JustPart 1: The Impact Hair Weave Has On Black Women. Has It Become Addictive?
Head2Toe Magazine takes a look into the impact hair weave has on black women and the community. We believe that black women have become so addicted to hair weave that it can almost be considered a drug. Hair weave has not only started a hair loss epidemic among black women, it has also become a crutch meaning women have become addicted to the convenience of wearing weave that they ignore the first signs that their hair needs a break from wearing weave. Hair weave is impacting the African-American communities because ever since the hair weave trend started a lot of black salons revenue started to decrease because black women started wearing more and more weaves and wigs, which meant they started going to the salon less and less. So now the black salons are dealing with the natural hair trend on top of the weaving and wig trend ( another topic we will discuss later ). A lot of black women have become blinded to what the actual meaning of what beautiful means and we are on a campaign to get black women back to wearing their own hair, and feeling beautiful when they do. “Whether Curly Or Straight, Relaxed Or Natural, Short Or Long My Hair Is Healthy and Strong”
Leave us a comment or email us if you have a hair weave testimony. firstname.lastname@example.org Make sure you read read the hair loss facts below. If you are a hairstylist and you have a lot to say on this topic we would love to here from you!
There are 30 million women who are suffering from hair loss in the United States and 70% are African-American women. We have a hair loss epidemic on our hands! There are many factors that can cause hair loss such as medications, nutrition, trauma, vitamin D deficiency, mechanical damage (tight hair weaves, braids etc) stress, chemical damage and so on.
Symptoms of hair loss include hair loss in patches usually in circular patterns, dandruff, skin lesions, and scarring. Alopecia areata (mild – medium level) usually shows in unusual hair loss areas e.g. eyebrows, backside of the head or above the ears where usually the male pattern baldness does not affect. In male-pattern hair loss, loss and thinning begin at the temples and the crown and either thins out or falls out. Female-pattern hair loss occurs at the frontal and parietal.
People have between 100,000 and 150,000 hairs on their head. The number of strands normally lost in a day varies, but on average is 100. In order to maintain a normal volume, hair must be replaced at the same rate at which it is lost. The first signs of hair thinning that people will often notice are more hairs than usual left in the hairbrush after brushing or in the basin after shampooing. Styling can also reveal areas of thinning, such as a wider parting or a thinning crown.
A substantially blemished face, back and limbs could point to cystic acne. The most severe form of the condition, cystic acne arises from the same hormonal imbalances that cause hair loss, and is associated with dyhydrotestosterone production. Seborrheic dermatitis, a condition in which an excessive amount of sebum is produced and builds up on the scalp (looking like an adult cradle cap) is also a symptom of hormonal imbalances, as is an excessively oily or dry scalp. Both can cause hair thinning.
Hair thinning and baldness cause psychological stress due to their effect on appearance. Although societal interest in appearance has a long history, this particular branch of psychology came into its own during the 1960’s and has gained momentum as messages associating physical attractiveness with success and happiness grow more prevalent.
The psychology of hair thinning is a complex issue. Hair is considered an essential part of overall identity: especially for women, for whom it often represents femininity and attractiveness. Men typically associate a full head of hair with youth and vigor. Although they may be aware of pattern baldness in their family, many are uncomfortable talking about the issue. Hair thinning is therefore a sensitive issue for both sexes. For sufferers, it can represent a loss of control and feelings of isolation. People experiencing hair thinning often find themselves in a situation where their physical appearance is at odds with their own self-image and commonly worry that they appear older than they are or less attractive to others. Psychological problems due to baldness, if present, are typically most severe at the onset of symptoms.
An unhealthy scalp environment can play a significant role in hair thinning by contributing to miniaturization or causing damage. Air and water pollutants, environmental toxins, conventional styling products and excessive amounts of sebum have the potential to build up on the scalp. This debris can block hair follicles and cause their deterioration and consequent miniaturization of hair. It can also physically restrict hair growth or damage the hair cuticle, leading to hair that is weakened and easily broken off before its natural life cycle has ended.
We found this article below on WebMd http://www.webmd.com/beauty/hair-styling/scalp2tip-13/weaves-extensions?page=1
“Anyone can wear extensions and still have healthy hair,” says Melanye Maclin, MD, a dermatologist and hair loss expert in Washington D.C. “You just have to take the time to show your natural hair and the weave some TLC.”
Here’s how to do it.
Prime Your Hair and Scalp
Get your hair in good shape before adding extensions. Take a break from the weakening chemicals in curl relaxers or dyes to get a head start in avoiding breakage.
“If your scalp is dry and flaky, use a medicated shampoo that contains zinc pyrithione orselenium sulfide, concentrating the suds on your scalp,” Maclin says. Leave it on for 15 minutes and rinse out. Then wash once more with regular shampoo and condition. Do this once a week for 4 weeks.
If you’re still seeing flakes, visit a dermatologist before getting extensions. You may haveseborrheic dermatitis, which can be harder to get under control when you have extensions.
How Extensions Are Attached
How a hair extension is attached to your head depends on the type you use:
- A partial or full weave is sewn into tight braids of your own hair.
- Extensions are bonded to your hair with a type of glue. You may need 50 to 100 of them, depending on the thickness of your hair.
- Clip-in extensions add volume or length in a hurry. You attach them under the top layer of your hair.
Maclin says the biggest mistake that women make with extensions is wearing them too tight. This puts a lot of tension on the hair follicles, which can make your hair fall out. At worst, it can contribute to the most common type of permanent hair loss in African-American women.
Getting extensions should not be painful or cause headaches. If it does, they’re too snug. Speak up! Ask your stylist to loosen them before continuing.
Clip-ins are the least damaging extensions because they can be removed quickly and require little to no glue or braiding. But they can cause hair breakage if they pull or snag your hair, so put them in loosely.
Don’t Skimp on Shampooing
“Gently shampoo at least once a week to keep your scalp at its healthiest,” says hairstylist Tamika Fletcher, co-owner of Natural Resources Salon in Houston. “This reduces the buildup of product used for styling your extensions and dead skin cells.”
- If you wear clip-in extensions, remove them first. Clean and dry them separately before reattaching.
- If your weave or extensions are sewn, bonded, or glued into your hair, separate your natural hair from them as best you can. Then wash, rinse, and condition your real hair separately from your faux hair. Towel-dry gently before you comb through or blow-dry.
Don’t Overdo It
Even if they still look neat and polished, don’t wear hair extensions for more than 6 weeks at a time. “Weaves should be removed to allow for a thorough cleaning of the scalp and deep conditioning of the hair,” Maclin says.
Take Care When Taking Extensions Out
The glue used to secure hair extensions to your head contains chemicals that can cause hair loss. “If bonding glue is absolutely necessary, use bonding glue remover not only to take out the extensions but, more importantly, to ensure no glue remains in the hair,” Fletcher says. “Any remaining glue can adhere to hair and become nearly impossible to remove without losing hair in the process.”
If your hairline or scalp itches after your weave is removed, you may have an allergic reaction. Formaldehyde is used to preserve hair weaves, and it sometimes causes irritation. See a dermatologist. They can treat an itchy or irritated scalp.
Self-esteem and Hair. Is there a connection?
A Black Woman’s Hair…….That phrase alone can transpire into so many different conversations, but we are going to continue our conversation on hair weave and the impact it has on black women and our communities. Many women and young girls are taking wearing hair weave way to lightly and some so called professionals are doing the same. Black women are putting their hair on sale meaning that they are looking for the cheapest hairstylist to install their weave, instead of a well educated licensed professional who cares about the health of the hair. If you can’t go in the salon and get the proper maintenance such as shampooing every 2 weeks, then you can’t afford to wear weave. If you can’t afford to have it taken down in a timely manner (6-8 weeks max) then you can’t afford to wear weave. If you don’t have any edges left and your hair is 5 different lengths, you can’t afford to wear weave 🙂
If you need to have major surgery do you look for the cheapest surgeon or the best surgeon? If you were accused of a crime that you didn’t commit do you look for the cheapest attorney or the best attorney? I know that most of you have seen how women are getting botched up trying to look like someone other than themselves because they are unhappy with who they are and what they look like. They can’t afford the best doctors so they search for the bootleg doctors and self-made plastic surgeons and risk their lives by letting an untrained person inject them with anything and letting them do it any where. Sometimes they get lucky and God spares their life and sometimes they never even make it to look in the mirror!
Well if you’re going to wear weave you shouldn’t be looking for the cheapest hairstylist because your hair is not on sale and it is a woman’s glory and that goes for any race of women! Cheap products and an untrained hairstylist=hair loss, brittle hair, no edges, breakage, low self-esteem, shame and so on. Just because your nephew best friend’s cousin charges $50 and knows how to sew hair in because he/she watched a few YouTube videos doesn’t mean that they are qualified to install hair in your head. Why pay $300 for hair and pay $50 to have it installed? Now that’s dumb! The thing is your hair will only hold up so long before you start seeing breakage and hair loss and most of the time women wait until the problem gets way out of hand and then they want to run to a professional and expect a miracle on 34th street talking about I don’t want it cut, bye Felecia! Hair loss is a serious issue because it can lead to all types of problems such as stress which only makes it worse, depression and low self-esteem. Hair loss can make going to work stressful as well as cause relationship problems. Head2Toe Magazine is on a mission to help black women get back to wearing weave because they want to not because they have to! Make sure you share this article! If you have a hair weave story please email us email@example.com. Read the relationship between hair loss and self-esteem below and stay tuned for Part 3! Hit that follow blog button on the sidebar to keep up with all of our controversial post!
“If you look in the mirror and you don’t like what you see without weave, you have more serious issues than you think”
When hair loss starts…..
The loss of the hairline can change a person’s appearance substantially. Hair loss changes the appearance of the face by shifting the balance of the face to the forehead, resulting in an aged appearance.
A study revealed that men who had more profound hair loss were more dissatisfied with their appearance and were more concerned with their older look than those with minimal hair loss. This effect cut across all age groups but was more prominent in the younger individuals.
The research also indicates that women tend to be more upset than men by their hair loss. A 1992 study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology that compared the psychological impact of hair loss on men and women found that women had a more negative body image and were less able to adapt to the loss.
In fact, it has been scientifically proven through studies that women tend to suffer more emotionally and psychologically than men on losing hair. The results of these tests showed that women were much more worried about the way they looked than men. They tend to feel insecure about their appearance and how the world and the people around them will accept them.
Physical beauty is one of the cornerstones of self esteem and it is one of the most vulnerable. The self-esteem levels and other measures of self-worth drop significantly when hair loss occurs.
Loss of personal attractiveness and fear of not looking attractive to others
Hair is an important determinant of physical attractiveness and a mean of expressing individuality. Hair loss affects the individual’s feelings of attractiveness.
For balding women it is especially hard to live in a society that places great value on youthful appearance and attractiveness.
Because women are famous for spending a lot of time and money grooming, dying, curling, drying, and styling their hair to make it look its best, when they begin to lose their hair, it is extremely traumatic. This cosmetic setback is quite intense when a woman is used to having hair and suddenly finds herself losing it. They can have a lot of trouble dealing with the reality of hair loss.
Embarrassment, Loss of confidence, Shyness
Although full head of hair cannot guarantee instant confidence, studies have shown that in men who suffer from hair loss, nearly 75% of them feel less confident since the onset of the hair loss, especially in dealing with the opposite sex.
And it isn’t just men. Statistics regarding female hair loss are so difficult to compile mainly because of a tendency on the part of women with hair loss to camouflage and hide a condition that they feel stigmatized by.
Social teasing and humiliation
When hair loss reaches a stage of visible condition it can make the person the object of teasing or scorn.
Feelings of depression and introversion
In extreme circumstances, some people really take hair loss badly and get highly distressed about it, up to the point of getting into depression.
Some people make assumptions that they are losing something about their control of their life, things they really can’t reverse when they start losing their hair.
Subconscious emotions of envy and jealousy
Those suffering from hair loss often experience feeling of jealousy of women with full, healthy heads of hair, because they desperately covet what non-bald people have.
Hair loss may affect someone who is in front of the camera or who needs to be in the public in a very devastating way professionally.
Negative effects on social life
Hair plays an important role in our social lives. Upon meeting someone, one of the first things you notice is their hair. Before a social engagement, it is very important for us to look good, and a good lock of hair is what completes our appearance. Those affected by hair loss become aware of how important hair is in our social lives quickly.
Hair loss may cause the person to limit social activities. Some people avoid seeing friends and stop going out except to work.
Surveys have shown that around 40% of women with alopecia have had marital problems, and around 63% claimed to have career related problems. Reference: (http://www.emedexpert.com/tips/hair-loss-effects.shtml)
Who’s Selling You The Weave?
We know that black women spend more money on hair weave, but who’s selling it and getting rich? The answer to that question isn’t hard to find being that on almost every corner in the African-American community there’s an Korean owned beauty supply store that caters to black hair care. Black women have always influenced the hair industry but fall short in the industry.
The Black hair care industry is grossly underestimated, and knowingly so. Market research firm Mintel estimated the size of the 2012 market at $684 million, with a projection of $761 million by 2017. But Mintel also wisely notes:
What’s missing from these figures are general market brands, weaves, extensions, wigs, independent beauty supply stores, distributors, e-commerce, styling tools and appliances. If all of those things were to be taken into consideration, the $684 million in expenditures could reach a whopping half trillion dollars.Half trillion, as is in $500 billion. That’s more than double Greece’s Gross Domestic Product.Hair is an important aspect of Black female culture, so it’s unsurprising that we potentially spend that much money on our hair. Good Hair, the 2009 documentary by comedian Chris Rock, shined a spotlight on the business of black hair, particularly our use of relaxers and weaves and the sources of the extensions so many women sew into their hair. Since Rock’s reveal of the industry, much has and hasn’t changed in the world of Black hair.
What’s Stayed the Same: High Spending & Weaves
We’re still spending a lot of money on our hair. The market remained relatively unscathed during the recession, while other industries faltered and since then Black haircare has seen moderate but steady growth. All product categories within the market have factored into the industry’s overall growth, except for relaxer sales, which, since 2008 have declined.
According to Mintel, “Relaxers represent 21 percent of the black haircare market with expenditures at $152 million, down 15 percent since 2011 due to the natural hair trend.”
Interestingly enough, despite the growing move from relaxed hair to hair that is not chemically treated (natural hair), sales of weaves and wigs also experienced growth. Mintel reports “Nearly six out of 10 Black consumers wear a wig, weave or extensions, which enables them to switch up their look.”
Wigs and weaves may still be a part of Black hair culture because hair versatility is somewhat intrinsic to the culture. Many Black women change their hairstyles frequently, no matter the texture. Fake hair allows for even larger pool of hairstyle options and when used correctly, can give one’s real hair a break from manipulation and hence mitigate breakage. Reference: ( http://www.huffingtonpost.com/antonia-opiah/the-changing-business-of-_b_4650819.html )
Who’s Running the Game?
The Black hair care market is at least an $684 million industry. Hardly any of that cash makes it back to the Black community. A walk into your local beauty supply store will typically reveal a slew of brands that are Korean-owned.
Oddly enough, in 1965 the Korean government banned the export of raw hair, making it impossible for U.S. business owners to manufacture wigs using Korean tresses. Not long afterward, the U.S. government banned the import of any wig that contained hair from China. As a result, Korean business owners were able to dominate supply and distribution of weaves, wigs and extensions. Aaron Ranen’s 2006 Black Hair documentary estimates that Koreans own close to 60% of the Black hair care industry market share.
There’s so many-a girls I hear you been running from the beautiful queen that you could be becoming you can look at my palm and see the storm coming read the book of my life and see I’ve overcome it. Just because the length of your hair ain’t long and they criticize you for your skin tone wanna hold your head high because you’re a pretty woman, get your runway stride home and keep going, GIRL LEAVE YA LIFE #MaryJBlige
Should you care that your husband/boyfriend doesn’t like you wearing weave? This is a very debatable topic. Before we can discuss men not liking their significate other wearing weave we must first discuss how some men are in relationships with women and they don’t have a clue that she’s even wearing weave! The question to be answered is how many of those women allow him to believe it’s her hair? There are some women who have been in their relationship for years and have never let their man see their real hair. This is not what I was told. I’ve actually had this conversation with a couple of women who have never let their husband/boyfriend see their real hair! Is this a lie or should it be in the same category as Don’t Ask Don’t Tell? Some people say it’s not a lie unless he ask if it’s her real hair and she says yes, but some people feel allowing him to believe that it’s her real hair is just as bad as verbally saying yes this is my hair. There are a lot of men who can’t tell if it’s her real hair and she can have an invisible part as wide as the Nile River and he still wouldn’t know.
It’s crazy that this can become an issue in some relationships but how can a woman get upset if he gets mad when he finds out that she’s been living a lie or should I say she’s been lying to him? Think about it, she didn’t trust him enough to believe that he would fall for her without the weave or is it that she doesn’t have enough confidence in herself to know that if a man can’t love her without the weave then he’s not the man for her? Should we actually care what our husband/boyfriend likes if it makes us feel beautiful? We should be able to wear weave when we feel like we need a change, or to see how a short look would on us before we decide to get our real hair cut, or just to give our real hair a break.
Weave shouldn’t be worn on a continuous basis and you should wear weave because you want to not because you have to. The damage that weave is causing in the African-American community has become an epidemic. Weave is causing high school girls to fight over the phrase, “That’s why you ain’t got no edges bitch”. Weave damage is just another thing to add to the vicious circle among black women that started way back in the days of slavery. Weave is causing conflict in some black relationships. Weave is causing black women to have low self-esteem after their hair and scalp has become damaged from wearing weave. Take a listen to Mary J. Blige below….
I found the article below on http://nommomagazine.com/2013/12/18/black-men-and-weaves/
Following the publishing of my latest article, “Natural or Not: A Discussion on Natural Hair vs. Weaves,” many female students of color on campus approached me to further discuss this phenomenon among the Afrikan American community. In our talks, the subject of Black men and their feelings toward our hair entered the conversations frequently. Many of the women I spoke to expressed their confusion about what Black men really want in regards to their woman’s physical appearance. Besides assumptions on their preferential body type and skin tone, many of these ladies felt that a woman of color’s hair was also important to a Black man, especially when it comes to weaves. The ladies even went so far as to request that I discuss this in a published article.
The question of the Black male’s feelings towards Black hair has experienced a new found popularity as the Natural Hair Movement progresses. Black women want to know, What do Black men want? The media has also given breadth to this discussion with its relaying of news stories related to the question.
Recently, a preacher banned weaves in his church. Pastor A.J. Aamir, founder of Resurrecting Faith in Waco, Texas expressed his feelings about weaves in a statement to AmericanPreachers.com, “Our Black women are getting weaves trying to be something and someone they are not. Be real with yourself.”
With a sudden influx of questions regarding Black men and weaves, I decided not to wait to fill in my ladies on what Black men want. I approached three of our very own Black male Bruins who, although asserting that they are not speaking for all Black men, were kind enough to share their thoughts on the subject.
Here’s what Donte Miller and Lamar Greenwood, third year Sociology Majors and Education Minors and (Anonymous), third year Philosophy major had to say about Black women and their hair.
Among yourself and your Black male peers what do you believe is the general feeling towards weaves?
Donte: The general feeling towards weave is very black or white. Most guys that I know find that weaves take away from the actual beauty of a woman because she feels a need to put in some type of extra hair to try to impress us. Other guys feel that it is extra, but if it is kept up and makes a woman look good, feel better and presentable then they’re fine.
Lamar: I believe the general consensus amongst Black men, concerning weaves, is a negative one. I do not understand, nor have an idea, where it may stem from, but I do believe that the general Black men population think of weaves lower than natural hair.
Anonymous: I can’t really speak on everyone’s behalf, but I don’t particularly like weaves. I’d assume (in my bias) that Black men in general don’t like the thought of weaves, but are intrigued by the end results… Reminds me of a Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air episode: Will gets locked in the attic with his gorgeous prom date. As the episode progresses she begins taking off her fake nails, then her fake eyelashes and eventually her fake hair. It’s sort of like the episode; the way it makes women look is intriguing to Black men in general (I think), but the idea/knowing that it’s fake is what turns us away.
Do you prefer your female partner to wear her hair in a specific way, i.e. natural or weave?
Donte: If I had a girl I’d prefer her to wear her hair whichever way is going to make her look presentable and taken care of. There are some women with bomb natural hair, but there are some who just don’t treat it right and the same goes for weaves.
Lamar: I personally don’t have a preference. If there is a preference, it is much more related to my first interaction with a woman, rather than her having a weave or natural hair. If I met a female with a weave, and found her attractive, then I usually prefer that she looks as she did then. But, if I met her with her natural hair, I would prefer for her to look like that.
Anonymous: I’d prefer my women to wear her hair naturally. Again I’m biased in my response because the woman this question brings to mind has an abundant amount of natural hair. If she’s my partner, I need to be able to run my hand over her hair, grab her hair from the base – admire her natural beauty. Natural’s my preference.
Why do you think that Black women have this perception that Black men hate weaves?
Donte: They have that perception because they have been chastised by guys about their hair for years and don’t feel accepted by the men they’re trying to impress. However, many do assume and generalize all guys. They feel like they must wear their hair a certain way or no one at all will like them, which is wrong. They also feel like it’s just them fighting, but guys worry too about always having to have fresh shoes or a lineup, fade, or fro. If its not attractive to a girl they feel a certain way at times. I don’t think it’s as extreme, but it’s there.
Lamar: I think Black women feel like that because of the way that weaves are presented. A lot of Black women believe that Black men prefer straight hair. Although weaves can be straight, it is less likely to be so (at least from my perspective). So, since weaves are presented in forms such as braids, twists, etc., Black women believe that Black men despise weaves. There may be some overlap, but that is a different issue stemming from outside of my statement.
Anonymous: Hate is a strong word, but we do.
Author: Mia Brumfield
I’m going to end Part 4 with India Arie I am not my hair…….Make sure you share your thoughts and please share this post!