Black women have always embraced weaves and hair extensions of all kinds, from sew-ins to long braids. In Kenya, braids can be spotted on every 5th woman on the street. Why do women put on fake hair? Is it for ease? To look good? To not have to bother to do your hair every morning? To make yourself feel more beautiful or desirable? I do not think anyone can ever answer this question.
I took to asking a few of my male friends and relatives their thoughts on the WEAVE. By weave I mean sew ins where fake hair is sewed on onto your own hair to give the illusion of having long luscious locks. I do appreciate men in all manner of ways and having brothers has made me very conscious of what men think of women and also me. The question I put forward to my male peers was
"Please leave me your thoughts on weaves on women (in this case beautiful black women)
The responses were varied and quite interesting:
My dear cousin said "Never ever will I take a dendai (woman/girl) wit weaves"
"I like the natural look"
"Weaves are a crime against humanity, Yuck!! Double Yuck!!"
My dear little brother said "It's like a man putting a cucumber in his boxers, and that weaves are buying into what other people think is beautiful"
"I do not like them one bit, real hair is better even if there is none of it"
" I would go for natural beauty any day but if it is what the girl wants, I'll let her do it but I am not for it.
My very poetic friend said "I think weaves give ladies more options on how they can look. Its a good thing to be able to stretch possibilities and creative ones at that. The problem checks in when 1) the bleeding weave is done badly 2) The bleeding weave does not suit the woven head and 3) When women become overdependent on them to the point that they cannot live without an akamba basket underneath a growth of hair that never grows. Its also sad when a lady stitched purchased strands on her head and expects me not to know it: to the point that my girlfriend will not let me stroke her head, I mean Gaddamit!!! Wear your costume with pride; I know its not your real hair daughter of Africa with a Chinese looking crown of glory (u feel me?) My take is this, I prefer not to have a wife who rocks manufactured headgear meant to resemble hair, But if this wife is one that I love and adore and she is of the disposition that synthetic products are a necessity but her attitude and character is tip-top, May she wear the strands of fiber with pride as long as she is confident enough to let me stroke her sweet head anytime i feel the urge to without pretending that I do not know her true crowning glory resembles mine untouched. And I hope for heavens sake she chooses one that suits her bone structure and that a trained specialist executed the work of attaching the factory made strands of deception onto my Eve's head. Amen!"
My dear brother Arnold had this to say
"i'd be happy for you to post my name. lets see weaves on women, question, What happend to ur au naturale? anyway what you have on your head looks good on ya. it depends really, some weaves are incompatible with the wearer. like blonde and red on a dark skinned mama. i understand having a weave on makes the hair a bit more manageable, i have no beef with that. its all a matter of personal taste really..."
My booboo said "It's possible for a girl to look good with a good weave. Very rarely do Kenyan women rock a good weave. My guess is that firstly, those Abuja, Lagos, Ibo, my broda hairs that I see (wait! Are those weaves or braids) are of the, er, low budget variety. Half the women I go all googly eyed over in music videos have someone elses hair on their head. It's more than likely I wouldn't be goin,'fall back mami' if she wanted to, you know. So Kenyan girls buy crappy ass weaves and get em done by crappy ass salonists! Yup yup. Natural hair looks good on a natural African woman: case in point, Nyash.
As I said I did get quite a wide variety of views on the matter of weaves he he. I think most Kenyan men are not impressed with the low quality weaves that girls in Nairobi rock. To get a good weave however is really expensive in the range of Kshs 5000-Kshs 10,000. This may not be to everyones budget but I think if your gonna rock a weave..rock a good one.
My brother mentioned a point that really hit home for me, that by wearing weaves African women are buying into what other people think is beautiful. African women have always been made to feel that their natural kinky/coily hair is not beautiful enough and that the white womans aesthetic is superior which is false and misguided.
I have not exhausted my thoughts on weaves in this post and I think I have to do another post soon.
I ask you now...Weave or No weave?
Happy hair growing