True Life: I'm Addicted to Hair Extensions
Just got back from dinner, sitting here debating where to take this post as Archer plays in the background for what seems like the 143,572nd time in a row. Typically, I'd do a little keyword research to get on the good side of search engines so they can tell all of the people confiding in them for answers to come to me. But.... I just can't right now. My mind is elsewhere.
It's still in the conversation I had with a close friend at dinner about how black women are typically known for going above and beyond when comes to their hair, nails, and the clothes they wear as if she were sitting right here next to me still engaging in that conversation. It eventually settled on the topic of hair and how when we wear hair weaves or extensions in lieu of our own kinky and/or curly hair (depending on your hair type - yes, it's that serious), straighten our hair, or get relaxers (that creamy crack), it is seen as a form of self-hatred.
She was very passionate about how she felt about sticking to a hairstyle that is more suited to what would actually grow out of her head as opposed to being seen as entertainment for other people, that I couldn't help but to think about my own hair given how many times I change it and how others may view it.
Especially those of other ethnicities who aren't exactly privy (or aware) to the history and controversy around black women and their natural hair. She asked me what was wrong with the afro puff I had and I told her I was just tired of the same style. Had it to switch it up because the poof just didn't go with every look and it was huge (wanted something more lowkey).
I've always known about this argument of self-hatred being the source of someone's hair choices, but that's just it. I like...no, love hair extensions. I love being able to change my hair based on the mood I'm in or how I want to feel or even a certain look I'm going for. I feel grateful that I'm blessed enough to be able to rock almost any (keyword: 'almost', lol) hair style or color and it still look good on me. And not to mention the time I save from washing and taking care of my own hair given the amount of love and tender care it takes for this mane of mine.
But, there is more to this "hairytale", it's called 'reality'.
Did you know there are some people out there who view the natural hair of black women as socially unacceptable and inappropriate? Did you know that some view hair extensions or perms as a sign of low self-esteem because they'd rather wear do that than their own natural hair? Black women and their hair is actually a very controversial topic, just google it and you'll see all sorts of articles, even research papers, pop-up in the search results.
And, as of just recently, a fellow style blogger mentioned that she actually gets harassment for having blonde hair as an asian woman. You can find arguments that asians do this so they can look more like Caucasian people.
But, is it really that serious to say that every asian woman who dyes their hair blonde wants to be a blonde white girl? To say that every black woman who gets a weave is ashamed of being a black woman? I personally don't view it as such. What if I were to say that every white guy who shaves his head is an extreme white nationalist who is a racist? Or that I was wearing this camo print jacket because I want to be a soldier in the army?
But don't get it twisted, the tone of this isn't to shame those who feel like a woman's choice of hairstyle is rooted in self-hatred of her own culture. You're entitled to your opinion, just like I'm entitled to mine. But, that's just it.......its an opinion. Who are you to say that their choice in hairstyle is rooted in self-hatred? Let women and they weave be.
What do you think? Is it a fashion statement? A medical purpose? Self-hatred? Irrelevant? I'd love to hear your thoughts.