African American Women and Hair Extensions

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February 12, 2011 ‐ By Genevieve St. Bernard

To weave or not to weave? There is a lot of back and forth discussion over Black women and their love/hate relationships with hair extensions. While they can be a fab styling option for the girl who wants to change her style, color or even texture from week to week, simply put….they aren’t for everyone. Considering hair extensions for your African American hair? Here are some things you may wish to consider.

The Good:

-Hair extensions provide flexibility in styling that would be impossible to mimic with real hair. Attempt to change your own hair from red to blonde to black in the course of two weeks and you’ll be wearing weave sooner than you planned, trust me.

-Much of the taboo surrounding Black women and weaves has gone away. They are so commonplace now that you’ll even see the occasional man walking around with a ‘hair bag’ after picking up his girlfriend’s new extensions.

The Bad:

-Can you change your extensions often? Sure. But it’s gonna be costly. And if you aren’t a skilled weave-master, the last thing you want to do is put your own tracks or pieces in. The streets will notice, honey. The streets will notice.

-Like braids, hair extensions can cause stress to your own hair. Which is the worst thing you can do if you plan to wear your real tresses out in the future.

The Ugly:

-Not everyone can keep up $300 trips to the salon every few weeks, but some will get those fancy extensions knowing full well they can’t replace them in an adequate amount of time. The result? The unfortunate sister sitting in front of you on the bus with a head full of matted Remi and a faint mildew smell.

If you choose to try a weave, make sure you are prepared to deal with the costs and upkeep associated with it! Hair extensions can be uber fab…but you have to do your part!

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