I was shopping with a friend of mine the other day and we spotted this black girl with hair all the way down her back. My friend and I both stopped and stared at her beautiful mane. Her hair was so striking. As the woman walked by, my friend and I discussed her hair. “Do you think it’s a weave?” We pondered the question. Curiosity killed us, so we circled the store to take another look.

Usually, my weave-radar is pretty good. In most cases, there is a blending issue or hair misplacement that gives it away. But in this case, I couldn’t tell if it was a weave or not. Honestly, it didn’t really matter to me. Her hair looked amazing, and all I wanted to know was what I had to do to my hair to get it to look like hers. I continued to peruse the store forgetting the long-haired woman, however, my friend had different sentiments.

As the woman walked out of our view, my friend rolled her eyes. My friend is known for her long natural hair, and has openly expressed her opinions on “good weaves.”

No matter what, a black girl with long hair has to be wearing a weave. Having long natural hair that is actually growing from your scalp doesn’t matter, because most people are going to think that it is a weave anyway. Now, I get the ‘Is that a weave?’ question, or worse, people just assume it is a weave. Me having my own long hair doesn’t matter, because now every black girl with some money can get a good weave.

As a weave wearer myself, I was immediately turned off by my friend’s speech. How selfish could she be? I returned her rant with a rant of my own.

If I want to achieve longer hairstyles with the swipe of my ATM card, I have every right to do so. Who cares if it’s growing from my scalp or not? Furthermore, if your only sense of validation is your naturally long hair, then something is wrong.

After going off, I took a moment to truly analyze the situation, trying to understand how a black woman walking by with long hair could spark such a heated conversation between two friends. To be honest, my friend’s statement was a viewpoint I had never heard before. I soon began to rethink my response to her opinion. Do black girls with long hair have the right to hate good weaves? Do they feel as if good weaves have put them in the “it’s a weave” category? Should being black and having long hair belong to an elite group? Better yet, why is it always assumed that a black girl with long hair is wearing a weave? Is it really that unusual for us to have long hair?

Let me know what you think.

– Chelsey Wilkins

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  • lkanony

    Yeah….I remember years ago ON MY WEDDING DAY a visitor (a peer of my parents) that dropped by the house as the hair stylist is doing my hair decides to ask if my hair is “my real hair….”. I was just thinking to myself, “It’s my wedding day and the only thing you’re deciding to ask me is if my hair is real?….No congratulations?”

    When I was amongst the first (and still amongst the few) of my peers to get a weave while they were transitioning into wearing naturals, I would get the same “looks” and the unwelcomed and sneaky feels on my hair…..yeah I knew what they were up to but I kept on smiling. I didn’t let any of it break my style though. I continued to wear my weave and uphold my style without feeling the need to be ashamed JUST for doing what I WANTED to do with MY hair. Even now, approx 10 years later, there’s this one particular peer (note I said “peer” not friend with reason…thank goodness) that still continue to make her underhanded remarks which she did recently about wearing weaves….I tell you. You would think being in our thirties would truly mean evolving into mature, more sophisticated, ADULT women. Yet, I think many still live their lives according to what other people would think of them, and act like they are competing with each other and downplay others in order to feel important or validated….you know….those comments like “take away the weave and I wonder if she would look good…” or “Oh she think she’s all that…with all that weave…” or the classic “unbeweavable”…yeah..I said these were 30 somethings….sad right?