What Spending A Half A Trillion Dollars on Hair Care and Weaves Says About Us

May 11, 2011  |  

By H. Fields Grenee

Straight, wavy, curly, fine, curse – few things generate more passion or anger among African American women than their hair. Some critics note that the emphasis placed on hair is a double-edged sword aimed at ones’ self esteem. Or when quaffed well, i.e. “Good Hair” becomes a passage to acceptance within the dominate cultures’ ideal of beauty.

Then there are those who view hair – commercial or natural – as an accompaniment to an outfit; like a hat or that essential accessory that glams up the whole look. Despite what stance you view the landscape from – hair – African American hair and the cultivation of that “look” via the placement of weave is a multi-billion dollar industry.

Extensions can cost as low as $300 (depending on your geographical area) and go up to $10,000; based on the service – strand by strand extensions or weft (track) that are calculated per weft or a set price for the entire head, says Atlanta-based beautician Toni Love, who has more than 20 years experience styling hair with the addition of weave placement.

Factor in maintenance; better known as touch-ups, required every four to six weeks determined by how fast the recipients’’ natural hair grows – commercial hair placement can range between $4,000 to $80,000 a year – not including transportation, child care or lost productivity incurred by the three to eight hours required to complete the process.

Despite the cost reductions since weaves first gained popularity in the late 70s and early 80’s – when it was primarily used for theatrical purposes, movies, videos and on fashion runways – the expense is difficult to juggle with real incomes. Nevertheless, their hyper-visibility can be seen everywhere from corporate boardrooms to inner-city food desert bodegónes.

Quest for fashion fabulous hair speaks volumes about us

Consider this: $46,326 was the median household income in the United States according to 2010 U.S. Census data and the average income for African American families was $32,584, well below a middle-class lifestyle. Yet we over-spend for the purpose of appearance. Why is this?

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  • Kurt Schwitters

    The $500 billion figure is bogus and absurd, as a moment’s reflection will show. That’s $25,000 per year for every black female of whatever age, or nearly $500 per week. The argument here — the subtext anyway— is about standards of beauty, insecurity, victimhood (of course), and the whole tiresome whine about the consequences of people’s freely-made choices. Aren’t there bigger issues to address than hair, for Heaven’s sake?

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  • Disappointed

    All of you are idiots and are determined to hate yourselves. Black people only have 1.1 trillion in purchasing power. Are you telling me that black women don’t eat, pay rent or sleep? Think about the numbers and stop being determined to denigrate and stigmatize yourselves. If black women had 500 billion to spend on hair care only then what does that leave for black men out of 1.1 trillions.

  • Mel Stevens

    I’ve tried some seriously expensive hair treatments that have been awful, But ever since I tried the argan oil from pro naturals I new what a worthy hair oil is all about

  • MiMi

    Black women look better with their curly hair. Europeans told them curly hair was ugly, and you literally couldn’t get a job just a couple of decades ago with a “bush” of “untamed” curls on your head. Now that in this day and age, people are a lot more tolerant of the differences of others, I see no reason for this mentality of “passing”, or striving for “acceptance” to exist(in latin america, people of african descent and native american descent literally try to pass for white till this day, in the united states, we hadn’t had blacks or natives try to pass for white sense the 50s.) being told your looks are less than perfect is why the koreans and other asians spend thousands on cosmic surgery to have more “acceptable” features. Why most puerto rican girls flat iron their hair because over there people of african descent were told anything but straight was inferior. And why most Domonicans disclaim their african ancestors and strive to “push the race forward” by skin bleaching and mixing with people lighter than themselves to produce a paler offspring, the spaindards called this “adelantar la raza” which means “advance the race, by rejecting who you are, and striving to be more like the “superior” in terms of skin color, and facial features that MUST be erased through mixing.Then a hair texture that most afro latinos tame with perms, creams and blow outs, So trust me…. This self loath thing and insecurity thing isn’t a “african american”delima, but a brown people delima period because we were made to be insecure by others who were intolerant and instilled in us that we should strive to be more like them…. And decades later, that mindset is still held on to. Now in this day and age when the same people who made us feel insecure are tanning, getting perms for curly hair, eye surgery to get almond eyes(that was deemed hideous on asians) breast implants and butt implants and padding(that was deemed hideous and disproportionate on black females), there should be no more excuse for why these insecurities still exist other than parents reinforcing it in the home. Parents need to teach their children to be more proud of who they are, their features and where they come from.

  • bandoogiemanz

    Whether its 7 billion or not, it’s still a whole lot of money that Negroes aren’t getting any piece of. How can we turn this around to our advantage? Discussions about the psychological and societal impact aside, the majority of Negro women in this country will continue to buy these products(specifically weaves.) Can we find a way to profit off of this so that we can then turn around and spend that money in our own communities?

  • You can spend just as much on hair styling services without weave. This article was written for the sake of having content on a site to sell ad space… pay this no mind.

  • tamrachelle

    I’d love to see the figures of how much a black woman is supposed to spend on things in her life. If a woman works for something, why can’t she spend her money how she sees fit? We as black women have control issues, we need to learn to live and let live.

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  • ambi

    hard to take this serious when there is a misspelled word in the first sentence -Straight, wavy, curly, fine, curse, …

  • Ricky

    You didn’t interpret your data correctly that was $507 billion on products and services TOTAL. That includes cars, electronics, furniture, lawn care services, car maintenance, etc. On personal care items the number was actually $7.4 Billion which is what hair care service and weaves would fall under.

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  • wow! we delve so deep into reasons behind what we as black women do to our hair, lol! goes to show, no matter what you do…your own will always be the ones ridiculing you. may as well make yourself happy, and do as you please.

    • Easy excuse, especially when its your own encouraging you to embrace your God-self since others don’t; Classic.

  • MicorePlatinum

    Why pay for hair when you can have a hair business and get paid to wear hair extensions. First of it’s kind… platinumhair dot mymicore dot com

  • We spend THAT much on hair yet most black women are recipients of public aid and welfare? That money needs to be saved damn. We try our best and spend everything to our name to look good on the outside while we are messed the hell up on the inside and in our minds. This is SAD and a joke and that’s why the black community is in the condition it’s in. A nation can rise no higher than it’s women and quite frankly we got our priorities out of wack. We’re helping the Koreans build up China town with all this money we are giving them and our communities are damn near going into extinction. Oh, but you just got your hair and nails done for the club tonight so everything is good for you I guess but it won’t be for long you wish you would of SAVED that damn money because things are going to change….FAST. I hope we are prepared. 

    • Disappointed

      Maybe because the numbers aren’t real and pulled out of thin air???

  • Kath

    “the mainstream media image of white beauty – that includes
    silky long hair and a overly slender silhouette that our fuller shapes
    cannot naturally accomplish.” 

    This issue is a such huge problem for all women. Anorexia is such a tragic phenomenon. Women literally starving to be as thin as possible because tiny and fragile (weak) is seen as beautiful. Men like small women than they can pick up, right? Talk about unexplored psycho-social ramifications…. Genetically I have no idea where this waif like body ideal came from. It certainly did not come from my swarthy viking ancestors. I have a hefty bone structure and I would probably starve to death before I ever got to the ridiculously low ideal weights projected by the media (125, 110, 100..). Maybe it’s a youth obsession thing? Who knows…? The straight hair obsession is even more bizarre, as hair texture varies so greatly between individuals, and Asians are the only race I can think of where stick straight hair is the norm. I remember a period of time in the early 2000’s when any hair texture except pin straight was ‘not cute’. There were so many girls when I was in high school who fried their hair with a flat iron daily, whether they had natural curls or basically straight hair as it is. So, so strange. 

  • For some wearing a weave is about what they lack inside or trying to be more ‘acceptable’.  But, for many it is simply another option.  No one should be telling women what it right or not.  Clearly, as blacks we have our priorities twisted: we are consumers of most products and not the visionaries behind the message or the money.  Not just in weaves; hair.

    Decades ago, black women spent billions in relaxers, pressing and style so weaves are another option.  Personally, everyone does NOT look good with every style.  We could better use our money and minds on much more.  But, who doesn’t want to look nice, however that is defined

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  • Stephanie_rola

    Great Article, enjoyed the read! The figures are astounding!

    • D.d.8

      the figures are wrong. black people as a whole  spend 500 billion across 27 product and service groups. about 8 billion of that was spent on personal care products and services. this writer should check the facts they are using to make black people feel bad for taking care of themselves. shock and awe is all this article is….

  • Lotusbudblooms

    My opinion is that black women should stop wearing weave and go back to their natural texture but with a flat ironed out look. I don’t like the afro look, it looks very unfeminine to me, so a nice full, feathered out do that’s flatironed is most attractive in my opinion.  I wear that style myself and when I work out, I wear it up with a headband. I don’t like the constant berated black women get for trying to improve their looks. We are not separate from society. We are americans and need to assimilate to our country’s cultural standards for survival and to live better. It’s adaptation and those who don’t adapt well, become extinct. All women have to conform to beauty standards. All of them. Quit with this self hatred non-sense because it doesn’t work. I value beauty in all women and when I beautify myself I may borrow a little from different types who  I find attractive. I like some features of asian beauty, some of caucasion, some of latin, some of black women. It’s not that we are only looking at white. No because the standard of beauty has been globalized. If you’ve noticed, it’s becoming more and more ethnic by the year. However, men generally don’t find african features that appealing on women (dark skin, short fro-like hair) I think it is in black women’s interest to render those traits more attractive to men’s taste and also their own. Look, it’s about selling your product on the market – remember that. If what you have to offer isn’t that sellable, then you should offer what is to the best of your ability. If it’s done well, then you’ll be respected for it. If it’s not (which I think is the issue with most black women’s taste) then you’ll get rejected or ridiculed for it.

    • proudnaturalblackwoman

      I’m sad for you.

    • i am the first person to say each to his/her own you know, but reading your post……you have definitely been assimilated into the collective. Different men love different things in different women. i wear my hair in an afro sometimes, and my husband loves it. Thank the Lord above, the majority of men don’t really think the way you accuse them of. They want a woman who takes good care of herself, no matter what, and is classy enough to not put others down for their style choices.

  • sophisticatecovergirl

    Wow not one comment?

  • Andrea

    ACTUALLY! I get to do this every morning, as I wish, wash my hair when I wish, have my man pull it when he wishes as well, and it's all mine.

    Micro locs/ sisterlocks for the win!!

  • Mac

    Wearing weave has nothing to do with wanting good hair….GOOD hair is HEALTHY hair. It can be short, long, curly, straight, in pig tails…it just needs to be healthy. http://www.natoyaebony.com/

  • anonymous

    I have "good hair"–it is long and wavy–not at all kinky and it is natural–no perm, no relaxer, texturizer or heat training. To be completely honest, I'm more messed up than girls with kinky hair wearing weaves because I remember a time when there were no weaves and my hair was exceptional and exotic for a black person but now that everyone has the same indian remy deep waves and curly weaves (not to mention lacefronts), my hair no longer stands out. It took a lot of multi-generational mixing to get my hair and these girls now just go down the street and literally buy it like fast food.
    I feel a little less unique–and questions of authenticity abound. I noticed other black women assume I must have an expensive weave and I am routinely asked if "it's all real." In fact, I went to an upscale hair salon while traveling in New York and was told that they "don't work with weave"–a weave that I don't even have.

  • Truth

    Black people do not spend do not spend half a million dollars on hair care and weaves. Target market news clearly says, I quote
    "In 2009, black households spent an estimated $507 billion in 27 product and services categories. That's an increase of 16.6% over the $435 billion spent in 2008. African-Americans' total earned income for 2009 is estimated at $836 billion."
    The 27 products and services included in the $507 billion include educaation, food, electronics entertainment amongst other things. You dont believe me, check out the link http://www.targetmarketnews.com/storyid11011001.h

    Stop trying to make us look bad with your false statistics…who every wrtoe this article should be fired!

  • Jada1

    Also, I think instead of everybody just focusing on black women wearing weave and contributing so much money to our hair, I think we should focus on the root issues,which is the way society and our own community views “nappy” hair.
    White/Euro-looking features is what our society and our world views as beautiful and acceptable. The black community is the same and views anybody more Euro-looking/less black as beautiful and that includes hair type. As long as our society/world is like this, then the black hair business will continue to soar. Whenever plastic surgery gets affordable(and it will soon enough), more black women will get nose jobs, butt and breast implants, everything. You have black women getting sick and dying because of black market butt injections. Its sad and it makes me sad to even think about having children,esp. a daughter cause I couldn’t protect them from all the negative things our society and black-American community has. Sad.

  • Elle Peay

    JESUS. I guess the editor fell asleep under the dryer! I presume by 'quaffed', the writer actually meant 'coiffed' and by 'councils', she actually mean 'counsels'. I won't go on.

  • Leslie

    The difference is that white women aren't "called out" or looked down upon if they don't wear weaves. In fact many times they are applauded for not following these expensive and laborious beauty standards(google Brazillian Blowout). When was the last time there was a large mainstream effort to make manufacturers answer for the chemicals they put in relaxers? The difference is that MOST hair care products and salons are geared towards women who don't have kinky hair, and the products that supposedly are for women with kinky hair are designed to make our hair straight, not maintain its natural beauty. If you wanna wear a weave, that's your business. But, if you can't walk out of the house without a weave or a wig or a fresh perm on your head because you're embarrassed about your natural hair, then you might have a problem, and that is the state of things for MOST black women. It is getting tiresome, but not in the way that you imply.

  • Loren Witherspoon

    I have worn my hair loc'd for over 2 years now. It has grown faster and is healthier at the root than it has ever been. It started out less than an inch long and is now down to my shoulders. Natural and organic products to maintain and very little upkeep. My maintenance cost is approximately 2.00 a month which includes water, maintenance products and twisting. There is something to be said for the natural state of your hair.

  • Michel Imhotep

    With all due respect to H. Fields Grenee, the report from Target Market News does not state that in 2009 African-Americans spent $507 Billion on Hair Care and Personal Grooming Items out of total Buying Power of $836 Billion. It states that in 27 product categories we spent $507 Billion. As far as Hair Care and Personal Grooming Items we spent $7.4 Billion. If we spent $507 Billion on Hair Care and Personal Grooming Items, then how could we spend $203.8 Billion on Housing and Related Charges, $65.2 Billion on Food, $23.6 Billion on Health Care and $29.1 Billion on Cars and Trucks? That equals over $827 Billion and we still aren't done counting.

  • With all due respect to H. Fields Grenee, the report from Target Market News does not state that in 2009 African-Americans spent $507 Billion on Hair Care and Personal Grooming Items out of total Buying Power of $836 Billion. It states that in 27 product categories we spent $507 Billion. As far as Hair Care and Personal Grooming Items we spent $7.4 Billion. If we spent $507 Billion on Hair Care and Personal Grooming Items, then how could we spend $203.8 Billion on Housing and Related Charges, $65.2 Billion on Food, $23.6 Billion on Health Care and $29.1 Billion on Cars and Trucks? That equals over $827 Billion and we still aren't done counting.


    Michael Imhotep
    The African History Network Show http://www.AfricanHistoryNetwork.com

  • Mariar

    Womens been grooming their hair and body since the beginning of time!
    Who doing these studies worrying about a person look? worry about your wife, girlfriend, daughters, sister, aunts,
    grandmother whatever.

  • da truth

    What about those who inject Botox in their lips and their behinds to achieve that Black girl silhouette!
    I haven't seen the psychological evaluation of those. I am waiting….but won't be holding my breath,
    cause they're won't be none. Why, the media, including Black media is intent on portraying Black women
    in a bad light. Period. End of Discussion. Put we're still here despite all the HATERATION. I want to see a
    study on Black Executive Assistants (or Secretaries) with BA and MBA degrees, next to High school degree holding Beckys working as VPs.

    • Correction

      I just saw a special on National Geographic and Discovery about WOMEN in general mutilating themselves for botox, implants, and "corrective surgeries". But maybe you didn't catch that, as those are EDUCATIONAL channels. Women are beautiful and shouldn't feel the need to go off and spend so much time, effort, money etc to accompilsh these durastic changes and modifications. Black women have curly hair-EMBRACE THAT! My point being is that black women are BEAUTIFUL. I just wanted to make my point that each has their own imperfections but how lame would it be if we were all perfect?

  • Jamie

    I went natural a year ago, but I've had it all, relaxers, hot combs, colors across the rainbow, braids, and different extensions. At some point I realized that I was 22 and knew nothing about my real hair, and guess what I loved the little secret that sprouted beneath. Even though I learned to love it I found that having dark skin and "Puerto Rican" curly hair got mixed reviews like "How did you get your hair to do that?" or "Did you process your hair?" All questions from black people. When I wore it straight there were no questions, because it was "normal." The reality is it is not. That curly, kinky, wavy, poofy texture is what is normal. We as women need to teach our sons and daughters that what they are born with is just as beautiful as the rest, and that variety/change is okay too. Hair should be healthy and can be a form of self expression, not a political issue that White America has created for us. Sometimes you just have to turn off the TV, put down the magazines, look in the mirror and see real beauty for yourself.

  • Jamie

    Anyone who claims that the concept of "good hair" v. "bad hair" doesn't exist is in denial. With that being said, I will admit that "good hair" is not the only reason women wear weaves, extensions, color, or fry, dye, and lay it to the side. Women in general love variety and perfect hair, whatever that means for the individual, but black women have to be honest with themselves about why we do what we do to our hair. Some of it is self-hate, some of it is self-love. No matter what style you choose it shouldn't be because you don't know how to manage what is naturally yours first. I say learn to love and care for what naturally grows out of your scalp first, and if you decide you want a change out of personal preference then do you.

  • Clarence

    I would suggest that the writer of this article check his figures since this figure can not possibly be accurate. I am sure that he has confused millions of dollars with billions of dollars in this story since he is stating that 40 million African Americans spend more than $500 billion on hair care products. The GNP of California is approximately $1.85 Trillion for nearly 40 million citizens, and United States GNP is $14 Trillion. There is absolutely no way that African Americans could be spending such a high percentage (i.e. 61% of total spend power) of their total $836 Billion of buying power on hair products. $500 million is still outrageous and astronomical, but $500 billion on haircare products would be suicidal and impossible. I am very concerned that we are spreading inaccurate info to our people! In the computer word, this phenomena is known as "Garbage In, Garbage Out! I am also wondering if they have editors at the Atlanta Post! This article only shows that the writer had some serious issues with basic arithmetic and placement of zeros during his grade school days!

  • Andrea

    …27 comments about hair. Mine makes this 28. M comment is about my utter shock to see this many comments about our hair debates but I doubt if I asked some or even al about some complex theories about forecasting and behavior economic schemas, there would be no responses.

  • Raven

    Ugh I hate this article because Black women are not the only women who wear weaves. My father is Dominican and Dominicans have the same texture hair as African-Americans, I stopped relaxing my hair and starting getting blow outs. Occasionally when I’m tired of styling my hair I will get a sew in…not because my self esteem is low HELL NAW I know I’m a bad chick, but because its a nice change! So what big f***** deal!

  • millie

    Who cares? This is nothing new. It's unfortunate that we as a people routine generate money for industries that doe not acknowledge in their advertising.

    I've been perm free for years, and it's the best decision that I've ever made. I don't think that I'm ever going to get a perm.
    But I'm getting really sick and tired of "naturals" knocking down women who choose to perm/weave their hair. What business is it of yours?

    I've read too many blogs/forums where naturals lamented on their hair growth and I've always suspected that one of the reasons that locs/dreadlocks have become so popular is because it's one of the quickest ways in which women can finally add some length. So get over yourselves. Everyone regardless of race/ethnicity desires long hair down their backs.

  • Brenda


  • Aja

    I spend about $50/month on hair cleansing and moisturizing products. However it takes me at least 5 hours/week to properly cleanse, condition, moisturize, untangle, and style (minimizing damage every step of the way) my hair.

    If time is money, I wonder how much I actually spend on my hair considering that the same amount of time could be spent working a part time job…lol.

    Anyway the point, I think, is the sticker shock of $500,000,000.00. See, when you write the whole thing out it really makes you wonder what else could be done with $500,000,000.00:).

    • Correction

      hahahahahah its 500,000,000,000.00!!!!!!! Good thing you're not my banker!

  • blazetoday

    people don't know what they can afford that's the problem. they think well i've got the money in my pocket, i can afford it. but people with no savings, no health insurance, no life insurance, no college funds for their kids, no property or land ownership and having high interest rate car loans and spend 40% or 50% of income on housing do not need to be buying weaves from people who won't even let them into the wholesale end of the business.

  • blazetoday

    I think people are missing the point of the story. The excuse "white people do it" is invalid. Black people are in dire straights. No savings, no investments, no insurance, one missed check away from being thrown out on the street. People in that precarious positions should not even be spending 100s must less thousands on hair from another country (where the people there are tricked into thinking they are donating to their religion). If you have 8 to 12 months of emergency household expenses saved up. If you have maxed out your 401k or retirement plan contributions. You don't spend more than 30% of your income on housing. Every adult in the household has life insurance. Every adult and child in the house has Health insurance. You have little to no credit card debt then I say weave it up.

  • blazetoday

    I think people are missing the point of the story. The excuse "white people do it" is invalid. Black people are in dire straights. No savings, no investments, no insurance, one missed check away from being thrown out on the street. People in that precarious positions should not even be spending 100s must less thousands on hair from another country (where the people there are tricked into thinking they are donating to their religion).
    Tell ya what you can get a weave when you have

    8 to 12 months worth of household expenses saved up in case of emergency
    your 401k or retirement plan is maxed out
    You are not spending more than 30% of your income on housing
    All adults in the house have life insurance
    Everyone in the house has health insurance
    Every kid in the house has a college fund started
    You have little to no credit card debit.
    Once you do all of that WEAVE IT UP!

    • I don't think anyone is offering excuses, period. The question is why are Black women disparaged for doing the same thing that every other woman of every other race is doing? When a white woman buys a weave, she's trying out options or going for a different look but when a Black woman buys a weave, she has self esteem issues. And let's be careful throwing stones when we live in glass houses. Because if you want to talk statistics, statistically, Black women are more educated, better paid, and financially more secure than Black men…(that's what the statistics say anyway)…so where is the article about Black men spending thousands on throwback jerseys, bling, and car accesories oh and based on your screen name weed.

  • joe digle

    because the white man told you, you were ugly. and you believed him. and now you spend more on your looks than what you earn. wow. how foolish is that.

    • blazetoday

      yep! i dont care whose hair you got on your head. you will still not measure up/


    Black peoples priorities are all wrong. All we (blacks) think about is getting hair and nails done. Living in the projects wearing designer clothes. When will we get it. All races are leaving us behind. We were much better off during segregation. We are getting worse.

    • geemoenettie

      They are not leaving us behind. They DONE left us behind!

  • Dee

    I find it interesting that anytime there is a story or article on Black hair, it is always focused on Black women and their self-esteem/hair issues. What about Black men? Nobody talks about the self-esteem issues they have with their hair. If you haven't noticed, many Black men have taken to shaving their heads and sporting the bald look, my own brother included. Shortly after my brother started dating his white fiancee, he shaved his head. I asked him why and he said, "Oh, it was just so much trouble." It was then I started noticing that many, many black men (celebrities too) who had shaved heads are involved with white women.

    Now, I am not saying that I have anything against interracial relationships, and I am not saying that every bald-headed black man is involved with white woman, but in my humble opinion, I believe part of the reason we are seeing this trend is that black men have self-esteem issues as well when it comes to their blackness and their hair and so they attempt to remove every possible reminder that they are black. Since they can't change their black skin, they change what they can, i.e., their black hair. When I see a shaved-headed black man walking around in the store or the park or if he is driving around in a car, I can almost predict that the woman with him will more than likely be white.

    Check it out for yourself! Black men have issues with their hair as well; fortunately for them, it doesn't cost trillions of dollars to "fix" their issues. They get to fly under the radar, while black women take the full brunt!

    • Dub

      I think most Black men choose to shave their head because they're going bald, not necessarily trying to rid themselves of their Blackness because of a White woman. Are the men that you see older (30s and up)? There are other possibilities that could refute your theory as well (disease, don't want to spend money at barbershop, etc.)

    • geemoenettie


    • Hi Dee I never noticed the association between bald African-American men and white women. I have dated a brotha, who is bald, he did mention he dated one white woman, however, he married a sista. So now I'm like hmm, I gonna pay more attention.

    • Brotherman

      No disrespect, but, that is the dumbest thing I've ever heard in my life.

    • geemoenettie

      I've noticed it too. I even had a friend tell me her son's hair was too nappy to allow it to grow out. So what do you think the boy is going to do when he is older?

    • Glenn

      HUH? Wow now that was the first time I heard something like this….Black men who shave their head bald is because that want to remove some characteristics of their race….I strongly disagree. I would have agreed with you if you said if it was for vanity, because I know a few black men who shave their hair because of male patterned baldness and didnt like the horseshoe look.

    • Natural Hair Guest

      This may depend on your area as I have not seen what you have. On the contrary, I've seen more and more Black men sporting locks now than I have in the past. I live near a major university and there are a huge number of interracial couples and I have only seen one or two black men that are bald. I am a Black woman engaged to a Black man. He shaves his head and has been doing so for a number of years. Nothing against his hair, but he didn't want to go to a barbershop any more and his hair is thinning. This was just a very feasible option for him.

  • the priestess

    why does this even matter? it’s not costing YOU money so why b***h about OTHER women spending their OWN money on hair? if anything, b***h about the u.s. governmental thieves taking your money through healthcare, taxes, and countless other things. everyone needs to fix their priorities and focus on what really matters in the world.

    oh and, food for thought: the govt. is making billions off of casualties from cancer through chemotherapy. chemo was used in WWII to gas and murder jews.
    cannabis (as well as other earth grown herbs) cures cancer and all related illnesses. there is medical and scientific proof of that. they don’t want you to know this because they profit from casualties, and healed people equal less casualties.

    you all are getting played real hard if you believe this “hair” article is anything worth even talking about.

  • KNB1

    Since my original post was deleted (for whatever reason) I’m posting again.

    Not to beat a dead horse but just like others have commented, black women are not the only ones who get weaves. I’m a little confused by the article title. It includes hair care in general with the cost of weaves. Some people with natural hair may pay more to maintain it then someone wearing a weave. Not by my own choice but my hair was cut right after my Junior year in HS. I wore a TWA throughout my Senior year and then texturized my hair right before going off to college. I have very coarse, thick, kinky, nappy hair and have grown to absolutely love it! It no longer affects me to hear about nappy hair because I no longer view it as something negative. You have to embrace and own it. I agree with another poster that you have to become reacquainted with your natural hair after having relaxers for so long. I got my first relaxer at 10 and stopped at 17. I have continously cut my hair every year and it was styled at the beginning of last summer as a mohawk. I’m now deciding if I want to grow it out or re-cut it. I have begun branching out and now occasionally wear wigs. I use them on days where I don’t feel like dealing with my hair. I didn’t go natural b/c I wanted to “go back to my roots” per say. My sister has had locs for about 11 years now and is very much into the African/Pro-Black cultures but she does express how she wishes she could wear a wig from time to time just to change up her look but her locks won’t allow it! One thing I would like to add is that people don’t realize how much kinky hair shrinks. You’d be amazed at how long it can be if straightened.

  • Terri

    Black women should have the right to wear their hair in any style they please…without commentary. How dare we judge another on style of hair. This article is jaded. I was a cosmetologist for a decade. The hair care industry is a multibillion dollar industry and I'm sure the bulk of the money is not spent by Black women. Our services, products, hair, are less expensive, by far than what you would find in a non-Black salon.
    I feel Black women have enough stressors in life. Why can't we wear our hair the way would like, in peace?

  • geemoenettie

    Super expensive hair from the 98cents Beauty Queen -CHECK Nails done- CHECK pedicure-CHECK expensive shoes- CHECK overpriced purse-CHECK education-::crickets::: 401k -::crickets:: healthy cholesterol level::::crickets:: PTA membership:::crickets:: home ownership::crickets:: We have GOT TO DO BETTER. Priorities are all jacked up.

    • I can't afford a home, I can't afford education ( I'm trying to finish college), sometimes I can't afford to eat healthy( I try when I can afford it), my mother was working so hard she couldn't go to PTA meetings, . Black people need to stop being so harsh to each other. I don't wear weave and I've never had a pedicure or expensive shoes or purses either. Some people have nothing.

  • thewikkedone

    So…how exactly were these numbers calculated? was their an official survey of all the women in the world?

  • Anonymous

    I am a black woman and in my neighborhood there are faaaaar more hair salons dedicated to servicing other races, than there are salons that cater to and care for african american hair. I actually seen about equivalent numbers of white women wearing weaves as I do black women. They have become a staple for alot of young women of many races in the high schools around hear. I also use to work in a salon that did cater to all hair types. Believe me, ALL of these women invest a good some of money into their hair, including weaves. This article is truly biased. Why dont people do actual research anymore. Instead of doing an article solely dedicated to black women's hair care, research the whole spectrum of women and compile an article with some weight behind it. I would be less inclined to be offended by this type of material. This article gives the impression that blacks are wasteful in comparison to others. Yes that money could be used for something else but money from many other sources could be used for something else. I clicked on this article specifically to state the problems I have with articles like these that single out blacks and black women in a negative light. Im getting really tired of it. I go to the salon maybe twice a year, wear my hair natural and maintain a select set of haircare product that I love and I know work for me. Problems within the black community about hair and hair care product arise from several industries pushing us to always have our hair a certain way, poor quality products being advertised in hair magazines, and back handed comments at black women's choice of hair and hairstyles like the girl on twitter saying rihanna's hair is nappy. I think you get the point!
    I need this site to come more correct with article that address these issues and more. Please stop with the distasteful articles. Ive seen alot of people comment about not coming to the site or certain others anymore because of similar opinions. Let do better than this.

  • Ms. Jones

    I believe the fifth word should be coarse, not curse.

  • Supervibe

    "And BTW, who on God's green earth pays would pay $10,000 for a hair weave?"
    Tyra, Oprah, and Beyonce are the only women I can think of that pay that much for weaves. And if thats what they want to pay to make themselves look good then more power to them.

    BTW, after buying my hair and tipping my stylist, my hair costs $35 – $75 every 2 -3 weeks and it only depends on what kind/ brand (synthetic, human hair) of hair I choose to buy. This is the same amount of money I was paying at the hairdresser when I was getting relaxers.

  • Chris

    Years from now there won't be any Black Americans left they'll just be mixed, White, Latino, Chinese and Indian peoples. Our idea is to wipe out African features, dark skin, big lips, flat nose, tightly curled hair, etc; to appease everyone else. We hate ourselves and its not going to stop.

    • It isn't that necessarily hate ourselves. It's that we've internalized the hate that receive from our environment. If humans are told constantly that they are bad, then eventually they'll believe it.

  • ShawnNeverSettles

    @Daniel,…….WTH does that have to do with ANYTHING?! Focus fool….lmbo!!

  • clarissa

    Yawn….no blame or shame for human attempt to beautify themselves. Its a personal choice.

    If your objective is to get me to boycott the evil bad attitude, customer stalking asian beauty supply store owners especially those in black neighborhoods I am IN! but leave black female folks alone. Everybody bullies them…..just because they can. All day everyday…..YOU Haters wont them get their hair groomed in peace. NOBODY WANTS TO LOOK POOR AND DIRTY. NOW EXPLAIN HOW OTHER RACES SPEND THEIR MONEY GROOMING …HATER….NOTHING AS SHADY AS GAY MEN!

  • Society will lower every womans self esteem if we let the media get to us, women in india want whiter skin, oriental women want fuller eye lids, most white women don’t feel feminine unless they have fuller busts and butts, and blond hair. The list gets longer but its a universal desire to look sexier and more desirable. So it some black women want longer hair its no big deal.

  • Lovethyself

    It seems many of us do not get the point of this article. It's not the fact of black women wearing weave. It's about the texture. We should ask the following questions when we put these things on our scalp: Why do we think we have to have straight hair? We weren't born with it. Did God make a mistake when it came to our hair? Who said your natural hair was "bad"? If that person looked like you that's sad….If that person didn't look like you, you've been pimped for about 125 years and counting.

  • KNB1

    Not to beat a dead horse but just like others have commented, black women are not the only ones who get weaves. I’m a little confused by the article title. It includes hair care in general with the cost of weaves. Some people with natural hair may pay more to maintain it then someone wearing a weave. Not by my own choice but my hair was cut right after my Junior year in HS. I wore a TWA throughout my Senior year and then texturized my hair right before going off to college. I have very coarse, thick, kinky, nappy hair and have grown to absolutely love it! It no longer affects me to hear about nappy hair because I no longer view it as something negative. You have to embrace and own it. I agree with another poster that you have to become reacquainted with your natural hair after having relaxers for so long. I got my first relaxer at 10 and stopped at 17. I have continously cut my hair every year and it was styled at the beginning of last summer as a mohawk. I’m now deciding if I want to grow it out or re-cut it. I have begun branching out and now occasionally wear wigs. I use them on days where I don’t feel like dealing with my hair. I didn’t go natural b/c I wanted to “go back to my roots” per say. My sister has had locs for about 11 years now and is very much into the African/Pro-Black cultures but she does express how she wishes she could wear a wig from time to time just to change up her look but her locks won’t allow it! One thing I would like to add is that people don’t realize how much kinky hair shrinks. You’d be amazed at how long it can be if straightened.

  • Meme

    I think black men are the cause of black women wanting to wear weaves, wigs, and extensions. They place so much emphasis on hair that its sickening. I chopped all of my hair off, went natural and got the most slack from black men. Many of them didnt even look my way, however when I switch it up and put a wig on my head, I get looks from brothers instantaneously. I had one brother go as far as faking like I had something in my hair so he could touch it to see if it was real. I mean its real sad, but this is why I just do me. I rock my kinks and curls and don't give a damn .

  • Aspen

    Why don’t they show how much Asian spend on surgery to look more ” western” or how much white women spend on notice or other cosmetic surgeries.

  • team nymphis

    blk women wear weaves cuz they’ve been programed to feel that their hair is kinky,nappy etc etc.that is why you never see them wit a afro wig or a weave that looks like their natural hair.it’s always silky straight like the white girls hair that they subconciously envy.that is why half the comments on here are “we ain’t the only ones who do it”let’s be honest and cut the bulshxt

  • natural or weave who cares, white black yellow where weave! The only ppl hung up on the weave thing are us! Life is to short to worry about if I should or shouldnt #TeamLivingYourLife do what makes u, u!! we need to worry about the kids education & respect issues!! Bettering ourselves and our communities!!! Stop making hair an issue & write about things that matter!

  • Natoya

    While I wear my hair natural, I feel that if a woman wants to spend her money on a weave that’s her choice. I’m troubled by this article because it comes off as if Black women are the only ones wearing weaves. I understand the “good hair” debate is specific to our community but issues of long lustrous hair is present in other cultures. Atlanta Post caters to Black news but while being critical of Black women hair choices, the figures of how much women of other races spend on hair would provide a “fair” judgement.

    • Natural Hair Guest

      While women of other races wear hair weaves as well, Black women are wearing weaves of a completely different texture that their own. Many Caucasian and Asian women add in hair extensions for length and volume and not so much for a change in texture. Black women though make up a large majority though in terms of products and hair.

  • I wear braids and weaves because my hair is too thick to manage. My natural hair is hell to mess around after the perm is sweated out or when the press and curl is worn out. Weaves are good to maintain, but I wear braids at least three times a year and it's just a time saver. Forget good hair. Good hair a pack and a half away.

    And BTW, who on God's green earth pays would pay $10,000 for a hair weave?

    • Linda

      Amen!! I would wear my hair natural if it were not so thick and coarse. I love the look of natural hair. As a working professional, I do not have hours a day to spend on trying t to manage hair. I perm my hair to manage it, not to look like anyone else. Why do we criticize black women for practicing there options. White women get curly perms but no one accuses them of low self esteem. This is ridiculous the way black women are pegged as having low self esteem if they don't wear their hair they way they were born with. Many non-black people make their straight hair curly or curlly hair straight. What is the big deal!!

  • Tron

    lol lol……..black women so mad at this post they wont even comment on the truth.

  • hmmm…

    THats just too much money to be spending for some hair that was on someone else’s head… Its kinda gross…

    • Shiela Brown

      I agree to this. If we are going to wear weaves, let's mak the money instead of giving it to the Japanese and Chinese! I straighten my hair the old fashioned way. Weaves cost too much money!

  • It seems like this researcher had nothing better to do with his time or “intelligence” than to devise a report to disparage Black women. All women want to look good or achieve some standard of beauty, it’s not just a Black thing. Black women aren’t the only women who use relaxers or weave, we’re just the women most disparaged for it. When I had a relaxer, I was verbally attacked and almost physically assaulted by a white woman because I picked up the last Phyto relaxer in Sephora.

    My hair is waist length now and I do not wear a weave but my white friends won’t leave the house without their extensions in.

    The real problem is that Black women have been miseducated about their hair (this article is no exception). Commercial companies make a lot of money off Black women by selling us products that clog our pores and dry our hair out so that we spend even more money trying to fix it.

    If you have a relaxer, you should not be getting a retouch every 4-6 weeks. That leads to over processing and breakage. Get a retouch every 8-10 weeks instead. Relaxed hair needs protein so look for shampoos and conditioners that contain silk amino acids, hydrolized wheat or oat proteins and vitamin B5 panthenol. Moisturize your hair daily but do not use products that contain mineral oil or petrolatum

    • hmm

      Some people can perm a couple times per year and that works for them….but there are others who if they wait 3 months their hair WILL start to break. honestly.

      I don't think this article is an excuse to 'disparage' Black woman. It's a real topic about a REAL subject in our community. Honestly, we can't grow if we keep sweeping every issue under the proverbial rug in an effort to protect our feelings or facades. That's silly, why ignore the truth when we can talk about it and hopefully grow from it?

    • marie jones

      i say just don't put that creamy crack in your head .

    • Charlotte

      Thanks for the advice. My hair is corse but very fine and I have a relaxer. I'm trying to find some products that are not harsh on my hair but effective. I just ordered some of those products today. Hopefully they work on my hair. Thanks again.

  • team nymphis

    just imagine what our communities could do with that money.but it all goes to enriching Asians and that’s a daym shame.a blk female wit her own hair is like the myth of Bigfoot and ufo’s.people claim to have seen them but it’s almost impossible to verify

  • shannon


  • Gib

    Wearing a weave has everything to do with wanting good hair. So much so black women have paid a fortune just for the "Appearance" of good hair. Long, straight silky hair just like the white dolls they played with as children. Used to be when women fought in the hood they went for each other’s clothing. Now they go for the weave. To quote Sindbad, “Now listen to me: If you ball-headed on Tuesday, you can't have hair down your butt come Wednesday!”

    Sadly the prolonged wearing of de weave can have serious side-effects; namely pattern-baldness. That fine imported fiber takes its toll on a young woman's self-esteem every time it’s glued/braided in and every time it’s pulled out.

    • jeje

      Black people need to get over all this craziness. If this article is really about the money blk folks spend but don't have lets be real…its on cars, houses, and clothing. Stop taking money from blk business and hairdressers by attacking women who get weaves and spend money on their hair. Let's talk about the money we spend on things we really don't need and are not blk owned. Being well groomed is a positive thing not negative.

    • I agree with you statement about the side-effects of wearing a weave. I currenly wear lock and my experience with weaves and perms damaged my hair so I decided to go natural. I noticed that the issue is not the weave its the wearers inability to care for the hair the weave is attached too. Dryness is what is causing the pattern baldness and yet women still don't strenghten their hair prior to wearing weaves. As a natural hair care and skin care busines owner I have to be honest and say there is nothing wrong with wearing a weave proper hair care will resolve any damage issue.

  • Years from now the majority of african americans will be lighter skinned, and will have a longer silkier hair texture. Hopefully this will solve a lot of self esteem issuses and put a end to the intra racial envy and hatred going on now.

    • leelah

      I understand your point, but getting a massive, collective make over is not going to solve our problem. we shouldn't have to adopt some kind of community value of marrying up or white in order to love our features. If black people think like u, that would truely spell the end of our community.

    • Daniel

      No years from now majority of African Americans will be dead from HIV or they will be in jail. Prove me wrong give the trend we see today.

      • Black&Proud

        C'mon dude, for real?

  • Marie

    Wearing weave has nothing to do with wanting good hair. Next article!

    • Deity

      Ok, so people just love to wear itchy stuff on their head for no reason at all?

      • trini2dbone

        Everyone wears it for different reasons. Some like the women who genuinely think that sporting natural hair is disadvantageous to being 'accepted' by their white counterparts in the corporate world or the women who are convinced that straight hair is good hair will wear weaves to deal with those issues. Other women like me just like changing my look or resting my hair from relaxers and use braids and weaves as a means to achieving different looks. Not everyone who wears a weave has identity issues, in the same way , not everyone who is natural, is very confident about their racial identity

      • Ms Shan

        If it's itchy- it's the scalp not the hair. When the hair is original- it also itches- where have you been?

    • Oh no! Think again! More articles on this issue needed!!

    • Cassie

      Sorry, you can't just wave a magic wand and disregard what's plainly in front of ALL our faces. I'm a woman, and I know how important it is to 'look good'. But come on, all those billions of dollars do tell a story many of us don't want to face: as Black women we don't accept ourselves with our natural hair texture or length.

      I know all about having a weave isn't about self hate, blah blah blah, but it speaks volumes when you realize that most of us are NOT weaving our own hair texture onto our head, we are weaving the White/Asian woman's hair texture onto our Black heads. That actually does say a lot about us, collectively as a community. As a grown woman, its an issue I've had to look at myself, not in terms of weave, but in terms of perming my hair. When I have a daughter, how do I tell her to love her plaits when she sees mommy straightening her own hair every 6 weeks?

  • Loretta

    I wear my hair loced, it hangs to my waist and I love it! I have had my locs for almost 9 nine years, and I think I have "Good Hair"! I will never wear my any other way ever again!

    • Loretta, I applaud you for embracing your locs and I agree with you for the most part but-yes but- I wish we would stop using that term "good hair". I feel that if you are not bald (it's one thing if that is a choice) because of disease or other issue including alopecia than any hair you have on your head is good, point, blank, period. I am presently deciding whether to loc or continue to sport my TWA but either I feel good about my decision to go natural even after the not so good (no pun intended) days after my big chop.