I can’t help but share my views on this topic of hair in a detailed post without being confined to a 280 character thread limit on Twitter. Basically, I have been seeing a vast variety of opinions about black women who wear wigs and weaves and there are a few things I want to clarify from my perspective as a black woman who wears wigs.
First of all, I’m not bald lol I have perfectly fine healthy hair underneath my wigs and all other protective styles that I chose to wear. I just wanted to clarify that common misconception that I see some men throw out about why women choose to wear wigs/weaves. Also, wigs are not exclusive to our parent’s generation either so if I want to wear one then I will wear one!
I personally feel like we should have a choice with how we decide to wear our hair without being demonised or made to feel any kind of way. Whether you choose to rock your curls and afro all year round or you decide that you occasionally want to cover your hair with wigs/weaves.
Wigs are a form of protective styling to aid in the maintenance of our hair underneath. Also, the choice of rocking straight hair is all nice until you have to apply heat to your hair which in turn can lead to heat damage. Why must I place my hair under such strain and stress when I can put on a wig when I want and take it off when I please. Why would I want to wear straight hair? Simply because I have the choice to. I don’t have to because I could easily opt for a kinky curly wig or an afro wig however I like experimenting with different textures and styles. At the end of a long working day when I take off my wig, my lovely hair underneath will still be there untouched and not damaged (provided the braids underneath are not causing to much tension to the hairline).
The wig life notion started for me when I simply gained an interest in being able to do my own hair as a means to save money (and potentially make money). But this wasn’t just exclusive to wigs, I also enjoyed doing trial and error with braids, faux locs, twists etc so I can be in a position to keep in experimenting with different looks. I love how I look when I rock all of these hairstyles so why should I restrict myself to a small selection to fit in with somebody’s narrative. Black women should be free to experiment and have a choice when it comes to our hair and how we choose to wear it no?
Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand the notion that society has contributed to making natural hair seen as less desirable and appealing. For example, some of my sister friends who work in the corporate sector have been made to feel uncomfortable with leaving their natural hair out or even doing braids. Additionally, let us not forget the countless stories we have seen about black women getting dismissed or sent home from their respective workplaces because they decided to wear their natural hair or an Afro-centric style to work. As much as I am a lover of wigs, I cannot be obtuse to the fact that the choice of how a black woman can express herself with her hair has been imposed on by society. However, I am also here to represent the many black women like myself who are very much comfortable with our hair and see wigs as a fashion accessory and not a tool for us to attempt to fit into any specific environments.
I’m all for encouraging self-love and being comfortable in your skin but there is so much more to this than just your external appearance. A woman who decides to wear a wig is not synonymous with her not loving her natural hair/self. I can decide tomorrow that I will never utilise a wig again but that won’t fix any underlying issues I may have with my self-esteem.
Overall, I am honestly tired of these misconceptions about black women who choose to wear wigs. Let us enjoy things sometimes without it being vilified from all corners and fronts. My “blackness” should not and is not determined by how I choose to wear my hair. Furthermore, no two women’s hair journey will be the same so we are in a better position to know how to maintain and look after our hair the best way possible to suit our own individual needs.
Until next time guys