An Ode to My Tracks

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Weave should get a reprieve. No, seriously. The bashing, the badgering, the beating that weave gets is unfair.

Let’s face it. Everyone from time to time gets Follicles of Fury. Instead of spending days, weeks, months cultivating new growth, weave is the quicker-fixer-upper. Yet somehow over years, weave has become the butt of jokes, the ugly clip-on, disgraced lace front, stepchild of hair grooming. Don’t get me wrong: Real and natural hair is a wonderful gift, but weave gets a bad rap. But weave is wonderful.

It’s elastic, fantastic, and makes many a man ecstatic.

Case in point: A woman with a centimeter of hair on her head can be transformed into a Cleopatra with a serious HTB (hair touch butt) ratio. A woman with shoulder-length hair can (in a few hours) emerge with flowing, curly locks that sway like luxurious curtains around her sternum. Sure it may cost a few hundred dollars, but the joy on her man’s face? Priceless.

Critics may say “be happy with what you’ve got” or “why cater to the European style of beauty”? The answer is only four words long: It’s just style, baby. Long hair, short curls, silky black, less, more, it’s all just a style. And you rock it then move on.

Weave has its own sorority, it’s own cult. But by its very purpose it’s hard to tell who’s a member. But for those who don’t wear a weave, they’ll never know what they’re dissing.

Frank Sinatra once said: “I feel sorry for people who don’t drink. When they wake up in the morning, that’s as good as they’re going to feel all day.” That sentiment applies to weave as well.

Weave is exciting. Weave is entertaining. You ever wonder why hair shows across the country are filled with over-the-top theatrics? Weave is why. If hair shows were about natural hair, you could expect the festiveness of a library.

Your hair may be au naturel and you may even tediously fight with it every morning or night, but the same ole’ same gets boring after a while.

Weave is a presentation. A show. A weaveologist is nothing short of P.T. Barnum: A circus maestro that knows how to whip a crowd, as well as a tuft of coiffed locks into submission all while doing a jig. These people are artists — Remibrandts — that paint pictures with hair. But somehow, someway, there’s a stigma attached to weave-wearers.

Wigs never got the vitriol that weave is getting, despite the fact that most wigs look like hair helmets. But not weave. Wigs are for protection. Weaves are for seduction.

Weave doesn’t move when you run. You can pull a weave (a little) and it won’t give way — unless you’re fighting (Why do women always grab the other person’s weave during a fight, as if that will get them extra fight points or something?)

People hate on weaves. And you know what? Most men could care less. In the 21st century, the “real vs. fake” debate is irrelevant at this point. Especially when the “normal” amenities and cosmetics that many adorn themselves with — nails, eyelashes, tattoos, even moles — are for the most part, ahem… fake.

But weave ain’t fake. Not when you can go in the salon looking like Pokemon and come out looking like Pocahontas. Not when you can make an old, tattered outfit sing just by rocking a new hairstyle. And switching back. To understand the significance of the weave to one’s self-esteem, consider the caterpillar. The caterpillar is a beautiful creature, but — whoa! — what was that that just flew by? Straight butta.

When Chris Rock’s Good Hair documentary came out, you could have thought a closely guarded secret was let out of the bag. Lose the stigma now!

People buy “fake” hair. People — white, black, etc. — have been buying ‘fake’ hair for years. So what? People also buy fake plants and fake purses. The thing is, if you do, don’t fake like you don’t. You should always love what you were born with, but let’s be honest here, we live in a world of instant gratification, convenience and flexibility.

Split ends, uncooperative roots and dandruff the size of corn bread sprinkles make dealing with the real stuff a major headache sometimes. You’re entitled to switch it up. You really are. You’ve accepted fast food, why not fast follicles? For many of us, we want it, not now, but yesterday.

And as a result, weave is here to stay. Maybe, just maybe, it’s not the weave that allows us to be something we’re not — it’s actually the people that just wont let us be.

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  • Not a fan of weave… I just don’t like it. I have my fro and I’m happy.

  • Nev

    This article sounds like an excuse to wear fake hair…”but it’s fun…it’s just style…it’s this it’s that!”
    I used to express myself the same way when I wore a lot of makeup and weave.

    I have freeform locs now. I’ve received FAR more flack for wearing my hair the way it is than most weaved/permed women. And guess what? I’m not making a single excuse and I’m not explaining a damn thing. There is no list in my mind of advantages versus disadvantages, and no complaints.This is who I am. Take it or leave it.

    I don’t say anything about other black women’s hair choices because seeing weaves and perms is normal to me. It’s average. It seems to me that some permed/weaved women see natural women they feel threatened and often stereotype them into the “afrocentric natural hair nazi” category because they’re insecure about themselves.

    Sure, I know of some natural women who go overboard pushing their views unto others, but the number of black people who push the idea of getting perms and weaves unto other black women far outnumbers the former. So I don’t know why people are complaining.

  • Cee

    I just don’t understand why someone would want to wear someone else’s hair. I don’t see the indian girls whose hair youre proudly flaunting walking around with afro textured tracks exuding such pride and confidence to have your locs sewn to their heads. My take on fake hair is like fake high ends labels, if i dont got it like that, why front? Just be fly with what I got. I don’t see how telling people(for those who ask) that my purse/hair is fake can possibly make me feel good about myself. That coupled with the constant fear of embarrassment that a track is showing or that two textures don’t blend i dont think is worth it. I think my money could be better spent invested into the health and proper care of my tresses.

    And the whole dont touch my hair thing, cant get with it. It never bothered me when people (that I know personally) asked if my hair was real and ran their fingers thru my hair. I think its cool that they see that its possible for it look nice, be health and be a certain length (that apparently we are excluded from attaining). Oh and the suprised look on faces when they feel that natural hair is soft is laughable smh. (what did you expect it to feel like) Also I love when a man can play with my hair without ruining the moment, its priceless to not be a stereotypical bw:)

  • bullshit, psuedo-logical post.

    Weaves are fake. Just like fake, boobs, fake nails, fake eyes, these things represent a part of yourself you are unwilling to represent for what it truly is whether temporarily or long term.

    Put out fake, you can expect the same in return.