This is not an anti-hair weave post but rather, this is a pro-truth post.
And the hardcore, nitty-gritty straight no chaser-kind truth is that a weave is not a protective style. A weave is just a weave.
Yeah I know, what business is it of mine what someone else puts on their head? It isn’t my business – until folks try to convince me that what I’m seeing is not what I am actually seeing. And that is what has been happening as of late in a couple of the natural hair social networking groups to which I belong. Perhaps because of the change of season, the sites have been awash with posts and pictures of self-proclaimed natural hair women, rocking the 23-inches of Brazilian wet and wavy cascading down their backs. They call it “protective styling,” a term coined to describe the process in which women (and men too) hide their hair from “harmful agents.” It used to just apply to those rocking the braids and cornrows, but some of our more ingenious womenfolks have found a loophole into TeamNatural by playing fast and loose with the lingo to make it more weave-tastic.
Technically, certain wig and weave styles, particularly the sewn-in, allow the hair a break from the daily stresses some women do to their hair including processing and perming, tugging and over-styling. And technically certain wigs and weave styles, are a great way to promote growth because your hair is pretty much in a dormant state from such manipulation, thus more free to do what it does uninhibited. But also technically, you have someone else’s hair on your head. And no matter how you try to spin it, that just ain’t natural.
At the core of what bugs me the most about the weave classification as a “protective style” is the distorted, if not counterproductive motives behind it. Honestly natural hair shouldn’t be this high maintenance. And unless there are hair bandits on the loose, hoping to score on the black market with a handful of your natural coils, there is really nothing in our natural environment that we have to protect the hair from. Everything else is truly about accepting and learning how to deal with your own hair as it comes out of your head – whether it comes out extra kinky or extra fine; in the snow, sleet, rain, wind or through hot summers. Acceptance of our hair is supposed to teach us that not every style choice is meant for us but that’s okay because our hair is beautiful anyway. Yet throwing a weave or some braids in your head – while a cute style – teaches you nothing about your hair, especially when you wear it for 11 months out of the year (which many of these womenfolks in TeamNatural are professing to do). All it does is just tucks away the “problem,” some folks refuse to deal with upfront. Of course, the real problem isn’t so much the hair as it is the thinking.