To weave or not to weave

Epiphany Johnican | Opinion Columnist

All my life, I’ve had shoulder-length hair. It was longer than most of my African American peers, so I was very satisfied. Over the years, however, I began to take an interest in hairstyles that are often portrayed in the media. Twelve inches, 14 inches, 16 inches: the most popular lengths for weaves.

Weave is a hairstyle created by weaving pieces of real or artificial hair into a person’s existing hair, typically in order to increase its length or thickness.  This long, down-the-back hair was something I wanted, but something I couldn’t have.

Weaves were something my mother didn’t approve of.

“Your hair is long enough,” she said. But it wasn’t until years later that I realized her true opinion.

The summer after my senior year of high school, my mother went on an extended business trip, and I had earned enough money through a summer job to buy my own weave. I bought 12 and 14 inch weaves. My friend sewed in the hair for me, and I thought it looked “unweaveably” good. My mom didn’t like it however, and said she didn’t like anything fake.

But others’ opinions shouldn’t matter. When you can make that decision yourself, do what you want. An individual should be able to weave if they want to, for whatever reason they want to.

Maybe you want to experience long hair. Maybe you think you would look cuter with long hair.  Maybe you’re trying to change your identity and need to spice things up. There are many reasons a person could want a weave, and that’s perfectly fine.

A weave is perfectly acceptable, and the only thing I would ask is that you make sure your weave blends. Please!

If you’re unfamiliar with the weave process, understand that you have two options when getting a weave. Either you can get a full weave which starts at the roots of your hair. Or you can have leave-out, which is where part of your actual hair is visible and not hidden under the weave cap. If you choose to have leave-out, make sure your real hair blends in with your weave. You know your weave is ratchet if someone is able to tell where your real hair ends and the weave begins. Blend, girl! BLEND.

And if your homegirl doesn’t confront you about the ratchetness of your weave, shame on her! She is not your friend. My advice to you is to seek consultation from professionals about your hair, and to get rid of your weave, if necessary.

But all in all, whether you choose weave or not, just remember that it doesn’t truly matter. A weave doesn’t define who you are. It can’t define who you are. You are a powerful person and the abundance of what’s on the inside will overpower the ratchetness on the outside.