Untangle my roots: Black girls and their Weaves

by Fadzai on NOVEMBER 30, 2011

I was recently watching a South African comedianís show; he was really funny until he decided to talk about Ďíblack girls and their weavesíí.  As the founder of After 7:15, The Hair Dynasty this is not a topic I take lightly because itís my job and hair is a passion of mine.   His argument/joke was that black girlsí hair extensions donít appear natural and that even though women with finer hair textures also wear hair extensions it is more acceptable because the hair extensions match their real hair.  Granted, through his perspective, this is a solid claim and I must admit sometimes I see women whose hair extensions would better serve as a tool to wash a burnt pan or mop the bathroom floor.    

Nevertheless itís not all women and it saddens me that the women who do know how to rock hair extensions properly and even those who donít know but try,  get told they are trying to conform to the European standards of beauty and labelled as being unnatural, plastic or un-African.  

A little known fact is that hair extensions go way back, the art of hair weaving dates back to ancient Egyptian times and where is Egypt?? In AFRICA! Wigs, braiding and weaving hair was a common practice among wealthy Egyptians.  A full luxurious head of hair symbolises health and fertility, Egyptian women would add hair extensions to supplement thin hair. Braids would display age, religion, wealth and marital status, depending on the knot, twists and decoration a person wore.

These practices have carried on and been adapted throughout the ages.  Today hair extensions are more associated with black culture and have created great controversies because people do not understand where they stem from or understand ethnic hair.   Hair is a form of expression, and people are entitled to do with it what they please, whether they choose to rock an afro, a weave, colour it all the shades of rainbow or re-create Medusa.