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?
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.
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.
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.