heads of women and children alike (pains me deep inside when I see the little girls with hairlines past their ears – they're likely married to the weave for life) and the problems women face in the workplace without their straight hair uniform. See, this obsession with other-textured fake hair is not something limited to that one individual but something like a disease that can be hereditary and passed on and is asymptomatic of a bigger problem. Racist science has tried fervently to classify black people inferior on a genetic level for centuries, seeking a way to validate the evil perpetuated against us. When it comes to black ppl choosing to beautify ourselves in a way that imitates white ppl, it's not just flattery to the white standard, but also submission to that centuries old argument that yes, our hair, our body, we as a black race are inferior to our white counterparts. That white ppl can look upon this and think we deserved the enslavement, abuse and torture since we are willing to torture ourselves and our children just to be able to look at ourselves in the mirror, see a bit of them (or some other race, anything else than a kinky-curly African goddess or, for them a cotton-haired Mule of the World) looking back and feel better, less inferior. Since it is a visible fact that most fake hair is designed to make the wearer look more European, Asian or mixed-race.
    When I see a decidedly African face peeking out from some big straight weave, for me personally it looks incongruous and bizarre. Like if I saw a white woman with a tightly-curled afro. In my opinion, relaxed or heat processed hair more often than not looks thin and flat. If we ever get over this desire for straight hair, I'm sure that our children would look back and think we were crazy. That being said, I see nothing wrong with women using fake hair to switch up their style occasionally. It's when their hair's been burnt into submission or spends most of its life wittling away under a mesh of plastic or other people's hair, hiding away like some ugly troll under a bridge, starved of oxygen, love and attention, that you know there's a problem there. A deep social-psychological problem borne from the whip and chain of evil and blood and tears of our ancestors. Normally, I'd say it's one's own business how they style themselves but it's no coincidence that we buy the hair of every race but our own. We're in this together, we're only going to heal together. Time to teach our daughters that they're beautiful as they are and deserve the best out of life as much as the next person.

  • clfrank2002 says:

    My reasons are purely selfish, but I really hate weaves. I've always had long hair and have always been identified by having long hair. Now, everybody has long hair and it kind of diminishes the value of it. Don't get me wrong I understand why women wear it, but for my own selfish reasons, I wish they would just stay in their lane.

  • helen says:

    to each her own….i have had so many dicussions regarding this topic with my sister. we are totally opposite; she prefers blonde hair, perms and staying out of the sun to keep from tanning, i have natural hair, am darker than her, and i most def do not avoid tanning. we didnt grow up in the same family, so i used to think i was the most "conscious" of us and used to try to teach her a thing or two about the effects of slavery, colonialism (spl?) etc etc etc – suffice to say – she didnt appreciate it, nor did it affect her values at all. so, this experience has taught me to keep my mouth shut when i see anyone with "fake" hair. after, it really isnt my business. just like it aint none of other peoples business that i wear my hair natural, dont like make up (sensitive skin, sensitive eyes = too much discomfort), dont like heels.

    but one thing i *dont get* regarding weaves and wigs; its sooooo uncomfortable!!!! i've had a weave once, it lasted for 10 days, and it was soooo painful. i hated not feeling my scalp, not being able to work out and take a shower afterwards, and did i say it was painful – all the time. never again! as for wig….where i'm from (i live in europe) wigs are associated with women who've lost all their hair due to illness such as cancer or such and therefor i've never even considered it.

  • confused.. says:

    I wear sports bras because I don't want my breasts flying everywhere when I run. And as for regular bras, not all of them provide a lift ( half of mine are like that).

    All shoes naturally have a heel to them (no matter how small the heel is).

    And most (meaning almost all) women's clothing is made to be figure flattering.

    I see your point, but its literally impossible to be 100% natural unless you isolate yourself from civilization. With that said, I don't think pointing out things in society that really can't be changed is doing much for an argument.

    I agree with you that hair is not the most important issue out there, but we are human and we care about our appearance a lot. And sometimes we care so much that nothing else matters (I know a good amount of girls in high school who would rather do their hair and nails and make up rather than study.) Maybe if society would stop sending women the message that how they looks trumps everything else that more girls would spend less time worrying about how they look and more time on school work, but until that happens I don't think much will change. Until society decided to change, no one else will at least, not in a significant way).

  • confused says:

    I think that like most things in life, being moderate is the best. Women (and men) have worn wigs and make up and the works for hundreds of thousands of years. For me personally, I think less is more. I think wearing make up is fine (I wear some mascara every once in a while and that's about it because my face hates everything else), however when someone wears so much make up that it looks like you could scrap it off, that's nasty. In terms of weaves and wigs and straight hair in general, the less crazy it looks, the better in my opinion. I wear my hair natural because its easier to manage (I do sports and work out a lot) but I did have it straight like 3 times in my life and that was always because I thought I would look better with straight hair.

    Now before anyone goes off and says that's not true and ect, I will say that I remember my high school and middle school experiences very very well (I should I graduated from high school 2 years ago lol) and every black girl I knew who had a weave/straight hair/perm/whatever hated their natural hair with a burning passion. A burning passion. In fact, I remember coming to school and seeing girls in the bathroom during class straightening their hair ( I always found that to be funny because the bathrooms smelled so bad). And to add injury to insult, a majority of the guys at school preferred girls who had straight hair ( they would literally say "you know, you would look so much better with straight hair" to your face. it wasn't nice). My grandma was like this too; whenever I would wear my hair out she would always ask "when are you going to get your hair done" implying that my natural hair isn't done. That always bothered me.

    Now then, with all that said I would love love love to see black women (and all women in general) focus less time on their appearance. Looking nice is great, but spending hours to look nice everyday is crazy, and well a waste of time. I'm in college so spending longer than 30 min in the bathroom to wash my face and do my hair everyday (except when I wash it once a week, which after washing and combing and twisting takes 2-3 hours) is out of the question.


    Ummmm these comments are scary…..lmao smh………

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm all for whatever makes a person feel beautiful. If its a weave, relaxer, wig, or your natural hair. But remeber beauty is also from within. When everything is fake where is the real you? After looking at some of the comments I've altered my stance a little on how I feel. I need to stop caring what others are doing with their hair and worry about mine! I just still think it's werid that everywhere I look there is someone with a bad weave or wig! It looks awful! I was on some medications after an acccident and was under alot of stress and I stared to loose my hair. I got extensions (very expensive) and I never allowed them to look that bad! It just makes us look lazy. I think that is my only arugment. I also agree with the post above that there are too many other things we need to worry about. Stop judging each others hair and start empowering each other.

  • Dorian @ Big Apple Style says:

    To the people who say they're 100% natural (including no make up, extensions, etc) because they don't want to change their natural beauty…I have a few Q's for you:

    1. Do you wear bras? Because if you do, then your breasts aren't naturally perky.

    2. Do you wear heels? Because if you do, you're not that tall.

    3. Have you ever picked out an outfit because it was more "figure flattering"? If so, then you're not being 100% natural to the cause.

    In the end, do what makes you happy. If being natural and not using extensions is your thing, so be it. If you like to switch up your look every other day, congrats.

    I have to agree with a poster above. There are so many bigger issues facing the black community like the achievement gap, unemployment rates or teen pregnancy that hair is very low on my list of priorities. And for anyone to attempt to make the direct correlation that extensions equals illiteracy rates, pregnancy rates or anything of the above is as SERIOUS reach.

  • Anonymous says:

    To Anon who said that Hollywood caused regular America to embrace weaves and that older people were laughed at for wearing wigs, I've never seen that before. My grandmother was born in the early 1900's and had the most beautiful silver hair but for some reason she chose to put on jet black wigs as did many other women her age. I laughed as a child because I didn't think the color was right and because her hair was so much more beautiful.

  • Anonymous says:

    I rock natural hair AND I wear hairpieces but they are in natural textures. I DARE anyone to have the nerve to come up to me and TRY to give me any heat about my hair. If you don't like it, if you don't have anything good to say shut the **** up and go on your way!!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    The fact that this is an issue shows pure ignorance. Black women should not be finding ways to divide themselves. I am still trying to figure out why another women's hairstyle would bother me. Find a real problem and keep it moving!!

  • Kay says:

    There is nothing wrong with a little weave. I really don't see the big deal. It's a personal decision and I think if you look good-WHY NOT? I love a good weave and usually get them 2-3x year. I wish people would stay out of other people's heads lol-but seriously.

  • Anonymous says:


  • Anonymous says:


  • Anonymous says:

    Yes I wear my hair the way it comes out of my scalp, no twist outs or other protective styles and no I do not wear ANY makeup.

    I'm not here to criticize, only those who are defensive about the situation feel as if judgement is being passed. If you are insecure about your choices that is on you, I personally do not care. I wear my natural hair because it is what God gave me and I feel like MYSELF (not someone who doesn't even look like me) not so I can feel better than anyone.
    Yes I was relaxed before but my mother made that decision for me and now I have enough sense to make my own.

  • Anonymous says:

    Nothing wrong with wearing weaves and wigs if you just want to change up your style or protect your hair, or just hide it until its a length you feel comfortable wearing out….. My issue is with women that depend on the wigs/weaves and will absolutely not be caught dead wearing their real hair out. I think that is sad and THOSE are the women that I believe may be self-hating and have a low esteem about being black.

  • DiscoveringNatural says:

    For me, I am not a big fan. However, I believe that if you like it, that's fine. It's your hair, do what you want. I am a big believer in taking care of your hair. So, even with a weave or wig, the important thing is to take care of your real hair underneath. Love and peace, y'all!

  • Anonymous says:

    I wear a sewn in with kinky-curly hair that looks like my hair when I wear a twist out. My hair is way too fragile to manipulate it as often as I'd need to to get the look I want so I add hair.

    To any woman who wants to throw shade because I'm not embracing what God gave me, I say to her "congratulations you're better than me" and keep it moving"

  • Anonymous says:

    I wore wigs and half wigs during my transition, and I'm wearing a wig right now!

    I'm 100% natural underneath, but sometimes my hair and I need a break. Currently I'm wearing a curly wig (La Apple) but I have straight ones, and a tapered straight one as well.

    I don't care if people know I'm wearing a wig either. I'll rock a long straight wig to work one day and a twist out the next.

    All I do ask is if you wear a wig or a weave, take some time to make it look decent. I hate a nappy (not natural nappy, but nappy as in you've been sleeping in it all week) wig, or a straight weave that looks tangled and matted.
    But do what you like.

  • Anonymous says:

    This is an interesting topic to me… I have worn weaves a lot. Always to give my hair a break my self a break and to free up time. Its amazing because I love my weaves but trust me you get judged either way.However, i will say that now I am totally wearing/learning my natural hair I get a lot of stares and compliments.
    Anyway these stigmas are here and its going to take time for them to be dealt with. When I first wanted to go natural,(never wanted a perm) my stylist told me the "styles" I liked wouldn't go with natural hair. Then, I was to young to realize what she meant. Now I get it which is what you have to love about a good weave the freedom and versatility. Not to mention the growth.
    It's always going to be an issue of our deep seeded problems that we as black people have with ourselves because of the brainwashing our people have been through.
    So my advice, do what allows you to walk around with your head held high. Love you and if that means weave to your butt and pounds of makeup own it and work it!!

  • Anonymous says:

    I've just decided to go "natural" or really just take my wig off since I haven't permed my hair in about 3+ years. No one has every thought me about how to take care of hair. I never even shampoo'ed my hair for God's sake.

    After much research on the topic, I found that most ppl who are natural wear their hair in so-called protective styles 90% of the time. wtf?

    Is it bad that I almost don't want to go natural anymore? Personally, I don't look good with pony tails or up dos. What's the point if you don't have flexibility and versatility? Am I doing it only for the social affirmation of my "blackness" or Black identity?

  • Anonymous says:

    The misconception that women wear wigs and weaves have low self-esteem or hate their "natural" self/conforming to a European aesthetic is unacceptable BS. There are so many factors that go into the decision and it's a personal choice. God knows there's already too much judgment of the Black women.

    Also, it's kind of ridiculous that this debate is happening when half these people feel the need pile on tons of make-up everyday. Talk about not really liking your "natural" self or what God gave you. Give me a woman without a bucket of "natural" oils, creams, etc on her head with a clean makeup-free face and I'll say she's 100% natural.

  • Anonymous says:

    Wearing extensions are someones own personal choice, just like make up, I don't understand why fake hair is the biggest deal when women pile makeup on their face everyday and say they can't leave the house without it, they totally depend on it, that's fake too lol

  • Stephanie says:

    I was relaxed for many years and am newly natural. I', fine with wigs and weaves on grown women, but I struggle with calling that a natural choice. Isn't wearing another woman's hair on your head the opposite of what natural hair is about? I've never had a wig/weave, but I'd love to hear from others who do.

  • Stephanie says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Anonymous says:

    I tried to wear a sew in once (mind you it was only half of my head)and i HATED it. It only lasted for a week. I hated the tighteness, trapped feeling, being scared the wind would blow my hair up and expose my tracks. I hated having the comb snag on the tracks, I hated feeling the braids, I hated how the fake hair behaved differently and didn't hold curls as well as my real hair. It was just a horrible experience but I think ppl either hate it or love it. That being said I dont have a real problem with ppl wanting to wear weaves and such but Im tired of looking at everyone with babydoll hair. Its just kind of boring and I can count on one hand during the day how many ppl have weaves or fake hair that look great on them. In my opinion there are faaaar more ppl with bad weaves and such then there are with good ones. And so many ppl think they have good weaves and you just cant convince them otherwise. I liken the dependancey on fake hair (meaning wearing it allllllll the time and hating to have to wear your real hair) with some sort of pill addiction. Its really sad seeing little girls who already have low self esteem have it furthered by broken off edges and paper thin ends. I just like healthy hair I guess. Just to say I think you can heat train your hair (although the young lady above has heat damage), its just a fine line thats very easy to cross. It took me having to snip a few damaged ends off to find that line.

  • Anonymous says:

    I pretty much always wear my hair in a curly style, straightening takes too long and the minute I go outside it puffs. I do have a curly wig, that I wear when I want big hair, if I don't feel to comb my hair, or if I try something new and get a big fail.
    I think people should wear their hair how they like it. Even if it's not exactly how it grows out of their scalp. What you like is what you like and you have a right to be comfortable without judgment.
    I have a genuine question for those who feel that women who wear wigs, weave, or presses majority of the time have issues with their sense of beauty…. do you always wear you hair the way it is when you come of of the shower? Because in my estimation a twist out, braid out, bantu knot out, whatever else out is not how your hair looks when it grows out of your scalp. But no one sees anything wrong with that, because frankly there isn't.

  • Anonymous says:

    A woman has the right to choose what she wants. I don't care.
    However,for my part, I can't hang with wigs and weaves. Something just feels weird (and sad) about wearing someone else's hair on MY head. I wouldn't want a synthetic wig/weave either. It's like wearing a hair hat.
    I'd probably feel differently if I HAD to wear someone else's for medical reasons (chemo, alopecia and other conditions that affect the hair growth etc), but just wearing them purely for fashion or a certain look, I just can't.

  • Anonymous says:

    Idk who lied to miss press and curl but she ought to be pissed off. Shampoo THREE times? Does she even know if her hair likes those protein treatments? Heat trained?!?!?!?!? Naw boo that hair is damaged. This is what happens when you allow other people to take care of your hair. My mother always said "nobody should know how to take care of your hair better than you". Smh

  • Anonymous says:

    Personally, I've never had a weave, wig or extensions, but I know plenty of people who have them. I have no problem with it. I always knew that I did not want to become dependent on the look. I love what God gave me and that's the look I want to rock. I agree with Ebony. I think some people have a problem with it when women have the long straight fake hair all of the time because it seems like they are rejecting who they are. Some people have a problem with that. But I believe as long as it looks nice who cares.

  • MsJisola says:

    I say where your hair the way that is best for you. As long as you take care of your hair underneath, then you're on the road to healthy hair. I actually prefer to wear my hair in extensions and if I can afford to a weave, just to give my hair a rest.

  • Anonymous says:

    I get a sew-in about twice a year. I get them when I really need a break from my hair and want to try something different without making a permanent change. My stylist has a lot of clients who are natural and she is natural herself. So I trust her with my hair. I don't see any problem with weaves or wigs when they are worn right.

  • Anonymous says:

    I can see both sides of the coin, but it all boils down to personal choice because hair is just an accessory, an extension (no pun intended) of personal expression. I cannot make anyone else's decisions for them and I certainly am not paying the price for it so I don't care that much. For me, I like my own hair, whether its in braids, twists, or just curly-I can manipulate it (yes you can manipulate natural hair without damaging it!) anyway I want and maintenance is cheap. I've never really liked weaves or wigs because they always felt so cumbersome, but know a lot of girls that don't leave the house without some sort of piece in their hair. Just because I'm natural, I don't think its fair to judge others who decide to use weaves, wigs, etc., because if the shoe was on the other foot and someone told me to straighten or stuff my hair under a wig, they'd get an ear full from me. Being natural doesn't mean you have to be self righteous and judgmental; its just hair.

  • ABRUNNIN says:

    I personally dont care how or why someone wears their hair relaxed, flat-ironed, or natural. I only compliment healthy hair because that's what I PREFER. I have no issue admitting I like healthy hair. I also think everyone should do with their hair what makes them feel good about their appearance. Just because someone prefers a different look (which may be straight hair) doesnt mean they're brainwashed! Its their preference for that day, week, month, or however long they choose to look that way! Those of you who feel the need for someone to explain why they have a straight sew-in or why they have a perm need lives and are apparently only rocking a natural look to "prove yourselves". Why dont you look for way to uplift one another regardless of how someone chooses to wear their hair and get a few hobbies to occupy all the time you're spending concerning yourselves with how everyone else is wearing their hair and why.

  • Pecancurls says:

    I cut off the last bit of permed hair in sept 2011 after a one year transition. My stylist did put in some weave to add a little more poof to my puff during my transition. :) I am not a wig girl —always felt like I was wearing a hat/helmet. I say do what makes you feel good — be it a perm, weave, wig, straight, curly, all natural or some combo. We all have individual reasons for making certain choices and should not feel compelled to explain anything to anyone — unless you choose to.

  • Becca says:

    Um, her hair isn't "trained", its damaged.

    But anyway, I don't wear wigs or weaves because I hate fakeness! I also don't do fake eyelashes or fake nails. What is wrong with how God made you? Why put on such a facade? I like to be REAL and all that fakeness is a front.

  • X0CurlyHallow0x says:

    I have no issues with weaves either the ancient egyptians wore wigs and so did white men of colonial America I don't see what the issue is if wearing extensions enhances your beauty and makes you feel better about yourself don't let anyone make you feel less worthy wear it with pride they may be jealous

  • Anonymous says:

    Personally, i dont have an issue with weave. I have never put a weave, mainly because of the thinning hairlines i have seen on people who wear weaves all the time…can you say traction alopecia!! Other then that,all i can say is do you, be that extensions, weaves, wigs…whatever, just DO YOU!

  • Anonymous says:
    check it out :)

  • Annabel says:

    I too love this post and would like to see more like this! I never have and will never wear a weave. I don't think I would feel very confident wearing one. For those who do wear them, I have no issue. If a woman wears one for a protective style that's her business. If she wears mmone bc she feels more beautiful that's her business (although I hope she'd realize she's beautiful with or without it).

    Women have too many issues that divide them: fake boobs, hair, race…we don't see this happening as much with men. I think these type of articles are great bc they make many of us aware of some unnecessary prejudices or hold-ups we may have. Keep em coming!

  • Erin says:

    Tricia makes a good point.

  • The Purse-a-holic says:

    This was a very good read. Bring on more posts like this ;-)

  • Anonymous says:

    AMEN Tricia.

    It is not just a fashionable preference, people may want to brush it off like it is but it's not. We have been programmed to feel the way we do about ourselves through years of excessive brainwashing.

  • Tricia says:

    I honestly think it's interesting that people "happen" to like their hair better when it's straight, and "happen" to put money and time weaving/wigging to make it look differently than it is, then get defensive when someone points out the LOOOOOOONG history of racial oppression and segregation and media imagery that might have something to do with that preference.

    I mean, no person is a vacuum, all of us are a product of our culture. To deny that the messages about black women's (and their hair's) inferiority could IN NO WAY have ANYTHING to do with the fact you "happen to prefer" straight hair is just inane and silly.

    Not to mention, it's not "hating" to point out that there might be a connection to that long history of racial oppression and the fact that so many women of color straighten their hair, lighten their skin, and other things.

    It's like when men of color just "happen" to prefer white women, and get pissed when you point out that the fact that white women are portrayed as more desirable (see that awful Superbowl commercial..was it pepsi?) while black women are often portrayed differently in popular culture. You just "happen" to have formed an opinion that has been widely pushed by tv shows, media, music, and know for sure that had NO subconscious impact?

    Even I can remember asking my mom for hair "like my barbie" because even the black ones had hair that was different than mine. Is it not possible those little moments can add up?

  • Anonymous says:

    I call "shenanigans". As someone who has worn fake nails, colored contacts, and YES, hair extensions–let's all be honest with each other here.

    We all "enhance our beauty". That means that WHATEVER we do to ourselves, it's because we inherently think it's MORE beautiful than how things were before. Especially if our look is basically consistent, WHATEVER that look is we chose because we thought it looks BEST/better than other looks. No one changes what they look like, no matter how superficial, to achieve a look they consider more unattractive.

    This means, if you are wearing your hair straight the majority of the time, you think you look better with it straight. Period. If you didn't think that, there would be no reason to go through the time and expense of keeping it in a state it doesn't naturally form into.

    When I was wearing false nails, I liked the way they looked BETTER than my nails underneath. When I wore my colored contacts religiously (meaning, EVERY SINGLE DAY) it was because I liked grey eyes BETTER than my brown ones. Otherwise I wouldn't have put money into changing their color (colored contacts cost more than their non-colored counterparts).

    Now, I am NOT talking about special occasions, or if you're switching things up every day. What I AM talking about is someone with an established "look" that they rock the vast majority of the time.

  • Tiffany G. says:

    Personally, I don't have any problems with naturals or women in general wearing weaves. If it is what you like and it's the look you are going for, go ahead.

    I am currently natural and sporting a weave right now. I opted for a weave because I did not want to style my hair continuously on Spring Break. Weaves can be a form of protective styling if done properly. It helps give the hair a break from styling. There are naturals who have weave regimens and their hair has thrived length and health wise.

    There is a misconception that black women who wear weaves are bald-headed for a lack of better words. There is a misconception that naturals who wear weaves don't love their hair and are traitors to the natural community. Personally, I am not a hair nazi. People wear weaves for many different reasons. People like to switch up their hairstyles. Weaves allow people to change their style without making a major commitment. Instead of cutting your hair short, you may get a short weave. Weaves can take the daily flat ironing and styling. Weaves help protect the hair. Some people retain more length while they wear weaves. The reasons are endless. At the end of the day, my hair is my hair. Your hair is your hair. Hair is just hair.

  • Anonymous says:

    Dear Anonymous at March 26, 2012 5:10 PM who asked…

    "Can you actually heat train your hair??? Or is it just heat damaged?"

    Ebony Thorne stated "…every other week, I alternate between protein treatments by Aphogee and either a clear rinse (it seals in the moisture of the hair without adding any color, and gives it shine"

    Ebony offered that her pretty hair needs a lot of treatments to stay that way.

    "Heat training" IS damage.

    As for myself, I don't like to see "donky hair" extensions on Women of Color, but I keep my mouth shut and I don't impinge on their right to wear another person's "sadness" on their head. Why do I call it "SADNESS"? Why else would another female or male cut off 36 inches of their beautiful hair, unless finances, penance, or death caused it to be parted from them?

    Cadaveric hair – no way Jose!

    If a person desires weave/extension/wig hair for medical reasons, eg. alopecia, cancer, burns, then they have the right to wear it without scorn or condemnation.

    I know it seems like I have two standards, but there's a BIG difference between "vanity" and "enhanced self concept"

  • Anonymous says:

    The problem I have is the misconception that straight hair "looks better." A lot of people may say there's no deep seeded issue but why is it that we're always trying to achieve the look of someone else? Not once have I ever seen a White person or person with straight hair get afro textured extensions, but the problem isn't within us? PSHHHH! What is so wrong about African American hair that nobody want's it anymore, including some of us? YES, other races wear extensions, but are they or are they not of a similar texture? They're striving for length and possibly fullness of the same texture, relaxers and straight weaves for African Americans are NOT the same thing. Stop sugarcoating.

    But as some of you have mentioned earlier, each woman is entitled to do what they want to themselves, and for that reason I do not care about another woman's preference, just don't be ashamed of the real reasons behind it. Wear all the make-up, eyelashes, contacts, extensions, and whatever false "enhancers" you like :)

  • Anonymous says:

    I am a black woman that works in a multi-cultural salon. A comment above said that white women don't wear fake hair as much as we do. I can say that they really do. But for very different reasons. They don't have the same kind of hangs ups but they still have them.

  • thebrownesteye says:

    I don't think anyone should judge anyone else for wearing fake hair…. its convenient, it can be cute as long the tracks aren't showing, and it's nobody's business but THEIRS. Shoot, if I had the money for a really nice weave i might even get 1!

  • Anonymous says:

    I am natural and so is my daughter. We do color our hair but that's about it. I feel that it is a personal choice to wear extensions or wigs. It isn't all that serious. But, I also have a young 15 year old cousin who had beautiful hair that is now severely damaged from wearing sew ins. She has been brought to tears at the thought of having to wear her own hair to school. While not opposed to the choice to wear extensions etc. I am opposed to the type of pressure put on our young women that causes them to feel they are not beautiful without it.

  • Anonymous says:

    Talk about making something out of nothing. It just isn't that serious. Wear your hair like you want to period.

  • A.T says:

    I have been natural for almost 4 years. For the last 3 I would wear it natural most of the time, a TWA, twist out, whatever, and occasionaly wear extensions or single braids to give my hair a break and the growth was always amazing that way for me. I enjoyed so many style options with my hair. I wash and condition as if it was out with no extensions. I would rarely straighten (only have done it 3 times over my journey as it damages my hair really fast, its porous esp. at the ends).

    Recently I have been dealing with Carpal Tunnel-like symptoms in my wrist and arm (even writing this comment is really painful) to the point where my supervisor wanted me to think about transferring assignments as they thought I couldn't perform at 100% on my job. My 4b/c hair is collar bone length/APL and very very thick, and so coming home each night to detangle and rebraid was taking a toll on top of this pain and I had to make a private decision to do everything I could save my job. So I started for the last 9 months wearing lace wigs so my hands are off my hair and save myself the pain. For me, thats over 5 + hours a WEEK saved for having to do my hair, NOT including washing and conditioning and detangling, which in my regular routine before I switched to wigs was taking close to 3+ hours 1-2x a week depending on how much I sweat from exercise. I only wash my hair in the braids out of the wig on the weekends, and detangle every two weeks.

    My decision wasn't about style, but really, convenience and maintaining my job.

  • Anonymous says:

    p.s. heat trained?– that's heat damage!

  • Anonymous says:

    I would love to wear a wig or weave but am very self-conscious about it…not sure if I could pull it off, especially since I teach middle school. My students are so…how shall I say it…unapologetically honest. I have a hair appointment scheduled soon so maybe I'll try a cute weave…we'll see. :)

  • Anonymous says:

    My hair is natural– have never had a perm, actually. Never really straighten it…I do wear kinky twist type hair often because I'm incredibly lazy and it protects my hair [I'm the girl who hates sleeping with a headtie/satin pillow, does laundry only when I have a single pair of panties, left, etc.– even from when I was a kid.] What gets me about these conversations are the people who say "I don't believe those who say they wear weaves/wigs/perms because of the style/versatility. I think it's because they hate themselves." Um, no. Don't put your deep seeded issues on me– even if you have been natural for 14 years doesn't mean that you don't have issues. I find that the people who are so adamant that other's "hate themselves" are the ones who grow dreds to gain length or who say "I love my hair but i hope my husband is white so my kids have straighter hair than mine." I've never once hated my hair, I've never thought twice about its texture or length or my skin color– and that's growing up in a house with 4 sisters, my mom, my dad and in Brooklyn. This whole dialogue about who hates themselves and hairstyles being symptomatic of that is utterly foreign to me. I no doubt know that people have issues with skin/hair/blackness/features but there are truly a lot of us out there whose parents never emphasized anything other than the perfection we were born with and whose parents quickly debunked any foolish media/social issues we encountered in tv and magazines. If that isn't how you or anyone you knew grew up, then you are at a disadvantage and probably can't conceptualize others growing up differently but trust me when I say some people wear styles [straight wig or weave] simply because it looks better, is easy to wear, or to experiment– unattached/unaffected by any other implication. That said, I hope the people who go around hating on those who do perm, flat iron, weave/wig, learn to love themselves as much as they claim. And, I hope that those people who say to me "I wish I could be natural too but my hair isn't like yours…" can learn to love themselves and get to a point where weaves/wigs,etc. simply become versatile accessories and not crutches.

  • Zaralynette says:

    I personally don't see a single thing wrong with wearing fake hair. I am 19 years old and I have been wearing wigs for the last 6 months. I can HONESTLY say that it's not because of media influences or hating my own hair, its because I wanted to give my hair a break. I get a lot of crap from other people (other black women mostly)who complain and complain about how 'wigging out' or 'weaving up' mean that's I'm not taking care of my hair. It bothers me the most when people are like 'why do you keep wearing that "thing" ?' or 'why do you just wear YOUR hair?' I usually just laugh, shake it off and keep it moving. Why is it any of their business how I choose to wear my hair?
    IT'S MINE lol Whether it comes for the store or my scalp :)

    Besides…does the way I wear my hair make me a better person?? NO! lol

  • hairscapades says:

    I really enjoyed this article. As some have already said, I think it's a woman's prerogative to do what she wants with her hair. However, when the fake hair becomes a crutch or a woman despises her own hair, I hope that that woman comes to appreciate her natural beauty and learn that wigs and weaves are an option, but not the only ones. I also agree that badly done, unnatural weaves are what give weaves a bad name. A good weave should be indiscernible. And don't get it twisted, I think just about every Disney teen star is wearing a weave, white, black, brown or whatever. From Brittany to Christina to Raven to Miley to Chyna. They seem to start with their hair (except Raven back in the day) and then their hair seems to get thicker and extremely longer overnight;).

    But anyway, I think a natural looking weave or wig can be beautiful. I've worn tracks in the past when I cut my hair to ear length straight and started missing my longer hair after a few months (particularly because I loved is short and straight, but not so much short and curly and I don't like to straighten my hair too much). I've also worn ponytails and braided extensions many times in the past out of a desire for convenience. But, these hair choices were not out of a belief that my natural hair was lesser than, but because I wanted something different or easier.

    So, yeah, I have absolutely no problem with women straightening, relaxing, weaving, wigging, braiding … what have you. Do you!! Just do you knowing that the "original" you is unique and just as beautiful.


  • JackieC says:

    I usually wear my hair naturally curly, but also won't hesitate to wear a wig. With that being said, whatever the style, it is the woman's choice, and she doesn't owe anyone an explanation as to why she has settled upon that option or how she classifies it. As such, discussions like these shouldn't even be happening. So let's move on and focus on ourselves. This way no one is being criticized for their choices or being pressured to defend them.

  • Anonymous says:

    An "enhancement" to me is something you wear once in a while to change up your look. My only issue with the plethora of wigs and weaves is that folks are wearing them every single day. You never see their natural hair. For women with medical issues this is fine.
    But I work in healthcare and I'm seeing girls as young as 10 with full head weaves. Who are the mothers and fathers who are supporting this? I am also seeing a lot of young girls with hair loss due to bad extensions and weaves.

  • Anonymous says:

    I have been wearing my hair natural for 14 years. I am saddened by the proliferation of the weaves and wigs because I don't believe it is just a preference or a love of versatility, I do believe this what people tell themselves, I believe that the overwhelming preference that some African American women and White women have for straight hair is largely due to the brainwashing of most Americans that the european standard of beauty is the norm and is preferred. I base this on the many women with naturally curly hair who only like their hair straight. I have heard many comments about my curly hair and they are always negative. I really do not care how anyone wears their hair and I do not comment ever on women's hair choices. But I have observed a correlation between negative comments about natural curly hair and low self love about being African American or general low self-esteem.

  • Anonymous says:

    I'll be honest. I dislike weaves and wigs. I I'm a natural girl. By that I don't mean just hair I mean I don't wear make up, straighten my hair,wear colored contacts, fake get the point. This is a personal preference because when I look in the mirror I want to see 'me' and I don't want to ever feel I need something fake to make me feel beautiful. What other people do with their body is their own business. The only thing I hate is the stigma that has been attached to black women because so many of us choose to alter their natural beauty. This has more to do with the society we live in. As black people we always have to prove ourselves, conform, and defend ourselves in almost every aspect in life. This 'debate' stems from history and to me it shows that racial problems are still alive an well in America.

  • @UniqueKinks14 says:

    I definitely don't think there's anything wrong with weaves or either wigs. I personally love to wear weaves because I get a lot of hair growth and it also gives me and my natural hair a break! It's also good for ones who dont want to cut or have to grow out their hair in order to achieve the same styles that they can get with a wig or weave.

  • Brownstone Beauty says:

    Wow, this is a pretty cool article to be from Refinery 29. I wear my natural kinky hair about 80% of the time but my favorite aspect of black hair (and black culture) is that I can rock braids one day, a weave another or flat iron my hair into a bob and its all good as long as its done right. I have no qualms with a woman's decision to wear what they want.

  • xoxo-Pauline says:

    I personally get tired of criticism because I have a relaxer. I dont hate myself or my hair. It's a choice & I happen to like the way straight hair looks. Now I understand that u can be natural & still have straight, sleek hair. I'm learning about natural hair because of my daughter,(she's 1). We are all beautiful regardless of whether our hair is long, short, straight, or curly.

  • Aysa says:

    There is only so much manipulation you can do to your own hair! We are able to do soooo much more with our hair and still remain natural underneath the wigs..weaves. I think it's awesome and everyone can be creative and achieve a new look that will not damage and overprocess their natural hair.

  • Jeannette says:

    Although I've been natural for about four years now, in the process I've worn weaves and braid extensions. If someone's own hair has no chemicals and is all natural but they wear it straight, weaves, wigs, color or with braid extensions I still consider them natural. The only thing I wonder about is when someone wears their hair straight majority of the time or weaves and wigs so much that no one knows they are natural, I sometimes wonder why. I don't understand the division and personally don't pay attention to it. I say do what you think is best for you, 'eff what everyone else thinks! LOL

  • Bethany says:

    I choose not to wear wigs or weave and it does not matter to me if black women wear a weave or wig. However, due to the popularity of wigs and weaves, I get annoyed when people assume I am wearing a wig or weave because my natural hair is big, thick, long and beautiful. Such questions suggest that they only way black women can have big, thick, long and beautiful hair is by purchasing it.

  • Bethany says:

    It does not matter to me if black women wear a weave or wig. However, due to the popularity of wigs and weaves, I get annoyed when people assume I am wearing a wig or weave because my natural hair is big, thick, long and beautiful. Such questions suggest that they only way black women can have big, thick, long and beautiful hair is by purchasing it.

  • Justme says:

    This is a great article! Thank you!
    Funny how much division there is between natural, chemical, and weaves/wigs. The versatility of our hair is a beautiful thing whether it is natural or relaxed.
    Either way its a personal decision. I absolutely love braids and Lord knows I am no stylist, so 85% of the time I'm rocking braids of done kind. Anywho, a young lady with a beautiful natural mane complimented me on my braids and asked me how long I've been transitioning. I responded, ” I'm not transitioning. I'm completely natural and have been for 2 1/2 yrs now.” She then said, ” Oh, you're protective styling!” Me: ”Not really, I always wear braids.” :)
    But, these are the things we go through regardless of how we decide to wear our hair. …I'm going wig shopping soon too! :)

  • Anonymous says:

    I haven't worn fake hair in years and I can go back and forth on how I feel about it but really it boils down to this:

    I honestly don't care what other women do to or with their hair so long as I don't get flak for choosing to wear my NAPPY (as in, 4b, original, straight-from-the-Motherland, whatever you want to call it) hair in its natural (as in, chemical-free, fake-hair-free, unstraightened) state 100 percent of the time.

    It's a damn shame that literally the ONLY flak I get for daring to be natural without having a so-called "good" hair pattern comes from other blacks in general and black women in particular. Let's stop pretending that black folks don't still weigh each other's hair choices along a spectrum that favors long and straight over short and kinky.

    And can we please stop pretending that nonblacks wear fake hair as much as blacks do? They DON'T. If they did don't you think we'd see it in their magazine ads? They're not dealing with anywhere near the same kind of baggage we're still dealing with (see above).

  • Samantha Nneamaka says:

    I am 17 years old and i am a senior in high school. My atmoshphere is filled with girls who either where alot of weaves or girls who think that is "rachet". Then for the most part, NO ONE in highschool looks upon natural hair as baeutiful. It's very sad for our generation, with all the knowledge in the world and , for ethnic women escpescially,we still beat ourselves down and say no to expressing our true natural selves. As a young person with her own mind i chopped my hair mid senior year and wore my hair out and till this day i still am. I remember when i cut my hair my friends and random girls and boys looking at me crazy, some laughing or even making jokes. My circle of friends (which occassionally wear extensions) shared with me that they wish that they had confidence enough to wear their natural texture out. Some said they wish they "looked like me" so they could pull it off. It will take time for idiotic connotations about natural hair to rollover i see till this day. While reading this article is how wonderfully these women can have a mind for themselves and even if they choose not to wear their hair just the way people around them may be used to, they still rock the weave/ natural/ straight natural. Words that were being spoken about women that chose styles that they didnt wear were all positive. I hope that is something my generation will learn.

    Your hair doesnt weigh your worth or being…what ever happened to "I am not my hair " lol (SN: hope that wasnt too much all over the place) : )

  • Anonymous says:

    I still prefer 100% natural and no weave… unless you cannot grow hair and cases such as that. Take pride in whatever you have.

  • Carla M. says:

    I'm not much of a fan of weaves cause I HATE the feeling of not really being able to get at my scalp, but I'm known to rock a wig or two (or three LOL). I constantly go back and forth between wearing my natural hair out and wearing wigs. I think the wigs allow for versatility without commitment. Sometimes I like the look of straight hair, but my hair is fine and extremely sensitive to both heat and humidity, so pressing is OUT of the question as far as I'm concerned. I like that my hair can be a great hennaed twist-out one day and long auburn bob the next day without having to apply a lick of heat or color to my real hair. To each her own!

  • Francena M says:

    I don't see what wearing a weave/wig has to do with having natural hair. Natural hair is natural–no perm, no chemicals. Where all the weave you want and I will do the same. I dare anyone to even presume to think that they can tell the next person what to do with their head. FOH

  • Anonymous says:

    Can you actually heat train your hair??? Or is it just heat damaged?

  • Anonymous says:

    I love the freedom and versatility of weaves and wigs and I think they are a great addition to any woman's routine. I grew my hair from the nape of my neck to my bra strap by wearing weaves. It gave me a chance to give my hair a break. Now that I'm natural and sporting a TWA, when I want a change I have a great lace front. We can have it all ladies!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    I hate weaves and wigs…PERIOD!! I think if Hollywood didnt embrace the fake hair the way they have the "real world" might not have. I can remember when there was a time old ladies would be mocked if they had a wig on…these days teenagers are rocking WIGS/WEAVES!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Janelle Grimmond, 29, fashion editor/stylist

    Is she doing the reality show on MTV TRUE LIFE?? Will be interesting to watch.

  • Sydni_Michelle says:

    I've received a little heat for deciding to go natural. Im transitioning now, and I get the you need a relaxer. Or you look so good with your hair straight why do you want to go natural. Why do you want nappy hair? Crazy right?!?!?

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