As we move further into the acceptance of the Black Aesthetic, hair extensions, or “weave” as we affectionately call it, get a ton of flack.
For some reason, there are individuals who believe that everything must exist in an “either” / “or” system. Way too many folks see embracing extensions as the rejection of natural beauty and a prioritization of the Eurocentric beauty standard.
Of course, this is far from the truth. This backward thinking pattern puts more pressure on Black women - who already have more than enough to worry about.
To be Black and female in American society - or hell any western society - is to be marginalized and limited by Eurocentric beauty standards while being criticized for caving into pressure to participate. News flash: No race of woman has a monopoly over straight hair. You might even be shocked to hear that some Black women have naturally straight hair. And lastly, no amount of hair straightening or weave will reduce one's identity as a Black woman.
Now that we’ve gotten some essential housekeeping matters out of the way, here are a few reasons why you should totally embrace hair extensions.### **They add versatility **
If you’re anything like me, what you want from your hair can drastically change from week to week. One day, I may want to rock a cherry red pixie cut - the next I’ll have my eyes on a stylish long bob. What if I told you that it’s possible to experiment with all the hairstyles of your fantasies without the long-term commitment?
With extensions, you can do just that. Imagine a world where you can switch hairstyles and hair colors several times a week. I bet that world has weave in it. No need to imagine it, we’re already there.
There will be times you want to completely transform your look in a way that only a drastic hair shift can - go for it.
They can help avoid damage
We’ve all seen women on YouTube, and sadly in person, who think it’s ok to wear a sew-in for four straight months without paying attention to their hair.
First off, no. That’s a horrible idea and an easy way to get matted hair. Second, wearing a weave for that long increases the chance of extreme breakage and having a run in with conditions like alopecia. Not to mention it can remove the “protective” element of using weaves as a protective style.
When used in moderation and in combination with effective moisturization, breaks, and reasonable maintenance, a weave can help avoid the consequences of heat styling and over-processing due to color.
It can reduce long-term hair cost
Good extensions can cost a pretty penny. However, when you think of the expense as being divided across the life of the hair, you learn to see it as more of an investment. A good one can last a few years.
Consider this: If you have to buy six subpar $60 wigs a year, you’ve just wasted $360 you could have put towards one to one and a half excellent wigs.
Knowing you’ve spent money on quality hair with a long shelf life means that you don’t have to hustle to buy a set of supplies for a new hairstyle every time you want to switch it up.
**Bonus: Adorning our hair with jewels, braids, and added hair are all apart of our history. Don’t let anyone limit your expression with their ideas about what Black women should and shouldn’t do with their hair. **