If you have been with me for a while, then you know that I vowed to give up weave. I had many reasons why. If you would like to see all of my various reasons please read my previous blog “Why I Won’t Be Wearing Weaves For A While.”
Long story short, it all started when I found out that women across the world were being exploited, physically harmed, and not compensated for the collection of their that is being sold. I thought to myself that can’t be good for a person’s spirit. You pray, meditate and overall try to have the most positive energy around you…yet on the very top your head is exploitation. It didn’t make sense to me.
I didn’t want to be a part of it. I set out to find an ethically sourced, reasonably priced, black owned hair company. Let me tell you something… it took a LONG TIME! I was determined though. I also set out to find a hair dresser with a positive energy and professional work practices. I figured that if I’m going to go out of my way to make wearing weave an ethical and spiritual experience, I better do it well from start to finish.
After much searching I found Ayune Hair by Valerie Ogoke. I loved everything about it. When I say everything I mean everything. I loved her intentionality and purposeful spirit. I loved that she cared about and spoke on behalf of women who didn’t have the platform to do it for themselves. I loved that she wore and modeled her own product.
Not only does this company care about empowering women who are giving their hair up for sale and compensating them, but 5% of your purchase goes to empowering black women in Australia.
I love that she calls her customers “soul sisters” and through various direct messages from Valerie, I can tell you that is exactly how she treats her clientele. She has answered all of my messages and been nothing but kind and honest through this whole process.
…so I ordered my hair… and then came time for the test…
I had to make sure this hair is actually good quality. I couldn’t wear just anything. I was a little scared at first because on the website she said that the hair would be susceptible to slightly more tangles and shedding because of the way that it is made. I trusted her for some reason though and I’m so glad that I did.
I was pleasantly surprised to realize that the cost of the hair was cheaper than I had originally thought! The prices are listed in Australian dollars which has less value than the US dollar. As soon as I put my hair in the cart and went through PayPal the price dropped!!! I also received a welcome discount due to a promotion that the company was running during the time. I purchased the Water Wave hair. I purchased two 18 inch bundles and and 16 inch bundle.
It is important to remember that because the hair is coming from Australia it’s going to take some time. It won’t be there tomorrow. I think I waited a month which wasn’t bad because I ordered my hair during the earlier part of the corona pandemic and I didn’t ask for rush shipment.
Once it arrived I loved how it felt! I appreciated that the packaging was recyclable and not harmful to the environment. It was clear that Ayune Hair had thought of everything.
Once my hair arrived I was ready to book my hair appointment. I knew that I needed a hairstylist with good vibes. You would think it would be easy to find in Atlanta, but it wasn’t. Sure there are plenty of people doing hair, but I wasn’t impressed with the way they ran their businesses. Many hairstylists had these long lists of qualifications and rules on StyleSeat, so much so that I was afraid I was going to break the rules! You have to like pets, if you’re 7 minutes late is a 50 dollar fee, the things that some stylist ask for is ridiculous.
Then I found @luxbreemarie
I followed Bree Marie on Instagram for about a month before I made an appointment. During this time I was waiting on my hair to arrive. I wanted to find someone to install my hair correctly so that I could give an accurate review of the hair. I liked the fact that her weaves looked realistic. While I was waiting for my hair to arrive, Valerie from Ayune hair let us know that the weft sealant she used was lifting and she discounted the hair on the website.
Although I had already purchased my hair, I thought this was amazing to be so transparent. I’ve had hair shed before (haven’t we all) but how many companies are going to actually tell you?! I was so glad that she let her “soul sisters” know what was going on. I decided to find ways to seal my wefts myself.
To seal the wefts for my install I used Fray Check
Next I went to my appointment with @luxbreemarie , and she was amazingly kind, amazingly talented, and amazingly PROMPT just like she appear to be online.
I knew I was gonna be hard on this hair. I was wearing it to London to see my boyfriend. I know the website said to be gentle, but I was reviewing it after all so I was gonna be rough. I didn’t tie it up properly for my whole trip. I don’t recommend doing this. Ayune hair has care instructions on the website. I just wanted to be sure and give a good review.
It love it! It did shed, but I think that the Fray Check helped because there was only an average amount of shedding. The damp London weather made my real hair frizzy without product. My wefted hair reacted the same way, and I appreciated that. That means that if I wanted to use product to manipulate the texture I could because I wasn’t limited to just a wavy or straight pattern. The hair acted like real hair and had character. I could tell by the way that it reacted to the environmental elements that it was not dipped in various chemicals. It curled and straightened well. When wet it reverted back to its natural state.
Once I was done wearing the hair as a weave, I decided to make a half wig with it. This time instead of using fray check to seal my wefts (which washes out when you wash your hair.) I used Aleene’s Fabric Fusion which does not wash out. I liked the Fabric Fusion much better. I have seen people use both Fray Check and Fabric Fusion together. I think using both would work, but the Fabric Fusion worked well enough for me.
It has taken me forever to write this review because I wanted to really get a good wear out of the hair before I made a comment. I must say I love my Ayune hair, I respect and have much admiration for my new “soul sister” Valerie, I will be back to get my hair done by @luxbreemarie, and I was so glad to not be contributing to the exploitation and poverty of women across the world.
It’s a win win situation.