Why do many women of African descent wear wigs and weaves?

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Release time:2023-07-05 14:14

Probably very strange for a white woman to answer this question, but I am going to as it’s so close to my heart. I remember many years ago when I first moved to London from my native 100% white 3 countries of origin( don’t ask lol). At the time I was renting a room in a shared house with two black men. On my first weekend there I cooked a special dinner for them so we could all get to know each other better and for them to let me know the house rules. It was all going great until a Beyoncé video came on the TV and I said: Wow, her hair is amazing. I wish I could have hair like that! They both choked on their food and I honestly think they only stopped laughing because I was about to start crying. Luckily they both refrained themselves from any jokes about blondes and instead explained what’s what. I honestly had no idea. Yes, I had seen Afro hair, but I didn’t know about its texture or how hard it is to maintain it. I have learned all that by myself, many years later when I had my beautiful half black daughter. I remember doing her hair, if you can call it that, when she was about 2. Could only bring myself to do it twice a week after a bath, while she was watching her favourite episode of Timmy the Sheep. I also remember my husband’s scared look while I was trying to brush her hair with a brush like my own (imagine that) and scissors in the other hand. Whenever the brush would find a knot, I would just use the scissors instead. At some point he suggested an You Tube video and of course maybe shave it all off. Now she is 10 years old and I have learned a lot about her hair and I can do it beautifully occasionally, just so she can say mummy did my hair. Otherwise I prefer taking her to an Afro salon. It takes them 4 hours to do it, but that’s nothing considering it takes me about two days…. We do it every 4 weeks and it’s about £70 to £150, depending on the style we ask for. Most of the time we do different styles of Fulani braids and sometimes her absolute favourite, hair down. People are in absolute wow like mode and of course she loves the attention. Sadly I can only manage that during holidays as there’s no way I’ll have the time to plait her hair every morning before school. I am mentioning these details so people would get the idea of how much maintenance Afro hair needs. My daughter has loads and loads of hair and it’s also very long. Amazing condition, proper beautiful Afro, the kind that makes people turn their heads in the street. I wish I could show you a picture of my beautiful girl, but I’m very fierce when it comes to privacy and my kids. Anyway, the idea is we have spent a fortune on her hair and a lot of time. All I have to do to my ridiculously straight, white hair is brush it and I’m good to go. In the end, just to make it clear this is an answer based only on my personal experience and a very European one as well. I have heard horrible stories of discrimination against African hair styles from America, like excluding little girls from school for having braids. Absolutely shameful!


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