Let me start by saying that I have been a long time fan of hair weaves! I have had every color weave you can think of. Hair weaves give us the versatility to do so many different looks. Hair weaves can be so much fun. In high school I wore so many weaves people would joke and say it’s a wonder my hair hadn’t fall out.
Hair weaves can be expensive. It isn’t unheard of for a weave to cost hundreds of dollars. As a matter of fact, if your weave isn’t hundreds of dollars, and your cousin or friend isn’t doing it, you may want to second guess if you want that person to do your hair. A cheap weave could mean a poorly done weave.
For this reason, many people try to find affordable ways to get hair extensions. One of the things you can do to lower the price of a hair installation is to buy hair from the cheapest vendor you can find. Most affordable places to get weaves are from apps which happen to be headquartered in China (I wont mention any names.) Most of the times that I have bought affordable weave and I check the tracking, it is coming from China. Asian communities make tons of money on black hair both overseas and in the United States.
Before covid-19 I told my friend that I was tired of going into beauty supply stores and being followed around and treated poorly. We spend too much money on beauty products as a community to be treated with disrespect by the community that we are helping to thrive.
In walks Coronavirus
Coronavirus came, and with it came lots of placing blame, prejudice, and confusion. Many people were prejudice against the Chinese due to claims that the virus originated in China, but the Chinese were then disrespectful to the blacks in their country blaming the virus for originating from them.
The hate crimes that the Chinese committed against the black community in China cannot be tolerated. I do not feel that as a black woman I can proudly by hair products from a country that has belittled my people. I believe that we vote with our dollars. I will not be promoting the stimulation of an economy that thinks they can be rich off of me after they have spit on me. https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/other/china-fails-to-stop-racism-against-africans-over-covid-19/ar-BB13fX4x?li=BBTgOZ0
Like I said before, I have been a long time fan of weave. When I was in High School I was wearing them because of the aesthetic, but as you learn better you do better. As time went on I would hear black men say that wearing weave was a form of self hate. In response I would hear black women answer that white women did it first so it is ok.
While both statements may be true, both are leaving out important details. Yes, it is a form of self hate to wear weaves when the weaves that you are wearing can never be your natural texture. If you’re wearing weave in an attempt to conform to a European beauty standard then that’s self hate.
HOWEVER, we look as people having self hate as if it wasn’t something that they were taught, but something that they chose. Self hate is a part of the unfortunate effect of having a lack of representation in a world who views white as beautiful. If you don’t believe me, type in “beautiful women” in Google. Look and see how far you have to scroll through Google images to see a black woman with natural hair. Count how many there are. Self hate is like an illness that needs a cure. I see no need to victim blame. If we are not taught that we are beautiful then why would we think that we are beautiful?
The second problem with that ideology is that whether white women wore it first or not, why is what white women have done the standard for what is to be acceptable? Justifying wearing hair extensions by saying a white woman did it is ridiculous.
Does anyone think of the women who are donating this hair?
In many of these patriarchal societies, women are giving their hair up for free as a sign of humility, worship to The Most High, and without knowing how much they could be paid for it. There have even been reports of women having their hair cut against their will. Most of these women will never see profits from their hair being sold. Many impoverished women could be benefiting financially from selling their hair, but they are not. Male dominated companies are making profits off of the hair that is being collected from them. https://youtu.be/VlZ1SWLBfPE
Many women suffer from hair loss. That’s a real issue. Many women only feel comfortable with a weave, that’s understandable. I never said that I would never wear it again. I say for those of us, who can go without a weave, let’s do it. If you can find a black owned beauty supply store, patronize it. Try to find weaves that mimic your own hair texture. Try to buy hair weaves that are ethical and you know that the women have been compensated fairly.
I know that going natural isn’t always easy. Knowing that something is unethical does not always immediately equate to not doing what is right in our minds. The first step is to appreciate your own beauty which can take time. It can take a long time. My friend Shayla was telling me about the comments and side eyes that people made when she started her natural hair journey, but now she has some of the most beautiful hair that I have ever seen. She didn’t give up. She didn’t let comments stop her from having pride. Don’t worry she is coming with a YouTube channel!
The moral of the story is that we vote with our dollars. I believe that we have to make conscious efforts to support ethical companies, companies who support us, and to support people who are uplifting humanity. It isn’t always easy and it can’t always be done, but where it can be done it should be done. Let’s not reward those who strive to oppress us.