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why black women wear wigs

 

Black women are often associated with their nappy curls and it gets confusing to other people why a black woman can rock multiple hairstyles. Sometimes it can lead to people outside your race not being able to identify you when you switch to a new hairdo. Once people eventually recognize the black woman with a new hairdo it is accompanied by stares and questions either by people thinking your new hair is cool or why do wear such on your hair?

Why Do Black women wear wigs? Natural Hair

It is a weird stereotype to people to assume all black women are insecure about their hair hence why she wears wigs or has extensions on. I have been asked so many times why I wear wigs and I genuinely have no reason other than low maintenance and I am just trying to keep my hair as healthy as possible.

I have rocked different kinds of hairstyles all my life, from weaves to braids to wigs as this is what I was exposed to growing up in Nigeria and never have I had to question it. For some reasons since moving to Canada, the hair changing and wig-wearing as led to people asking so many questions I do not have an answer to. I believe the questions come from the fact I am situated in a much more diverse city.

Why do black women wear wigs? Weaves

I do not think wig wearing and including of extensions in one’s hair is for one race. However, I think because as black women we can switch our hairstyles often and have a variety of looks, it confuses outsiders. We wear hairstyles that are much different to women from other races – the braids- so I get it.

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It was while living in the UK I got acquainted with the wig-wearing lifestyle.  For me, this was the norm then as every black woman I was surrounded by opted for this hairstyle. It’s interesting how the culture here in Canada (Halifax to be specific) amongst black women has more black women wearing braids compared to the UK where women wore more weaves and wigs.

I remember the first time I changed my hair, my classmates were staring so hard. It was a good stare and they began to ask if I was going on a date. The people I live with won’t stop asking why I wear weave and tell me how beautiful my hair is. I have seen impressive growth in my hair since I stopped leaving out my hair for a long period. My hair length has gone from barely touching my neck to bra length over the past 5 years. I have never had any reason to cut my hair so I am not a naturalista. I realized the insistent putting of chemicals otherwise known as relaxer in my hair made a lot of difference. I went from putting relaxer almost 4 to 6 in a year to barely once or twice and always having my hair made. 

For the first time in over 5 years, I let my hair out for over 5 weeks in the summer, it is safe to say had a significant amount of hair loss due to consistent combing. I decided to switch hairstyles to a wig that is different from my natural hair colour and my colleagues couldn’t help but stare and wonder what I had done to my hair but refused to ask. So if any black woman has answers to these questions that people keep asking me to share them in the comment section below.

Of course, this post in no way reflects the opinions of other black women’s hair as everyone has a choice of how they style their hair. For me, it is just a weird question asking why I wear wigs as I wear simply for convenience. 

Comments:

  • Olushencko Segun

    October 17, 2019

    Well, I’m not a fan of wig wearing, and for me I see it as inferiority complex before now. But this blog post is giving me a mental shift to thinking that It’s not always about the inferiority complexity but perhaps their convenience.
    Kudos

      • TAV

        July 18, 2020

        I understand the inferiority complex. On the past, I’ve felt Inadequate that my hair wasn’t beautiful because it was thick, “nappy” and not naturally straight and long. I felt that non black women with long hair were seen as beautiful

    • Aneree

      August 7, 2020

      The same time black people take to learn how to apply a wig that looks like their own scalp or spending $500 on a wig plus curling iron etc can be spent on learning how to wear and style their hair so its no longer an “inconvenience.” Its all a perceptive.

      • Mj

        December 30, 2020

        Personally I think most black women don’t spend that much money on wigs e at least those in my life. Max 200 and even that is a lot. Tbh I’m all for braids and natural hairstyles but getting my hair done evert 6 weeks is expensive especially as people are starting to charge more for braids like even 90 pounds. Whereas a 130 pound wig can last years. I think it depends on a person’s lifestyle and what they can afford to maintain in terms of money and time.

    • Uche

      September 1, 2020

      It actually is inferiority complex. You all never wear a wig that looks like the African hair. But always wear a wig that looks like your idea of beautiful. Stop deceiving yourselves. Its OK to wear wigs but accept you feel inferior without them.

  • Adaeze

    October 17, 2019

    True talk. I also don’t have a reason for wearing wigs except the ones you mentioned. I’ve never had to think a lot about it.

  • Bukola

    October 17, 2019

    I wear wigs for convenience too. I love that I can change my look anytime as well as protecting my natural hair

    • Marybeth White

      July 1, 2020

      It seems as if you don’t love your natural hair and think it should be different.

      • July 14, 2020

        Shut upppppp Marybeth “White” what do u mean “should be different” she can do anything with her head everyone live once. PERIDOT and you better not reply

        • Anonymous

          October 15, 2020

          “She can do anything with her head , everyone lives once”
          But I watch my white friends being shouted at because they decided to braid ones hair , and yes if we look in the past we see where braids come from 3500 BC Aswell as from Egyptians and the Greeks , but when we speak about wigs Greeks and Egyptians Aswell as Elizabeth the 1st era wore wigs to prevent lice and to wear as a sign of professionalism eg. Judges including men. But my friends and family wear wigs and want to argue that they invented the wigs

      • Uche

        September 1, 2020

        Simple truth.

  • Noble J

    July 16, 2020

    Convenience equals too lazy to take care and style the natural hair.

  • Filipe N

    August 2, 2020

    I wondered if it had anything to do with structural racism, but talking from a white washed country point of view. It’s not like you don’t like your hair (as Marybeth White said), but a way to get closer to the white standard (straight long hair). But then again, I’m talking from a country that has tried to whiten its people, and still now people have this unconscious idea that the closer to white standard, the more beautiful and acceptable (it works for women and men, in cases when men wear very short hair cuts, as for the curls not to show)

  • Barbara

    September 12, 2020

    I accidentally got here and I am white southern US. It’s mysterious to me. Black kids I grew up with wife braids and an older black lady I was work friends with wife her hair short but ironed. Another wore wigs. I always thought it was preference then someone said brush/comb daily made it thin and recede. Since that, I have tried learning bc I just do that about everything I don’t know. I tried wearing a wig once and for an awful job of it. But I am hair incompetent! I can’t even use a curling iron. I had a curly perm in my long hair in 80s and really liked it but as 90s came and went I was told it was not “the thing” to do bc “trying to be black” . I didn’t want to give offense so I wear it long and straight or typically last long tail or bun. I’m 64 years old and would like to have it curly perm again bc it had more body and looked good. I’m not going grey yet but wonder if I’d look stupid. Any suggestions?

  • carpen7er

    September 18, 2020

    Because they want to be white. Yet most of them (if not all) are racist towards white people when in the end is just an inferiority complex. The same to a lot of africans that are racist to other africans that have a lighter skin. There are white idiots that want to be black as well.

  • carpen7er

    September 18, 2020

    Why does Beyonce, Rhianna and several other black celebrities wear a cream to make their skin lighter ? Why do white people like to tan their skin ? Why do women with big breasts do reductions and women with small breasts put implants to make them bigger ?…………………

  • Daniela

    September 18, 2020

    I’m mixed race. Black, white and native. So I’m a light skin and my hair is naturally curly. I never realized about black women wearing wigs cause I just didn’t know about that when growing up cause I grew up in a non black community and my whole family are mixed too and none of us got “nappy” hair. They all got straight or curly hair like me. So I never knew about this until I got older and I started paying attention. I understand when black women say they like to wear wigs to protect their own natural hair or just cause they like to switch to different hairstyles. I personally don’t like it but I respect it. Sometimes I can’t even tell if that’s their real hair or just a wig cause they know how to make it look very natural so when they show up the next day with a totally different hairdo is confusing and leads to a lot of people staring and questioning. Some black women do wear wigs to look more mixed and not too black. Like they bleach their skin and wear wigs, weaves or something to make their hair look more loose so it looks curly and not “nappy”. To me that’s black fishing and ridiculous and lack of self esteem for sure. Other than that I’m ok with it.

      • Daniela

        September 22, 2020

        I don’t know much about that. But I’m very curious and I like to learn about every one else’s perspective. So my question is why is it different for black women in Africa to wear a wig than someone who wears it in America or Europe. Cause as I said before I never learned about this when growing up since none of my family is pure black nor have “nappy” hair, not even my friends back then. Even if my friends were black or had that kind of hair they wouldn’t think about wearing a wig. It’s not something you learn in Latin America. Especially in countries where black people are minority like in my case. But other countries with more African mixing like Dominican Republic, Cuba or Brazil wigs are more popular.

    • Stephanie

      November 2, 2020

      Very insightful. Thanks you for sharing your thoughts.

  • Dean Jay Peters

    October 14, 2020

    As a somewhat white person and a men i really like curly or afro hair on a women.In my opinion its shamefull and almost criminal to suffocate those beautifull gifts with some bad wigs.

  • Kathy G. Powell

    October 20, 2020

    I did not know black ppl were still bleaching their skin. 🤷🏽‍♀️.I have also learned that every culture that is not white, bleach their skin. Social media teaches us a lot. I am a black woman with naturally curly hair, so call “good hair.” I wear my natural hair and keep it mostly no longer than to my neck, since I am in my mod 60’s. It has thinned a lot, but I still rather rock what God gave me naturally. To each it’s own though. I do think the wig and weave wearing is excessive, not to mention expensive. I wish folk would invest in something to benefit themselves financially instead of making folk rich, who have very little respect for us as a race of people. I pray my young people will wake up and feel good about themselves as they are, kinky hair and all. I do see a lot of young people embracing natural hair and they are simple gorgeous! Love to all my beautiful people!

  • Amber

    October 21, 2020

    Hi serious question here. When you wear a wig and cut/glue the edges to blend into your natural forehead, does it last longer than a day or do you usually have to take it off by the end of the day?

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