All Articles Tagged "weaves"
In a recent interview, Oscar-nominated actress Viola Davis said the public’s reaction to her natural hair had been “huge.”
“I think people admire the boldness of it, and the courage of it,” she told interviewer Kam Williams. “For me, personally, it represents my coming into who I am, not apologizing for it and being comfortable with the way I look. I have been amazed by the testimonies … especially from women of color who have thanked me for it.”
While I too commend Davis for going natural in Hollywood, it struck me as incredibly sad that wearing hair in its natural God-given, or universe-given, or whatever you believe in-given state, would be considered an act of bravery in our day and age, while having long, flowing tresses that were purchased at the beauty shop is the new norm.
It’s true that going natural has become more embraced over the years, but it still represents a rejection of cultural messaging that tells us that silky, straight, and smooth is the standard we should all aspire to. The backlash against natural hair in the corporate world has been well-documented, and the resistance has come from some unlikely sources as well; in 2012, for example, historically black college Hampton University banned MBA students from wearing cornrows and dreadlocks.
The connotations associated with natural hair are often negative and involve terms like “militant,” “wild” and “untamed” – sometimes perpetuated by people wearing natural hair themselves.
Meanwhile, relatives in other cities tell me that weaves and wigs are so common that black hair in its natural state often draws looks of shock and surprise, and it seems that every black female on Reality TV sports a weave that grows longer, fuller and more ridiculous with each episode – think Shay from Love and Hip Hop Atlanta. While reality TV is admittedly exaggerated and sensational, its physical portrayal of black women is troubling because it implies a standard of beauty that requires us to purchase our hair rather than grow it.
While I respect everyone’s decision to wear their hair as they wish, it’s disturbing to see that European standards of beauty have become so deeply engrained in our collective psyche that going natural is considered daring while sporting weaves and wigs is, in many circles, expected.
True, natural hair does not necessarily represent self-love, and wearing a weave is not necessarily a sign of self-loathing. There is no right or wrong choice when it comes to a hairstyle; it’s up to each individual to decide what works for them.
But when so many black women – especially those in the limelight — opt for a hairstyle that is as far removed from their natural state as possible, I have to wonder if they are making conscious decisions based on personal preference, or succumbing to societal pressure and conforming to “white is right” standards that border on cultural brainwashing. As Gen. George S. Patton once said, “If everybody’s thinking alike, somebody isn’t thinking.”
Viola Davis, like so many other black women who choose to embrace their natural beauty, is proof that rocking a natural ‘do can be fierce, fabulous and fun. And if she later chooses to forego the natural look because another style better suits her mood, more power to her. As black women, we have many choices available to us when it comes to hairstyles, and we should feel comfortable exploring them all. The fact that so many of us covet what is not ours and reject what is, while accepting our true selves seemingly requires boldness and courage, suggests that we are clinging to a value system that does not value us.
Do you think wearing natural hair requires courage? Sound off in the comments.
The road to natural hair is paved with good intentions. The joy of not being a slave to routine chemical processing and heat styling certainly is alluring for many. Many natural hair divas will tell you they find there’s more freedom and versatility in styling hair in its natural state. There are many more positive reasons for going natural; it all depends on who you ask.
I went natural for all those reasons three years ago, ready to embrace my natural coils and free up my schedule and budget in the process. Unlike many other naturalistas, I didn’t do the “big chop” (or BC as it is called in the natural hair community). I just let the relaxer grow out, relying on weaves and blowouts during the transition phase. When the relaxed hair finally grew out, I tried out a few low-maintenance natural hair styles, but was disappointed that I didn’t have the length or the talent to recreate all the fabulously luscious styles I saw the natural hair divas on YouTube rocking.
One attempt at a two-strand twist turned into a messy four-hour ordeal that left me with disastrous results. I followed the directions on the curling product jar to a T, or so I thought. The end result was a frizzy, tangled mess that looked like the ‘before’ picture in a hair product ad. Talk about an epic fail. I felt as if I had let my natural hair sisters down. I was losing hope.
Impatient and indecisive about the direction I wanted to take with my hair, I weaved it up for a couple of months while I decided what my next style move would be. After the weave I thought I would get a blowout for a couple of weeks, mainly to check my hair growth. There was only one place I would go for my blowout; the place where dreams were born and legends were made. Several of my natural hair girlfriends went to the same Dominican salon and their hair looked healthy, flawless and fabulous. I didn’t need much convincing or an appointment for that matter. So to the Dominican salon I went.
I had heard horror stories about the excruciating heat you’re subjected to at the Dominican salon. Someone told me about her one and only experience at a Dominican salon, complete with amusing re-enactments of weeping and gnashing of teeth. She made it sound like it was hell fire and damnation. But I had so many other friends who went to these salons and had great experiences and hair to prove it. I decided I would go through the experience just one time to check my growth and wear my hair in a different style for a couple of weeks.
The stylists at the Dominican salon were wonderful. They welcomed me into the Sisterhood of the Fabulously Flowing Blowouts with open arms. Literally. When I walked into the salon, I was greeted with a hug and immediately ushered back to the spa-like shampoo room. I walked past rows of women under dryers with what looked like ear muffs on their ears. Ladies in the stylist chairs getting their hair blown out didn’t seem to be in tears or crying out in pain. All I knew was that I wanted to get the same flowing end-results they were getting.
When it was my turn to meet the hair dryer, it was hotter than I would have preferred, but it didn’t kill me. All I knew was that 45 minutes after I walked into the Dominican salon with my tightly coiled afro, I was leaving with a sleek, bouncy chin-length bob. I was now a member of the Sisterhood of the Fabulously Flowing Blowouts.
Fast-forward three months later. My visits every two to three weeks were starting to take a toll on my hair. I started noticing hair breaking off around my temples and along my hairline. The strain of the heat was beginning to show. No amount of sisterhood hugs could erase the fact that I was losing the natural hair I had spent more than two years to grow. As much as I hated to admit it, I had to leave the sisterhood.
When it comes to Dominican salons, I can say I’ve been there and done that. I’m not knocking the experience though. I have countless family members and friends who have been going to Dominican salons for years, and their hair is so sleek and healthy you’d think they had perms. I just know that it’s not for me. It’s been almost three months since my last visit to the Dominican salon, and I’m starting to see a little evidence of growth around my edges. Maybe after all I put it through, my hair has forgiven me.
A few months back, I wrote an article about women changing hairstyles impulsively. The point in this argument was that sometimes, women want a change so bad that they will resort to drastic changes in hairstyle to appease their need for something different. Their friends may know that it’s a bad move, but will let them fall into that trap anyway. Some women have success with a completely new hairstyle, while others fail. While the post was written in 25% jest, I started to wonder whether a woman’s hair played a major factor in the courting process for men. Do men really scrutinize and judge women’s hair?
First of all, men front a lot when it comes to the importance of women’s hair. We chime in on Twitter, Facebook, and any other social media outlet with our jokes on weaves, yet we will not hesitate to holla at a woman who’s Hot with “fake hair”. Trust me when I say that I have never heard a man say “I took this woman out, and she was feeling me. We were ready to get it on, but I couldn’t go through with it, man. She had a weave! I was turned off, yo!” Yes, men have preferences, but few will let those type of superficial barriers stop them from approaching a woman, dating them, even marrying them! As men, we have much more going on in our lives to be concerned with whether a woman’s hair is in a certain style. Here are some key points that smart men have already figured out:
More Women Wear Fake Hair Than Ever
If Beyonce can rock a weave and box braids from the 90s, and still command a level of attention from men that’s off the charts, then you know that other women will attempt to wear it with no issue. It actually blew my mind when I found out that black women weren’t the only women wearing weaves and wigs! Women will do different things to their hair over time, and if it’s an official hair-do, you shouldn’t be able to tell unless you touch it. My personal issue is when you have the type of hair that gives me the urge to buy a token and wait for the 6:45 train. Raggedy hair is a complete turn-off. I wouldn’t expect to be appealing to a woman with no haircut and unkept facial hair resembling a bum, so i don’t expect women to do that either. Women are way more particular about their looks than men, so if you are going to rock a weave, rock it right!
If Your Hair Isn’t Complementary To You, Men May Not Find You Attractive
You would think this point is simple, but it’s completely overlooked. When men say they don’t like a particular hairstyle, what gets lost in the translation is that they don’t like that particular hairstyle on you! Women have to be real about how hair looks on them. All women aren’t built for short hair, natural hair, blonde (!!) hair, etc. Men may not come out and say that your hair doesn’t work, because that’s just doing too much. If we want to just have a physical relationship with you, then most won’t care. If they face the reality that you will be around for a long time, then the hair and other factors will be more heavily scrutinized.
Men Who Superficially React To Hair Shouldn’t Matter To You
I won’t act as if I’m naive. There are groups of men who only want a woman with long flowing natural hair. It’s one of the measures of popular beauty out there, and you can see it in all areas of life. Natural hair (afros, curls, etc) are beautiful also. I still swoon at seeing all the natural sistas that were on shows like A Different World. I wouldn’t let a weave stop me from approaching a woman, but many men won’t even give a woman a chance if they don’t fit the hair quota. You can’t get past that, so you shouldn’t try. The way I see it, those men aren’t for you, and there are plenty of men who won’t be as superficial. There’s nothing wrong with preferences, but glorifying one set of women over another because of their hair only, is disheartening. However, those men have the right to do it, and you have the right to take your womanly goodness elsewhere.
Do I like women with long hair? Yup? Do I like women with short hair? It depends on how they look with it. Do I like women with wigs? That isn’t a relative? Umm.. next question. My point is that although I do have preferences, I prefer women overall. It isn’t my place to demand what a woman does with her hair, but I won’t let it become a dealbreaker. That doesn’t mean that I enjoy women with ratty hair either. Men who let the insignificant things deter them from a chance at a woman with overall redeeming qualities means more for the smarter dudes. If I were a woman, I wouldn’t sweat it either way.
How important is a womans hair to men? Is it a deal breaker? Ladies any stories of men who passed you by because of your hair quality?
In Part II of our interview, Trina Braxton explains why you won’t be seeing her sons on “Braxton Family Values,” why she hates the word “weave” and what she likes to watch when she’s filming her own show.
More on Madame Noire!
- Bet You Didn’t Know: Secrets Behind The Making of “Love and Basketball”
- The Marriage Proposal: Is It What He Says Or How He Says It?
- Down With The Brown? Celebrities Who Look Black…But Aren’t
- Long Hair? You Do Care! 6 Ways to Get It to Grow
- What Makes A Good Man “A Good Man?”
- Evening Eye Candy: 7 Delicious NFL Ballers We Can’t Wait To See In September
- Single Black Male: Defending Your Woman’s Honor In An Age Of Disrespectful Men
Surprisingly, the reality star has decided to whip off her wig, revealing her natural hair on her new spinoff show, “Dont Be Tardy For The Wedding.” With her decision to not use any hair enhancers, she has boosted ratings, caused much media buzz, and got us wondering who else should whip off their wigs and help us solve the mystery of what lies beneath.
Healthy hair is always the way to go. However, sometimes women occasionally sacrifice the health of their hair for style. But there’s ways to achieve stylish hair dos without doing hair don’ts and comprising your healthy hair. Here’s some do’s and don’ts of achieving the following great styles and looks while maintaining healthy hair.
Color me Blonde
Coloring your hair can be a great way to switch up your look and add some spice. But it can also be one of the most damaging style choices, especially if you’re trying to go much lighter than your natural hair color. Whether relaxed or natural, using permanent color to dye your hair can be a treacherous deed, so why not try an alternative natural dye? Henna is a great option, as you can condition your hair while coloring. LUSH Cosmetics offers a great line of premixed natural henna blocks that are easy to mix down and are infused with cocoa butter and other natural moisturizing oils. If you want to go black, brown, blue-black or red, henna is an easy option. For lighter colors, you might have to do several henna treatments to gradually lighten your hair.
Braids and weaves are instant style changers and can also help to protect your hair and even help it grow, but you have to be very careful with how you install your styles. Protect your edges! Try to keep minimal tension on your edges. If you are getting a weave, be careful with the braid pattern and how tight the braids are. Remember that hair is being sewn on top of the braids, which is going to further tighten and pull your hair. Too much tension can result in severe hair loss and partial baldness. Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia (CCCA) is a real disease that leads to baldness and scarring and can be caused by poorly installed weaves/braids (cc: Naomi Campbell). If you are going to a hair salon where they blow dry your hair before braiding, either ask to have your hair blow dried on low heat or do it yourself before arriving at the salon. This is especially true for naturals with a kinkier and more fragile hair type. Before heading to the braid shop, stretch your hair and then gently blow-dry your hair damp with a heat protectant to minimize breakage.
Want to turn your curly coils or wavy hair to straight? Rather than going straight for the blow dryer and flat iron, try a method that doesn’t require direct heat such as roller setting your hair. There’s all these fancy flat irons that promise to protect your hair with new technology, but ceramic, nano tourmaline, whatever, is still direct heat, and if done too frequently or at too high of a temperature, it can damage your hair. If you’re relaxed, roller setting is great because it’s easy to achieve and leaves you with full body hair. Siting under a hair dryer set at mid-temperature is a healthy option for your hair as opposed to reaching for a flat iron. If you have a kinkier natural hair texture, shrinkage is real and many combat that by regularly blow-drying their hair out (blow out). Unfortunately, that causes excessive breakage and halts hair growth. Trying no heat methods of stretching your hair, such as braiding or simply washing your hair in braids can work wonders and be good alternatives to constantly blow-drying your hair.
More on Madame Noire!
- Evening Eye Candy: Baller Andre Iguodala
- Am I Trippin’? Was I Too Stubborn, Or Was He Trying to Be Too Controlling? You Tell Me…
- ‘Think Like a Man’s’ Ban In France Proves It’s Hard To Be a N*gga In Paris
- Bet You Didn’t Know: Secrets Behind the Making of “Jungle Fever”
- Decoding Your Downstairs: 8 Things Women Need To Know About Their Va Jay Jay
- Shopping While Fat: It Must Get Better
- Final Cut! Celebs We Haven’t Seen Since The Ax Came Down!
- This Right Here’s a Panty Dropper: D’Angelo Looks Delicious in GQ
After reading Wendy Williams’ comments on why black women will never go for any kind of surgery and her subsequent explanation of wearing wigs, part of me didn’t know whether I wanted to smack Wendy or slap her a high-five. In her mini-rant, she makes a couple of decent points about some women’s aversion to fake hair, plastic surgery, and the like, but the underlying hypocrisy and her obvious issue with women who are actually comfortable walking around in the skin and hair they were born with, left me leaning more on the smack side
As part of XO Jane’s Makeunder series, Wendy Williams was toned down from fitted dresses and stilettos to a white crew neck and jeans to talk about what beauty is to her and be candid about the plastic surgeries she’s undergone and her own mane regimen but then she threw black women under the bus a little when she was asked why people are so judgmental about plastic surgery. She told the site:
“They are jealous. Because if I said to that person, ‘I got the doctor and I’m going to pay for it. Choose three things you want to do,’ believe me, they would get it done. They are very jealous and scared. Scared of what their other friends would say, or to break out of the box and be different. And being black? Ugh, please. My people will not go for any kind of surgery. We are supposed to be natural. Ugh, whatever.”
Then hen the interviewer asked Wendy whether she feels the same is true when it comes to hair, she said this:
“Its like a 50/50 thing with women. Some woman prefer natural and then the other 50 percent prefer something fake going on. And for me, fake includes a color. Blonde is not natural in most of our background’s rainbow.
“Full blown wigs are looked at as the worst, in terms of hair type fakery. Getting pieces is the first line of acceptability. Then getting a full weave is a second line of acceptability. Then a wig is something that is acceptable for your old aunt, but not for a modern girl. If you do wear a wig, everybody wants you to take off the wig and show your hair. That’s what Tyra did on her show years ago. She did it because she was running out of ideas trying to shock her audience. They always ask me that, too.
“The reason I wear the wigs is because my hair is naturally thin. And I have thyroid disease which I was diagnosed with 12 years ago. And thyroid disease thins your natural hair and your eyebrows. It thins all of the hair on your body, along with giving you the eye pop and the scary stare. That’s why I wear wigs. Because the hair I would want is just not what is growing out of my head. If I was a librarian with a smaller personality, then I would keep the hair that I have.”
Did she just backtrack there? Wendy wears wigs because of thyroid disease? Sounds like she’s saying she’d rock her natural hair otherwise (maybe not in texture but at least free of extensions). It’s interesting she feels the need to explain that when she’s such a proponent of so-called fake beauty. I also think it’s funny she’s disgusted that black women prefer “natural beauty”—although I can’t say I ever knew that. I mean she can’t be talking about the largest consumers of hair weave, probably around the entire globe, can she? I personally never saw black women as a whole being against plastic surgery, what I did observe was women of color being more comfortable with their features and not feeling the need to go under the knife and “correct” things the way white women do (as much). Plus, we have to shout out those black women don’t crack genetics that don’t make botox such a necessity, as least quite as early. Truthfully I didn’t see the need to even make a distinction between black women and the rest of the world anyway. We’re hardly without physical image issues, I’ve just always looked at hair and skin tone as the main struggles we battle and there’s nothing going under the knife can do about either one of those. That’s why the weave is bought and sewn in and bleaching creams are still lucrative products.
Maybe Wendy was speaking more to the policing of other women’s beauty choices when she made her comments but they came off as pretty defensive to me, as if people should applaud her for going under the knife whenever she chooses and wearing overpowering and terribly groomed weaves every day. I also couldn’t help but remember the comment she made about Viola Davis and her natural hair that didn’t belong on the red carpet and feel some sort of way about her plastic surgeries and her wigs being a little bit deeper than thyroid disease and having cash to blow.
At the end of the day, I don’t think worrying about who has or hasn’t had plastic surgery is at the top of black women’s concerns but when it comes to why they don’t do it, I think the reasons that are a bit deeper than what Wendy would let on. As most studies show, we have healthier body images all around; but there’s also the issue of cost and a lot of black women simply not having discretionary cash to blow on a cosmetic procedure; there’s also distrust of medical professionals. If we won’t see a doctor about our reproductive or mental health, I don’t think we’ll be lined up to have someone cut us open for an optional surgery. Plus there are issues of scarring and contouring and keloids that just aren’t worth the risk for many of us. If getting chopped and screwed is Wendy’s forte I don’t think anyone is really mad at her. But she also shouldn’t be mad at black women who don’t want to do the same.
What do you think about Wendy’s comments? Is she right about black women and their feelings about plastic surgery?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
More on Madame Noire!
- Wrap It Up: 7 Things In Entertainment We’re Tired As Hell of Seeing
- When The Real World Gets TOO Real: How Corporate America Almost Damaged My Self-Esteem
- Don’t Ignore the Crazy, Don’t Rationalize the Brokenness: A Cautionary Dating Tale
- Ask a Very Smart Brotha Live: Signing Papers & Dating Younger Men
- Real and Relaxed? My Journey In Relapsing Back to the Creamy Crack
- Bet You Didn’t Know: Secrets Behind the Making of “The Color Purple”
- Girl, Stop Trippin’: 6 Things He Just Doesn’t Care About
Mother’s Day is here and it’s a great day to pamper your mom and give her a small token of your appreciation. There’s always flowers or chocolates, brunch and a card. But sometimes you want to add a personal touch and give a gift with a bit more meaning. So give the gift of healthy hair!
DIY hair talk is all the rage whether your natural, weaved up or relaxed/straight, but some of our mom’s may be overwhelmed with all the talk and trends, or just stuck in habit when it comes to hair care. Giving a hair care gift is a great way to help them wade through all the hair trends and it’s personal to their hair care needs and style. Nothing makes a good gift like a gift that shows thought.
Our favorite celebs have always have to be ready for the cameras. Whether performing on stage, shooting a moving or making a special appearance, these ladies never have a hair out of place. From their luscious waves, romantic curls to their long, sleek styles, we love them for rocking that true diva style. In our book, these celebs are at the top of our list when it comes to fab weaves. Check out our list and tell us if you agree.
Your friends have been telling you that you’re bougie (derived from bourgeois), but you deny it. You simply have distinctive tastes and enjoy nice things, and there’s nothing wrong with that. That doesn’t make you bougie, does it? When you think bougie, you think of Toni Childs on Girlfriends or Hilary Banks on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. But it’s more to it than these TV characters who were poster children for sadity-ness. Don’t think you’re bourgie? Well, check out these 7 signs to see if you actually are.