I took a trek down memory lane recently and it brought me back to a time when I used to open my grandma’s old trunk and slap on one of her wigs*. Those wigs were reserved for special occasions; church, funerals, weddings. I had my own special use for them too (tea time dollhouse play of course).
Those wigs were something else though, not like the smooth Remy weave or Brazilian hair wigs, you know the kinds that make it hard for you to tell if it’s a piece or not.
Grandma’s were so fake looking that, looking back now, I wonder how they managed to make it off the store shelf. You would put them on and secure them with some hair pins and pray the wind wouldn’t come out to play.
While surfing recently I came across an anti-wig PSA. To me, the thing was hilarious but it got me thinking about some things. I know some naturals don’t care one way or another about “false hair” but many get a bit offended at the mention of the term “wig*”. Yet there are others who think it’s a useful resource.
Either you love them or you hate them but judging from the recent stats wigs and weaves continue to remain firm in the market. This has resulted perhaps from the idea that if you can’t grow it then it’s ok to sew it, after all we are always seeing many of our favorite celebrities rock them and sell them.
Despite the growth of the natural hair community and a wealth of hair care information, wigs and weaves hold a firm place in the beauty industry. Is this indicative of anything in particular? We have already proven that black girls can grow long hair so is there something else that is causing relaxer sales to drop while weaves and wigs hold strain?
Sometimes we vilify fake hair. We still have not come to a consensus as to whether or not it should be considered a good protective style for naturals.
This business of retaining length can be frustrating for some of us. There are countless stories of naturals and relaxed women alike, who have retained phenomenal length by wearing a wig* or installing a weave. To each his own, but does this indicate that weaves are a viable option to consider as a protective style?
At times we stereotype ladies who dare to rock a lace-front wig or install a weave; career woman, gold digger, barbie wannabe, baby momma, ghetto, hoochie. Notice some of the negative connotations usually attached?
Unfortunately, some naturalistas can get up in arms when other fellow naturalistas mention that they wear wigs or weaves as a protective style. I say unfortunately because really it should not affect anyone that someone else chooses to wear a weave, being that we all have free will, personal preferences and all that.
I wonder though, is this done because of the deep seated issues related to our past as a race? Is it because of the fact that many of these wigs tend to purport a Caucasian or euro-centric idea of what our hair should be? There are alternatives to the straight haired wigs* such as the kinky* hair extensions* and crochet braids. Are these viewed in the same way?
After viewing this video on YouTube I have come to realize that the natural hair movement for some, is more than just hair. It signifies identifying with ones cultural identity. Some of us feel the need to break free of an imposed status quo of how we should look to be considered beautiful. But are we making much ado about nothing when it comes to wigs and weaves?
Watch the psa below and share your thoughts in the comments.