Why Weaves Are Unethical

by Arielle Loren

Each day, thousands of women travel to Indian temples to sacrifice their natural luscious locks to the Hindu god Vishnu. Virgins give their hair as a sacrifice for health and happiness in their future marriages. Poor female farmers give their hair to increase their chances of having a good harvest. But overall, most women sacrifice their long crowning glory as a way to convey their willingness to give up pride and vanity. Using dry razors, temple workers shave these women’s heads bald, collect their locks, and then sort them for sale to major western hair companies. Not a penny is awarded to any of these women, as many don’t even know that their hair is being sold for profit. The temple makes millions off the trade, the hair industry makes billions, and the ritual remains unchallenged for its unethical practices.

In Good Hair, Comedian Chris Rock exposed the process, traveling to India’s temples to garner behind-the-scenes footage of the unregulated process. As he chatted with unknowing Indian women, temple workers turned barbers, and business savvy priests, he discovered that the practice is all too common in India and unlikely to change without a shift in industry standards. But did this “secret” spark an outcry from hair consumers? Observing the response to the film, there were more laughs and few conversations about the unethical practices of the weave industry. As Rock is a comedian, paid to make people laugh and not necessarily think, the question remains: Do black women care about fair trade hair? And would they use their buying power to force the industry to change its practices?

The knee-jerk response involves a short contemplation as to why something as superficial as weave needs social advocacy. The underlying question is: What’s the global implication of wearing unethically traded hair? As every consumer influences company longevity, the power lies not in the hands of executives, but in pleasing the customer. Indian women would benefit from a wider non-donation-based system that allows them to sell their hair for a reasonable profit instead of companies doing business with temples that exploit these women’s sacrifices. Your purchasing power can influence the lives of struggling families. There are politics wrapped around the production of the weave sewn to your head.

As black women spend millions on buying weaves, it wouldn’t take long for companies to readjust their business strategies to support families and the local economy. If you mandated that these hair companies sign up for organizations such as the Ethical Trading Initiative, there’d be a greater level of accountability and responsibility to shun unethical hair trading.

As social media allows for consumer feedback, how long would it take to write on your favorite weave company’s Facebook page, send a concerned tweet, email a short letter, or call their headquarters? These efforts don’t have to be extravagant, but it does send a message that you care about the hair industry’s decisions that impact impoverished populations.

Of course, you’re not required to care or take action. It’s a privilege that you don’t have to think twice about companies, even outside the hair industry, that conduct unfair trades on everything from food to diamonds. Ignorance is easier than advocacy, as it requires less effort and simply a turned head. So what do you chose?

Do you care about the ethics of the weave industry? Is it bothersome to wear an exploited woman’s hair? Speak on it.

  • CaliforniaDreaming

    I don’t wear weave, so I think nothing about wearing the hair of a woman who has been exploited. I can’t say I care about the ethics of the weave industry. The only way something like this is going to stop is for every woman in the world to stop wearing weave.

  • Superwoman

    I think it is pretty sad that the temples are making millions and the people of India–women and children–live in extreme poverty! Why don’t they help their own people with all the money they are receiving from the hair, after all the hair is given to them!?!?!?!?!?! They should put a fund together so the poor can have bathrooms, something they lack in this day and age!!!!

  • Jaz

    Title correction: Why Indian Remy Weaves are Unethical

    I do believe that these Indian women are being exploited and the women that are fans of Indian Remy should be aware of what they are buying, but I think that implying that all weaves or even a majority of weaves are linked these practices is a little ridiculous.

  • http://www.writingisfighting.com Lainad

    I watched the Chris Rock Doc and yes, left feeling a bit unsettled. But we have to be realistic. I can’t (obviously) speak for everyone, but most people probably do not care as much as you think. The fear of being deemed “unnattractive” without putting in some tracks is more palatable than worrying about women who live across the globe.

    We, as North Americans, are more concerned with getting through our day, what others think of us, and rocking the latest fashions more than what is going on. We still fear not being able to get a job and getting a man, and the thought of going ‘natural’ is still fearful.

    I applaud you for this piece, but I went to purchase some ‘Yaki” last year at this beauty supply store which was owned by non-Blacks. What bothered me was the security system, the six men that stood behind the counter, glowering at the 40 or so women trying on wigs, checking out packs of hair, and it occurred to me that we are letting others profit from our insecurity. It was sad, and I felt condescended to, and that made me re-evaluate my own insecurity! I never went there again.

    Women have the right to wear their hair the way they want, but I think we first need to look at why hair weaves – especially the straight, shiny – “non-Black” looking hair, is still, despite all of these blog posts and articles encouraging natural hair, the norm.

  • Jennifer

    I’m glad you wrote this piece. I think so often we analyse the ways that we are disenfranchised that we forget the ways we disenfranchise others. Maybe this isn’t an issue that someone wants to crusade for, but it is an issue that each individual woman can pledge that they themselves will not be a part of.

  • jamesfrmphilly

    weaves are for losers anyhow……..

  • Rakel

    With the exception of my sisters who found out about this practice through Good Hair, they’re about the only people I know who care enough to not buy Remy and attempt to research the source of the weaves. I don’t wear weaves and everyone else just about shrugged it off as a their problem not ours.

  • lynette

    The headlining picture for this article makes me cringe! When I watched that Chris Rock movie, I was with my girlfriend who I believe wears a weave. Now the movie was supposed to strike up a conversation on weaves while doing it in a lighthearted way. I asked my girlfriend how she felt about women sacrificing their own hair for someone else’s dime. She had absolutely no comment. I’m thinking wow! You didn’t feel anything for those women? Double wow! I dunno…I personally don’t have anything against weaves because I know I was their main receipient back in the day. I eventually stopped wearing them altogether a long time ago. Then when I saw Chris Rock’s movie vowed to never wear them again. As another poster said, I guess being deemed unattractive by European standards weighs more heavily than being concerned about some women’s hair in another country…

    Can’t knock the hustle though…just won’t be participating…

    This is a wonderful article! Thank you so much for writing this!

  • Hmm

    I’ve never seen the Good Hair movie. But after reading the article it’s basically saying that the women that are “WILLINGLY” giving up their hair aren’t be paid for it. I’m just trying to see where the “unethical” part lies. I don’t see anyone dying, having sickness, from donating hair. Btw, really nice touch with the picture for the article.

  • minna k.

    “… and it occurred to me that we are letting others profit from our insecurity.”

    Not only does it irk me that a conversation/ board topic about weave will be intersected with phrases such as “nothing wrong with..”, but the blatant turning of the cheek to being treated as a criminal in a weave shop as well. Its bad for our pockets, bad for our spirit, and the people being exploited.

    Ladies, we don’t have to support this.

    On another note, Remy hair is already pricy. I suppose cost goes towards sourcing, homogenizing, production labor, shipping, packaging, and warehousing. I wonder what kinds of wages are given down this chain? If this is hair sacrificed to Vishnu. It is not something that they themselves would sell for money. What could be a fair amount to give to the people donating, plus the cost of production?

  • NikD

    I get the overall point of this article. And, by Western standards, this practice seems unfair and unethical. However, the very reason why these women shave their heads would prevent them from receiving any money from it’s sale.

    “But overall, most women sacrifice their long crowning glory as a way to convey their willingness to give up pride and vanity.”

    Because of this, they couldn’t accept money for their hair because that would be placing a premium on something they’re getting rid of to prove there is no premium attached to it. Accepting money would be like selling the hair. Selling the hair = taking so much pride in the hair that you expect to receive money for it. When people sell their cars they try to get the highest price for it they can. Why? Because they believe that it is worth something. These women shave their heads to show that they don’t think their hair is worth anything, it’s a part of a worldly expression of beauty that they are shedding themselves of.

    Did it ever occur to people that they don’t WANT to receive money? I haven’t seen any advocacy on their behalf, no outcries in the temples, no women asking to take their hair with them when they leave. It difficult because of the Western culture’s idea of “nothing should be free” and “if you’re giving something, you should get something in return.”

    If anything I think these women are getting the last laugh. They’re shaving their heads to do give up their vanity and black women in America are sticking it on their heads in possibly the most proud and vain display of trying to be beautiful possible without surgery.

  • Mimi

    Long before Chris Rock did his documentary, I saw something on 60 Minutes or one of the news shows about this. While it is heartbreaking that women in India aren’t getting paid by giving up their hair, I don’t see it ending anytime soon because you’d have to change their mindset about why they are doing it. A lot of the women believe that they will be blessed by doing it and its done for religious reasons. You know how people are when it comes to religion. It’s very hard to change a person’s mind about things, but espeically difficult to change someone’s mind when it comes to a religious belief.

    As someone who wears a lf due to alopecia, I asked my black stylist where she gets her hair from and she told me that its not from India. Now while she could have been lying to me, I certainly appreciate the fact that I have this option as opposed to getting stares of pity from people. Also, I think we need to remember that there are little girls and teens going through chemotherapy who don’t want to get picked on at school by their lack of hair. So from a health standpoint I think its great that we have this option, but if I didn’t have my disease I certainly wouldn’t wear weaves but as for now, it’s my only option that I’m comfortable with.

  • Hmm

    Well said NikD!

  • titilayo

    I’m surprised that some people don’t see how this is a question of ethics. There are at least two issues, as I see it.

    One is that people are not being fairly compensated for a commodity that they are supplying, and in fact the middle-men are trading on their ignorance about the value of this commodity. This issue has recently come up with regards to the shea butter trade, wherein women are being paid trifling amounts of money for the shea butter they produce, and then a huge mark-up is added and all the profit goes to the middleman (or middle-woman). In both cases the producer is being exploited/taken advantage of, and part of this relates to them being kept in ignorance by the middle-person. This can be seen as unethical trading.

    The second relates to the fact that these women are giving up their hair as a sacrifice to their god(s). Yes they give it up willingly, but they do it for spiritual reasons, not commercial ones. (To illustrate this with an example from a different religion, Christians might remember the story where Jesus went off on the moneychangers for turning the temple into a den of thieves; it’s the same kind of thing.) Perhaps if the women knew that their sacrifice was being collected and sold, it wouldn’t matter to them one way or another, but they *don’t* know, and those temple barbers/businessmen are exploiting their faith without their consent. This too could be seen as unethical.

    I want to be clear that I’m just trying to clarify how ethical issues come into play in this situation. I’m not criticising people who wear Indian Remy weave or whatever. I know that people have other, more immediate problems to think about, and I know that everybody has the right to make their own choices and compromises. I don’t wear weave myself, but Lord knows that plenty of my own consumption choices probably wouldn’t stand up to ethical scrutiny.

  • SisterAyiti

    This article was pointless.

  • La

    I’m sure that they don’t want to be compensated for their hair since it is a sacrifice as previous posters mentioned. However, it is still unethical and degrading to the sacrifice if it is then used for profit. The nature of “sacrifice” means that there should be no compensation to ANYONE.

    Think of it this way, how would you feel if your pastor used your tithes to buy a boat? Do you think it is ethical for him or her to do so? Why is this different?

  • Mae

    My thoughts exactly. These women seem to be content to give away their hair away for free to be disposed of any which way. I am not sure why it is considered unethical that the temple decides to “dispose” of it by selling it. It just seems like the logical and most efficient thing to do. I am not Hindu, but it is my understanding the temple plays a significant role in the lives of poor Indians. Do we know what we do with the profit beyond Chris Rock’s analysis? I didn’t watch Good Hair, but it is my understanding that there wasn’t a lot of substantial analysis.

    I am not sure why people keep trying to vilify hair extensions. They are just a hairstyle option. I just don’t think it is or should be that deep. Upon reading the article and seeing the picture, I thought I would be presented with a story of women being forced to shave/donate their hair. That is a travesty. If that is going on, it is unbelievably unethical, but the way it has been presented here is a bit of a reach.

    [For context's sake, I will mention I have natural hair. I have used extensions once for extra length almost a decade ago when I still had a relaxer. It lasted only a day because it was not great for my sensitive scalp.]

  • Mae

    I agree. I should have read further before commenting because I think you captured the flaw with the angle this article took.

  • Boom616

    I dont think article is pointless and i think it’s a conversation and agenda that women of all races need to take action on. And before i go on…im not against the concept of adding hair to enhance beauty..it’s everyone’s right to do as they please with their body. We all may use hair differently but at the end of the day “weaving”, “braiding”, or whatever is every person’s right. Now:

    Women on both sides of the market are getting screwed. Westerners overpay (espicially when it’s clear it’s not “human hair”) and the Indian women get nothing. Also, I’m convinced that non-black women use hair weaves just as much as Black women do..they’re just able to get away with it easier and the stigma isn’t as sharp with them. Anywho.. The pessimist in me thinks that the average consumer purchasing this hair isn’t going to care one way or another where the hair comes from–they just want their hair which speaks to a deeper cultural issue with hair and beauty that i dont have time to get in to.

    If there’s going to be a change, it’s going to need to start with the people who buy this hair in mass quantities and use them for shows, movies, models etc..they have the real power to put pressure on the supply chain. But will they?? To think that individual black women across the country will rally for free/fair trade hair, is unrealistic…espicially when they know that means they’ll likely have to pay more for an already super expensive product.

  • sli

    You’re on point with this comment, titilayo. Well said!

  • Hajimeru

    Thank you for this! This is exactly why I don’t wear them. These women don’t even know their being exploited.

  • Mae

    I can see your second point, but the first one falls a bit flat for me. The shea butter traders are doing this for profit. If they are not being paid a fair price that is exploitative and unethical. These people are donating their locs to be disposed of. I don’t think there is any equivalence in these situations other than they are poor women in emerging/developing countries.

  • Mae

    People keep flocking to prosterity churches so my guess is, for some, the boat buying will be A-OK.

  • Mae

    Should read: People keep flocking to prosperity….

  • http://sisterescape.blogspot.com Le Chele

    Good article. Yet, another reason why black women should opt for natural hair. However, ignorant comments like the one below keep them from doing so.

  • Cindy

    Interesting article….thanks for the encouraging the lively discussion.
    As many others have said, I am an infrequent weave-wearer so to be honest, I rarely think about the source and the unethical production. What this article did make me think of, is what if any consideration do we give the production of anything we consume? How were the animals treated in the hamburger we eat? What about the poor children who work in horrible conditions to produce our shoes and jeans? I would venture to guess that much of what we wear, eat, buy , use, exploits others!
    We must do better…….

  • lola289

    ThankU Jaz!

    WTF!

  • http://peterscrossstation.wordpress.com/ Shannon LC Cate

    “Women on both ends of the market are getting screwed.” That’s the bottom-line, I think. Getting defensive about how the women “gave their hair as a sacrifice” anyway is not really addressing that men are essentially stealing that hair and selling it for their own profit. Then Westerners pay huge mark-ups for it on the other end.

    Also, the movie pointed out that at least in some cases, women’s hair was quite literally being stolen by being cut in a movie theatre etc., not from a sacrifice willingly given at a temple.

    Like many things Westerners like to call “free choice” this is really not about choice at all. All of us have our choices bounded by all kinds of restrictions–whether it’s a social expectation that good women sacrifice their hair or a social expectation that good employees don’t have afros.

  • lola289

    get over urself…its ONLY hair

  • Weave for life!

    Yeah, it’d be much better to burn it all. . . .

  • lola289

    besides the hair grows back by the next yr!

  • titilayo

    @Mae, fair enough. As I see it, the connection with the shea butter situation is that because the women are under-informed, somebody else is raking in money for the commodity the women produced. So if the shea butter producers had a better idea of how much profit was being made from what they were making, they might want to be better paid for it. Similarly, the women in India are happy donating their hair now, but perhaps if they knew that the hair had commercial value, they might want financial compensation for it.

    In a way, the validity of the first point I made above hinges on a question that’s implicit in the second point; if these women were aware that their hair was being sold, that it had a market value, would their decisions about what to do with it be different? I can only speculate. Maybe they would continue to sacrifice it, maybe they would start to demand that it not be sold, or maybe they would start to sell it themselves instead of sacrificing it. That last option would, of course, give them their own ethical dilemma!

  • girlplease

    stupid article…
    these women aren’t being forced to give up their hair for free, they want to. its not like some captain-steal-a-weave is jumping through buildings cutting off their hair at night. if they wanted profit they would ask for, but they are giving up what comes so easily to them to please their god. i suppose if their hair didnt grow so fast they probably would sacrifice something else?(like food,possessions,blood,children,themselves?)

    and another thing thats indian weave, in which the bigger buyer would be white women since they can more than likely afford it.
    when indian hair becomes black market like say body organs then you call us negros unethical
    otherwise find deeper writing pieces

  • G.G.

    Thank you, Boom616, for mentioning that women of all races are getting weaves, using Indian Remi Virgin hair to do so. I wear my hair anyway I want to–natural, braided, weaved, relaxed–depends on what I’m feeling at any given moment. ALL women do this and I get really annoyed when other women judge us for it–even more annoyed when they judge only Black women for it. But regarding the article itself, it is clearly a great conversation starter. I don’t feel that these women would opt for payment, as their mindset is that they are making a religious sacrifice. If anyone saw Good Hair, they would have seen how long the lines were with women waiting, happy to give up their hair. I have to admit that I do have an issue with them bringing the little babies to the temple to get shaved, but we are all subject to our parents’ beliefs until we are able to speak for ourselves.
    Separately, I do want to note that Indian Remi is NOT the only brand of hair one can purchase. There is also protein hair and collegen hair both of which are undetectable to most stylists until you tell them it’s not human hair. So there are other options for those with ethical concerns about weaves. Research is free…

  • Karen

    All the people who claim this is a dumb article are stock on weave and suffer from self hate. Don’t worry no one will take your “beauty/weave” away from you. God forbid you’d have to go into the public with your own hair. Gasp!!!

  • http://ranuisinuranus.tumblr.com Ranu

    I agree when I look at this from a westernized Christian perspective. When something is sacrificed to God, it belongs to God, not to the church to do as it sees fit. These things are usually destroyed to prevent such things from happening.

    Since I know little about Hindu beliefs, I had to learn more. In the Yale Globalist article, “Cashing in on India’s Luscious Locks”, Erin Biel explains the practice:

    “According to ancient lore, Vishnu — an avatar of God and the Preserver of the World — once took out a loan in order to pay for his wedding celebration. Now Vishnu requires assistance in paying off his debt. The devout poor are happy to help, trekking hundreds of miles in order to offer up perhaps the only gift that they can: their hair.”

    “While turning such a profit from pilgrims’ donations may seem incongruous, “the money collected is entirely re-invested in the upkeeping of the temple and for charitable purposes,” a director at the Tirumala Temple affirmed. “For example, we financed children’s education by building schools, we distributed approximately 30,000 free meals everyday for the poor and needy, and we have built hospitals to cure those who, otherwise, could never afford such expensive treatments.” To combat corruption, the temple has even established an oversight committee to ensure that funds from hair auctions make their way to the local communities. Even when devotees are notified of their hair’s final destination, they seem unfazed. As one Hindu man told ABC’s Bowden, “For us, hair is not important — for us, God is important.””

    If Hindus are not outraged by this, why should we be alarmed? While it is still important to know where your weave comes from as with any product you consume, we need to stop projecting our Western ideals on other cultures.

  • JustMe

    I find it remarkable that many women justify a lie because of their own “convictions”. While these women may not want or desire remunerations – I am pretty sure they do not know that the temples and others are making a hefty profit from their sacrifices.

    When we engage in spiritual practices there is a purity (all the way down the line) we expect. And this is not being honored starting from the spiritual leaders all the way down to the consumer. And from the comments here – it is being mocked and jeered.

    I will remind everyone here that the small and petty arguments were made about African/West Indian slaves. We were once considered property and could be treated anyway. We had not right to anything that we produced, developed or created. And even though it is not quite as serious as slavery this is far more serious than it is being taken.

  • Simone

    Please sit your ass down. Please. I don’t even have the energy to address all the stupidity in your post.Christians fast, they give up their hair, so they’re silly for making a sacrifice to their God?!?!? Like I said. siddown.

  • http://knobslobbingfeminism.com FJ

    The one point not made here… not every woman is giving it up because they want to.
    Chris Rock mentioned in his movie, and I looked further into it, that there is a Black market demand of virgin hair that promotes severing hair from young girls who do NOT want to give their hair up. They said girls can be sitting in a dark theatre or some place like that and have their braids lopped off before they can protest.

    THAT, my friends, is a huge problem. It’s called POACHING. They are poaching hair from young girls and selling it on the black market. There is no way to guarantee that the hair on your head was not chopped off the head of an innocent girl against her wishes. There is no “conflict-free”label or oath that the hair came from willing spiritual sacrifices.

    When I first heard of this, I immediately decided not to buy Indian human hair. I wasn’t wearing full weaves, just micro braids and such. Now, I only use synthetic when I do any kind of extensions. My own personal choice, just like I don’t wear ivory or diamonds. I don’t believe in “conflict-free” diamonds or ivory, so I don’t bother with any of them.

    I don’t think we need to focus on whether or not women love themselves because they add hair. This isn’t about race either because women of all races wear weaves. The issues here are certainly economic (we still have zero control or reasonable stake over and in an industry WE make flourish) and ethical (see my point above).

    Will it change? No. Can and should we take individual measures to not contribute to the issue? Sure. Are we going to? No. The Black female aesthetic is still one of the most politicized and despised things in the world. We’re simply not up to the task of challenging the status quo. The hurt and rejection when we do runs too deep for most.

    Peace,
    FJ

  • titilayo

    @Ranu, well there you go! Ethical questions asked and answered! Thanks for doing the research, thus saving us from hypothetical speculation, and thanks also for the reminder about the dangers of projecting our values onto other cultures.

  • Mae

    @Titi: I think I can agree with your larger point that these women should be informed that their locks are likely to be sold. It will give them the option to opt out of having their hair sold. It raises another ethical dilemma, is the temple obligated to shave off their hair if they opt out of having their hair sold? I think understanding this requires a better understanding of the Hindu religion and the role of the temple. I don’t think viewing this from a western and/or Christian perspective is valid.

    I hope someone with a greater understanding of Hinduism and the role of the temple can chime in soon. Maybe the sister that wrote a comment in the other ‘weave story’ thread.

  • Mae

    Thanks Ranu. That was very informative. I find it a little condescending that we looked at this from solely a western and/or Christian angle. It also reaffirms my reasoning for not watching Chris Rock’s Good Hair. I like the man as a comedian, I just never got the impression the piece was in anyway substantive.

  • http://www.pnkwire.blogspot.com cdh

    Actually, In addition to the hair tat is sacrificed at the temples. Much of the Indian hair is in fact “chopped off in the night, by theives”…or in the movie theater while watching a movie, or anywhere a thief can get their hands on some hair. And yes, the stolen hair is placed on the Black market, much like organs, drugs etc. Not to mention the countless beauty supply store owners who have lost their lives recently due to people robbing their stores ONLY to get thousands worth of remy hair and do what with it? Sell it bootleg on the streets.

    it was just an informative article. Let’s not write if off as “shallow” or try to justify it just because you wear a weave. Wear your weave, by all means. Just know where it comes from.

  • Mae

    I believe you are exaggerating. It was one comment that was out of line and s/he was told off pretty quickly. Otherwise, the comments have been pretty great; people disagreeing or agreeing politely. I wish more stories brought out these types of comments.

  • adiatc

    Thank you, Mimi for mentioning those who wear hair extentions due to medical issues. I, too have alopecia which caused me to loose the majority of my hair. Having the option of wearing extensions allow me to go to work (facing business clients) and overall not having to explain my condition to every single person that I come in contact with.

    Hair replacement surgeries cost thousands of dollars, can be painful and are not guaranteed to work. So, getting extentions or wearing a wig are the only options for me and lot of other people with similar medical conditions.

    I will definitely try to be more concerned about where the hair is coming from, however. But this all out war against weave and otherwise ‘not natural hair’ is nausiating. Not everyone has the choice of ‘going natural’ and not wearing a weave or wig.

    Just saying….

  • Pseudonym

    Very well put!

    Shaving one’s head for religious reasons was practiced in India waaaaay before Remy was invented. The only disheartening thing is that, given the dire poverty that exists in India and the large amount of money that people pay for the hair, the financial benefits do not seem to be handed to the people. Women don’t have to be paid directly for the hair, but the temple could hold dinners, give out food, provide clothing to the poor, etc. since they’ve found a way to capitalize on this practice.

    I wouldn’t call the practice unethical, but it is quite selfish if these temples aren’t using these monies to give back to the community.

  • http://twitter.com/WithLoveMsIman Bonita Applebaum

    Self hate? Just because you wear a weave? No not at all. Self hate it true augmentation to the body such as breast implants. Yes we make it seem like weave is a true negative in the community but whats truly wrong with it? As a young lady said earlier Indian Remy.Let the women where their other weave in peace. We should worry about other topics in our community. If you want women to be so natural we have to be understanding of the black girl who cant a grow hair down to their ankles. All the teasing of the 2 second pony tails has to stop! Telling girls their baldheaded has to stop.

  • Beautiful Mike

    If I have worn any type of weave it’s always been in the form of a wig or braid extensions made from synethic fibers.

    This practice is especially unneccessary given the advantment the Japenese have made in the the production and variety of synethic hair fiber. You can now purchase synethic hair with all the properties and qualities of human hair.

    I agree with JustMe, it’s no exaggeration. It’s like donating can food towards a food drive organization, and they turn around and sell it for profit without your knowledge. Or, offering a confession to the Roman Catholic church and ther priest exploits your confession to make money, or for other personal gain, without your knowledge.

    It’s corrupt. And it’s especially bad that these people, mostly, seem to be living in poverty. They should have some say so in whether or not they even want their hair sold. And if sold, they should be compensated.

    Comparing this to the Colonial, or anytype of slavery, trafficking and exploitation is appropriated. A human’s belongings, their hair, their body, is being profited from by someone else where they have no say so, and are not being compensated.

  • FineLine

    This is an opinion piece written by a western person with western views. As the author said, these women are willing participants. They do this of their own free will and there are many women in India who do not participate. The act of the sacrificing their hair is part of their religion and their culture. Demand for hair weaves did not start this practice. This is a tradition that has been happening long before the modern usage of hair weaves.

    There is some sort of corruption everywhere, but can you say that they would want their houses of worship to profit in some way for the donation? I’m not against anyone receiving money for their hair but it seems to be that it might defeat the point of the offering. Instead of a sacrifice to their god, it becomes a business transaction of selling their hair. Many of these women many not know what becomes of their hair, but are you sure that would change their decision on how the practice their religious customs? After being told of all the fact of the situation, do these thousands of women believe they are being exploited? Has anyone actually asked?

    Exploitation is a very strong word and who are you to vilify their beliefs because they are different than what you believe should happen? Did anyone ask this young girl or her family if they were ok with what would be done with this footage? Did anyone ask her for sign-off on how she would be portrayed, as if some sort of victim? It is much more likely that the PHOTOGRAPHER that TOOK the picture and NOW OWNS it was asked permission for it to be used. Sound a little familiar.

    The only person I see clearly being exploited would be the child in the opening photo, who most likely did not approve for her image to be used to emotionally manipulate readers and skew a point.

  • http://parisianfeline.wordpress.com Tatiana

    This is really interesting.

    I agree with a lot of the comments illustrating how this practice is both unethical and yet out of touch with our reality as Americans. As someone who has never worn a weave, and currently has locs – I can’t say I’m emotionally motivated to demand women stop wearing ill-gotten hair extensions.

    The price of beauty is a high one. I’m sure hair isn’t the only realm of the beauty industry where indigenous people are overlooked in favor of higher profit margins. Think of your shampoo, all those plant extracts – do they think scientists took them ethically? Do you think the places where those ingredients came from are seeing the monies from that? I highly doubt it.

    The issues presented in this article are just a glimpse into what is happening in regards to probably everything we consume as Americans. Sneakers and jeans made in sweat shops by underpaid child workers. Coffee beans that aren’t part of any fair trade agreement.

    Living in a consumerist world, it’s important to be aware of the choices we make; not just in regards to things like food, but beauty products as well.

  • Culturally Aware

    Well said!

  • http://www.deeplyrootedbeauty.com Carmen

    I think there is a much bigger point to be made and it’s one that neither this article addresses nor the movie, “Good Hair”. These women sacrifice their hair for their own beliefs, I suppose what happens with the hair and any ensuing profit is between these women and the temples to which they donate their hair.

    My question, is why do Black women cling to weave so vigorously? Why are we so defensive when issues about weave are raised? The reason is because we lack the knowledge to care for our own hair and so no we spend money to have hair that we think is better.

    It’s not better…. I know women who will spend hundreds of dollars at one time on weave but won’t spend 50.00 to properly care for the hair that grows out of their heads. Yes, weave a may be a quick temporary fix, but at the end of the day aren’t you time and resurces better spent on treating your own hair well.

    Why is tha we know all of the different brands, types, and variations of weave, but lack that same knowledge of our own hair.

    Don’t stop wearing weave to save the women of India, stop wearing it to save your own hair and hair line. In less than a year and a half, I went from thinning, breaking, shoulder length hair to waist length hair…all because I focused on making my hair healthy, with the right products and te proper education on how to care for my own hair.

  • JC

    I second that

  • TooNice

    Black women and their weaves will start a war lawd…the comments are like the good or bad hair scene in School Daze…I’ve given up on the ‘go natural’ campaign. Once you cross over I will congratulate you and bring warm welcomes but the fact is you just can’t win the weave fight…all I do is swing my long locs from side to side…never afraid of a lil water, humidity, none of that…just carefree and natural aww the life…did the perm burn you again boo boo?? awwww…some of yall are really mad lol…

  • TooNice

    “My question, is why do Black women cling to weave so vigorously?”

    Word! It’s like any other addiction…change is not easy. Breaking a cycle is extremely difficult. I am the first woman in my fairly large family to ‘Go natural’ and I now have 2 cousins who have started growing locs and I am overjoyed. My mom and sister will scoff at the idea like I’m crazy. Its a sickness…if the push back wasn’t so aggressive then maybe I wouldn’t refer to it as a addiction to the assimilation to beauty that is not Black…however on a space like this and in my own family where its looked upon with such an aghast reaction…like those intervention scenes when somebody gotta go to rehab jeez…

  • Trina

    Why does this blog continually post articles about weave? Slow news day?? If you wear your hair natural, kudos to you. I really could care less b/c the majority of you are on some self righteous “I am not my hair” crusade & you really need to jump off without a life jacket. Its annoying as hell. I have shoulder length hair & I still wear a weave. Let this topic go!!!! Its played out smh.

  • Lia

    Cause they can. And it’s not all the time.

  • trace21

    totally agree,

  • Lucy

    Amen Carmen!

  • http://sweetilocks.blogspot.com Sweetilocks

    @Le Chele, I think we’ve all consumed enough ignorance to even bother clicking that link. And please don’t understand me, this is no diss. I agree with your comment. I think this is a great article. And I thank the writer for giving it so much thought. People need to really think about their actions and what it says about them. Especially once you’ve found out the source of all this hair. Taking anyone’s sacrifices for the purpose of vanity is pretty sad.

  • Mae

    I agree with you Trina. I have been natural for some time now, but there are some self-righteous, self-aggrandizing women in the natural hair community. It is often so disappointing to see. I am all for leaving people to do whatever is best for them. Natural hair works best for me and my lifestyle, maybe extensions does the same for others. I have a friend that uses extensions because she has alopecia. Everyone’s story is different. I just wish some people will stop projecting their issues onto every other person that shares their skin-tone range.

  • Shane

    Great article only why are black women being targeted when women of all race, creeds, and nationalities wear weaves. I’m sure if all the celebrities black, white, latino alike worked toward ethical fair trades things would change. Let’s not put a skin color on this issue.

  • Jazz

    I’m not a weave wearer, and I totally understand this concern. And I do believe black women have to be responsible consumers for whatever they buy. What is unbelievable to me though, is that bw are once again targeted as the “bad guy” when the biggest consumers of weaves made of human hair in America and Europe are actually white/non-bw (ask Britney, Christina A, Gwen Stefani, Kim K, Paris Hilton and so on), they are the biggest consumers not only because they’re the majority of the population, but also because they’re the majority of the “well-paid” demographic (human hair on a regular basis is expensive). Europe also exploits poor russian women for hair. The majority of bw who wear weaves wear synthetic weaves. Nobody ever says anything to the real majority of consumers of human hair it seems, that’s the same pattern I see : the focus is always on bw. My thing is, if we’re gonna blame let’s blame everyone, not just THE SAME tiny fraction of the problem.

  • Shane

    And side note a lot of ignorant comments on this feed whether wear your hair natural or permed we as a whole are being judged as a whole and you will always be divided to the world because you constantly bring each other down with your ignorance. Let’s get off that mess and start to clean up our communities.

  • Shane

    Clap clap Jazz so true! But again, ignorant people want to rant on team natural vs team weave/perm. That’ll get you no where and this is totally not what that articles intentions were.

  • Jazz

    PS : To be exact the vast majority of consumers are white people. Then other non-bw. I put the other non-bw as an entire cause bw are always singled out. It goes in that order : white, non-black, black. Let’s blame it on everyone, not just black women.

  • *lb*rollingstone

    I’ve got nothing but applause for this comment. Very good points. I also am partial to the thought that these Indian women are really receiving little if any financial assistance from their hair that they sacrifice. I don’t think they would appreciate people receiving excelling profits from a humble offering to their god. I wonder what would happen if they stopped doing these rituals? What would become of the Indian weave industry?

  • girlplease

    how about you sit your a** down Simone..
    how about your clothes… where were they made…?do you feel bad that they were made in a sweat shop in a 3rd world country?
    how about that cellphone you use..does it bother you that some kid in africa had to get the minerals for it while never getting paid for ?
    how about your beauty products does it bother you animals were harmed in making them?
    if you want to start throwing rocks,make sure your hands are clean.

  • hmmm

    some body sacificing their hair willing is a small thing nothing compared to bigger unethical issues like… if we want to talk about the ethical view of a black woman buying indian hair then we have to address other things like global warming, perpetual war, toxic waste, child labor, torture, genocide, which to americans is a a small price to pay for our SUVs and our flat screen TVs, our blood diamonds, our designer jeans, and some absurd garish mansions..
    everyone wants to talk about some weave but no one wants to talk about their sweat shop clothes, shopping at walmart where they have their own sweatshops and exploit illegal immigrates, and other such thing.. this country was made on blood, and if you think your so holy than thou because you don’t use weave, look around you…almost our everyday existence is unethical to some worker in a 2nd/3rd world country…
    and i bet no one wants give up their possessions to stop that.

  • Chica

    Um I’m tired of people saying weaves are so unhealthy for black hair…or that they’re an addiction. I press my hair, occasionally wear it natural. I’ve never had a perm. When I braid my hair up and sew in a weave for 3 months or so for the summer (cuz my own hair just feels hot and annoying in the southern heat), my hair grows a good 3-6 inches.

  • Chica

    the previous post was meant to be a reply to jazz

  • minna k.

    @ Girlplease, actually all of your points are valid. Where does everything come from? Is everything ethical? No! So many of our every day items are vastly unethical. Its also telling of how our entire economy is supported.

    Check out thestoryofstuff.org

    Maybe this will interest you. Maybe if we know what we are buying into we can make more mindful choices.

  • CandiceD

    I always wondered “who’s hair am I wearing” when I use to wear a weave. I am now going on 3 years natural (and so LOVIN it). When i saw Good Hair I was completely shocked at how the hair was collected. It was blasphemous and sad to see such small children as well as women who truly believed they were honoring their God. If this was happening in a Christian Nation, would it be so tolerated?

    Having said that, it would be great if they could profit from this, but then their religious leaders would look bad, faith would disintegrate…and unfortunately money makes the world go round, religion is BIG business.

  • minna k.

    Good point! But then do we just simply throw our hand up because everything is already so messed up, we may as well go on living the life as usual, because we see ourselves as having no power or influence?

  • Truth

    I think you missed the point of the article. I don’t believe the author’s perspective as a Westerner skews her opinion at all. This is a moral question. I didn’t get that she was disrespecting their religious practices at all; quite the opposite in fact. I think she spoke of it to prove the point that these women/children’s religious choice to sacrifice their hair is being used for profit; that’s exploitive. It doesn’t matter where how or when the practice began, something else was being done with all that hair before it was in vogue for women to start paying top dollar to get it sewn into their heads. An above poster likened it to confessing to a priest and having said priest turn around and write a tell-all about your confessions. That’s exactly what it is. These women are having their hair removed by who they believe are religious clerics for religious reasons. I highly doubt that most of them know that their hair is being sold for profit, none of which they see. I’m well aware of the immense poverty of the area, so I’m not saying that all women there wouldn’t want to sell it for profit. But that choice hasn’t been made available to them, it was made FOR them. Making money off of a person’s religious devotion is beyond foul; doesn’t matter how you try to rationalize it.

  • hmmm

    i dont know because now its kind of an inevitable the way things are made for america its almost impossible :-( …unless we stop consuming now..and only buy food..but even then some poor mexican worker is being exploit to work 10 hours a day in a hot field for hardly any money

  • Jazz

    I never mentioned the word “addiction” in my posts.

    Also, there’s a poster named “Jaz” and we’re not the same people :)

    I don’t think she mentioned what you’re talking about either.

  • Ams

    Just to add another slant to this, the hair extensions that Europeans wear is Russian hair that tends to be collected from prisoners and mental health patients. I am not trying to practice cognitive dissonance here; if something is unethical it is unethical. But, why is this issue of ethics being laid at the feet of Black women only – when the issue of extension ethics is pervasive in the hair industry as a whole?

    But, if someone chooses to wear weaves that is their deal – and in the greater scheme of things most of us are living lives that are based on the exploitation of others. Cell/Mobile phones used conflict minerals that help to fuel the civil war in the Congo, unethical food trading is driving up prices of basic food staples in the so called ‘third world’, and leading to civil unrest.

    Last week, Black women were responsible for driving black women away because of having weave ons? And this week we are responsible for unethical treatment of Indian children? *smacks head* I am not saying we don’t have to own our responsibility, but why are Black women always seen as through the perspective of a problem? Just saying…

  • Ams

    Driving black men away not black women… *smacks forehead*

  • Lisa

    Because this is a Qebsite for Blak women? Why wouldn’t they talk about Black people? Would you rather Clutch talk about white, Asian or Latina women all day?

    I guess common sense ain’t so common.

  • http://girllnexxdoor.blogspot.com Theresa C.

    Complete cosign! Couldn’t have said it any better. As if we’re to blame for any and everything. As if for the not-so-nice things in this, we’re to be held responsible for.

  • amanda

    To Theresa C. I agree that we get blamed for everything but as far as the weaves go, we may not make these women and girls cut their hair off but we don’t have to perpetuate it. We actually buy other peoples hair and sew it onto our heads. That has always seemed a little nuts. We have perfectly good hair growing out of our heads, why can’t we love and maintain that. We are an example to our young men and women and when they see us covering up what we already have for something else, what must they think.

  • Rhuebekah

    You missed the point. It is unethical b/c they are being mislead. If one of us wanted to donate our hair to victims of cancer and it was bagged up and sold for profit….. That would make any of us angry. Why shouldn’t they be treated with the same respect and why aren’t they given full consent on the real reason they should donate their hair. Oh, and the lame comment about every race of women wears wigs and extensions… Okay but which race of women consistently try to change their own texture and try to hide their beauty. I could see if we were all wearing afro or curly weaves and wigs but um… they aren’t!

  • Ams

    Nothing wrong with the hair on our heads at all… and because of this perception of good hair I know too many people who think that weaves or relaxed hair are de rigeur. My issues are the following:

    a) The sources of most human hair including indian temple hair is dubious, so I don’t see why black women are always catching flack for this.

    b) True we don’t have to perpetuate it – but I tell you it would take the jaws of life to separate many from a bag of Remy. It is up to those buying to decide their own ethics, nothing stopping them from donating to an NGO or Kiva if they wish to give Indian women the tools to emancipate themselves from having to sell their hair.

    c) I have played the weave game vs natural hair and for all the guys crowing about girls with weaves having more tracks than a remix; They are always wigmatized! So, if men would stop the Pavlov dog style reaction to silky hair and could appreciate natural beauty. Less sisters would be getting wiggy with it, on the a leading NFL player stepped out holding hands with a woman with a billowing Afro or Dreads, you would see the seismic shift.

  • http://twitter.com/modelingnshit flyy

    @ Truth…

    “I highly doubt that most of them know that their hair is being sold for profit, none of which they see.”

    See what you missed is the point of an offering… how is it an offering if they are receiving an income? Their religious practice would continue whether or not the hair was being sold or burned. Furthermore, the article mentioned that the temple does receive an income from the transaction. In most communities, the temples take care of the ill or the widowed and the community of parishoners in general. I don’t think it would be far fetched to say that the women/children who are donating their locks are eventually receiving an in-kind donation to their home(s). Secondly, there are hair farms in Asia. I’ve seen one in Korea… the option (not that it is readily availabe in India in this case b/c I don’t know) to sell is available to some.

  • Natalie

    1. I see Black women can’t do anything unless Clutch Magazine says it’s okay.

    2. And did the author of this article even get an opinion from at least one Indian women? Especially one that’s sacrificed her hair? If the argument is that it’s unethical to wear this “temple” hair because these Indian women are not informed of the price we pay for it, then I think we actually need to hear their opinion. From my discussion with some Indian women, they know that it’s sold but what happens to the hair after they sacrifice it is of no concern because their payment is more spiritually rewarding than money. But I mean, that could be just the opinion of a select few, but it doesn’t hurt for this article to include at least one.

    3. Okay if we’re talking about people in other countries not being fairly compensated for the “natural goods” or services they provide, maybe you should include The Gap, Inc. in this article. What about the jewelers you buy your diamond rings and necklaces from? Or maybe we should stop using cell phones; the components of which are harvested in central Africa and perpetuate the ongoing, horrific, genocidal wars occurring there.

    It’s so easy to pick a battle with your fellow Black women because she wears her hair in a style that you don’t choose for yourself. And it’s also very catty. Every week there is an article on weave and it goes nowhere. We’re not even the only women who wear weave. And not even all weave-ers wear hair from India.

    Please let us try addressing the real issues that surround Black women and stop the finger-pointing within our social group.

    IT’S JUST HAIR! Get over it!

  • Sosick

    Well put. The idea that selling the hair is unethical is ridiculous. This is a capitalist, American point of view.

    First, I am starting to really get tired of all the weave articles. Give it a rest.

    Also, why is it that cutting Indian women’s hair is so horrible? Was anyone shedding tears for all the American women who shaved half their heads to look like Cassie? (Besides me. I cried because if I see another chick with that played hairdo, I will scream) :)

  • African Mami

    Laaaaaaaaaaaaaawd have mercy weave ethics?????????????????????????!!!!!

    I do not care! Nobody is holding a gun to their heads and forcing them to donate to the hairless.

  • amanda

    You’re right! It would take the jaws of life to separate my sisters from their weaves. I agree with all of your points. It just makes me kinda sad when the absence of a weave ruins a woman’s life. My sister would not leave the house once because she couldn’t find her wig. Her real hair look absolutely fine and she had plans. I just believe that some women depend entirely too much on weaves. They say that it is just for fun or allows for more diversity in hairstyling but that makes me wonder why they always pull it back into a pony tail or just let it hang. What is diverse about that.

    If you are afraid to leave the house without one, you have serious issues with your real hair.

  • AJ

    I’m so happy someone brought up the mineral used in cell phones.
    WHat about children with their hands chopped off because of a diamond you have on your hand. The issues of the world are endless.
    To be truthful, I wear my hair natural and I could care less about somebody perming/weaving their hair. If you wear a weave, let it be banging…cause I will talk about you.

  • Tiffany W.

    The issue is that this article is intended to shame black women into feeling bad about the weaves that they wear, when they are not the only people in this world that are blameworthy. I understand the argument the author is trying to make, but placing sole blame on black women isn’t helpful at all. Kinda like how rappers were blamed for wearing blood diamonds, when your top 5% wealthiest people most likely partook in the same practice.

  • sli

    Thank you, Lisa!

  • Jazz

    “Just to add another slant to this, the hair extensions that Europeans wear is Russian”

    Exactly, not only that but BOTH Russian and Indian hair!! They are the BIGGEST consumers of human hair. But blame it on the black women.

  • alwayshere

    if this is an ritual then the women were going to get there hair shaved off anyway. if their hair is going to be shaved anyway, why does it matter where the hair is going? now i agree it is unethical to the women who are cutting off their hair and selling it for money due to financial status.

  • Chica

    Sorry about that! I meant Carmen. Guess I wasn’t fully awake this morning :)

  • NikD

    Usually these temples provide the very services you speak of. I was watching something on Discovery channel one night and saw that the temple workers give out thousands of free meals a day to the poor. The charity is a part of the life of a monk (if that’s what they’re referred to, I admit I am ignorant on the proper name).

    Nobody is holding these women down and shaving them in the street. This is a personal choice they made. I agree that with the poverty in these regions it would be great if they could see a more direct benefit from the hair but, as I said before, that goes against the entire reason they shaved it off to begin with.

    The picture at the top is very misleading. The little girl crying like that makes it look like she’s in pain and/or being forced to do something against her will. Yes, her mother made that decision for her but it’s no different than American blacks taking their kids to the hair salon or getting their ears pierced; they don’t like it but they do it because they’re parents said so.

  • WeaveWonders

    In India, cutting off or sacrificing your hair in Hinduism is considered as letting go of your ego in front of the spiritual power called God. If you are Hindu, then you’d clearly think those weave & wig, false eyelash, clip-on bang and pony-tails that appear on heads and faces around the world are acts of the devil and you’d NOT want to be paid for contributing to that. HOWEVER, if you are NOT Hindu, and you like the way you look and feel are good with your God, the Universe or whatever you believe in, wearing weave or dreads, who are we to judge another based on their hair? There are a LOT of egos on this page, that’s for sure!

  • Demeka

    I honestly don’t understand the bigg deal plus all sorts of women wear weaves I know white women who do it as well, i don’t like wearing wigs but so what it may make others more confident with themselves by wearing them

  • http://twitter.com/tkny45 Tonya K

    You know I’m just not into weave and truly don’t see the fascination with it because they look just like that a weave/wig on the head. Don’t hate me …. just my opinion. I think everyone would be more attractive without the poor little indian girls hair on their head. Just take care of what you have… it’s way cheaper and you’ll look classier. Instead of spending so much $$$ on weaves/wigs and end up looking cheap… My Opinion.

  • Laina

    Don’t take this in the wrong way but there is enough wealth in the Indian American community in the United States to address the poverty they left behind. Why is that our issue? Should we buy fair trade hair? No, because we should stop wearing hair that belonged to someone else. We should stop making other people rich off issues we have with out hair. Because no matter what you think weaves are really not attractive because fake is not attractive and the hair type often does not fit our facial structure. Because many people don’t have the money to properly care for weaves and so it ends up looking like something other than hair.

  • @SugarKovalczyk

    Uh wrong Jaz. All 100% human weave hair is from India. Remy is just the way its processed.

  • Lvflg

    excellent points Carmen – and very well articulated. I might add that some women of color are sooooooo full of self-hate vis-a-vis hair because they have bought into what the media tells them is acceptable. Sad. But true. Especially sad for young women.

  • justsaying_it

    I don’t wear weave, and I loved “Good Hair,” but it seems like society is using tactics to get black women to stop wearing hair. It is weird because women of all races wear this hair. I am starting to notice more black women going natural, and I wonder if it’s because of the the bullying society does like: making fun of them(you know cracking jokes about weave) that all races seem to do to black women. It’s not black women’s fault those idiotic men in India are getting over on their own people.

    I don’t see nothing wring with a woman wearing weave. I am not one of those natural headed women that bashes women for not being so.

  • justsaying_it

    “Wrong” I meant, not wring.

  • Martha

    Well Tonya, some of us have hair issues that require us to wear weaves. Being that you don’t have thinning hair or bald spots you have no idea how it makes a woman, who wants to be beautiful, feel. Believe me if I could go with out them I would but I can’t wear head wraps all the time so some of us really need them.

  • Rikokiko

    I agree @justsaying. I’ve noticed a lot of shaming going on by outside communities on Black Hair. For example, one of my closest friends and her mother (white) continue to rag on me for wearing a lace front wig, not knowing that I wear it as a protective style. They tell me to go natural, cut off all my hair, don’t be ashamed. And I’m always like WTF? Boo, until you and your moms stop COLORING AND STRAIGHTENING your hair (they have super curly hair) and decide to cut your hair to an inch, don’t come hollering at me

  • http://none Kit

    If weaves or access to weaves didn’t exist what would weave wearers do?!

    I ask myself the same kind of questions about all kinds of things: like what if all supermarkets shut down and we couldn’t buy feminine hygiene products… we’d all have to go back to the wash and reuse rags! It’s always worth being prepared and knowing what you’d do if something you rely on (which is not a necessity like food or water) was no longer readily accessible.

    I wonder if we all knew when judgement day was coming whether there would be a section of women running to their nearest salon to get their hair done?!

  • Brandy

    I’m anti-weave. It’s unethical both here and there. We need to claim and accept our beauty, as is and stop falling into traps. As far as what’s going on over there, and coming over here, it’s shameful. Chemicals and weave glue is what causes most baldness, anyway. Unless you have cancer and are transitioning, be yourself. It’s more ethical and much cheaper.

  • Lvflg

    thank-you Brandy. I agree!

  • seriously?

    You know, I think it’s funny that people think weave is just a “black woman” thing. I don’t wear weave personally, but who cares what someone has on their head, it’s their choice!

    And beyond that, I have a white friend that got fusion extensions to make her hair longer. People who didn’t know her didn’t assume her length wasn’t real.

    Weave/extensions aren’t just a black thing. All those celebrities you see on T.V, on magazines, at the grammys, EXTENSIONS!

    So until society starts calling out non-blacks for their fake hair, ladies, keep rockin what you want. Whether it’s natural or not.

  • Lvflg

    Well it is interesting that so much money is spent to achieve this “ideal” hair look. Question: who set these standards and WHY do we seem to adhere to all of them? Some of us defend them to the death!

  • shama

    If the women make a profit from selling their hair it will no longer be sacrificial. It is a form of their worship.

  • Lvflg

    shama: I agreed with you.

  • goodmoning

    so sick of black people telling me how i should follow these invisible rules when no body else does. i’m sick of everything is the black woman’s fault. a small minority of black women buy indian remy hair and all of sudden black women are responisble for the whole thing when white women are the ones who buy it out the most overwhelmingly. like the whole abortion issue, some black church that says we abort the most babies when the damn statistic says white women abort babies double then blacks and hispanic women.everything is a-okay until somebody black does it and hten we have to “check ourselves” and follow rules. well i dont care about the hair issue, i dont buy inidian remy hair but if i did i wouldn’t give a damn unless women are being actually hurt and not willingly giving it. but then again that didnt stop me or us from wearing these sweat shop made in china clothes, shopping at walmart that abuses illegal immigrants,blood diamonds,phone minerals,electronics or whatever else *blood* merchandise that hurts alot more than donating your hair to some hindi temple.

  • Disturbedgato

    wear a wig like wat pepl used to wear before the industry came in with using Indian hair.

  • Disturbedgato

    wish more women wud think like u. Just be urself and be pround of ur physical features. even a lot of children with progeria are happy and love them selves and couldn’t care less wat the rest of the world thinks of them. Live life and be you. Pepl are too concerned with outward phyical appearance and vanity, and funny enough vanity is just one of the things that the indian ladies are giving up wen they willingly cut their hair. I’m always looking at it in terms that pepl of other races or more Caucasian type of hair is more praised, while we usually look down on our own hair or skin and try to cover it up in some way, or rather we were more pressured to seekin other alternatives other than having our own natural textured hair. Just love u and take care of you as best as possible. What u do to urself is really ur business at the end of the day, just wish that others weren’t affected or influenced by it in any way shape or form.

  • crystalr

    goodmoning and Disturbedgato, you have good points.

    People should just love themselves AND there are other social/economic issues with different products that affect our society and the globe.

    Its so hard for some people to accept themselves and it is easy to see why if you just dig a little deeper and look at all the sources of the problem: advertisements that say buy this to look like Beyonce, cultural values that forced black people to hate dark skin and more African like features, and racism and oppression that destroyed the sense of self in general.

  • kali

    I know I’m super late but……The question is if people (black, white, hispanic, male or female) buying hair which is cut from the heads of these Indian women, knowing whats its being used for or not, should have fair trade laws like other exports?
    YES.
    What is the difference between sweatshop workers in china and Indian hair?
    Thanks.

  • Quietly

    Thank u Ams! Very well said. Based on this logic anyone responding to this post on a smartphone, or computer even is supporting unethical practices. The food we eat, the clothes we wear. I just started wearing weaves periodically a few years ago, and have been natural going on 12 years. Frankly, I do love myself even with fake hair. I wear synthetic by the way. However, I think the topic is interesting, and believe most of the blame falls on the temples and priests. Many consumers are victims in their own right.

    I don’t know many people who would turn down a free iPhone or iPad but they are made by people who work in horrendous conditions. Bottom line this world is beautiful yet f’ed up in many ways. It’s really hard to escape some “evils” even in the name of vanity or convenience.

    And no Black women are not to blame. No more than any other group.

  • Quietly

    Very well said Natalie! Even before I started wearing weaves (every so often) I was never so concerned with what someone else did with their hair. Nowadays I see dissertations written about weave! Like really? Lol

    There’s nothing wrong with discussing it but there’s so much bashing it’s ridiculous. I actually have in a weave right now. It’s synthetic so hopefully nothing was sacrificed. I love myself. I love my hair. Matter of fact my hair is longer and thicker than the weave but I wanted a bob without cutting or straightening my hair.

    People are way too concerned about others (for the wrong reasons). This rant is not intended for the author, some valid points were made. But let’s not get too crazy, most of us are directly or indirectly involved in an unethical mechanism. The thing is most people are so concerned with others to notice their issues.

  • Quietly

    Girl you need your own blog! Good stuff. Great point about men, they trip me out with that lol

  • Quietly

    Because your hair is banging daily, right?

  • thomas

    I think that the three main issues people have with this type of weave is that: one, the person doesn’t know where their hair is going, two they are not getting money from it and priests profit and three people think they are manipulated into it.

    Women in India have been donating hair to temples for years. By giving money to the temple it is defeating the purpose of a sacrifice. It used to be burnt and destroyed. Now it can be sold to bring money to the temple, which provides services to the poor and healthcare/spiritual services. We in NA donate money to churches (don’t ask for interest) for much the same purpose—why do you think that a woman would want to use her sacrifice for good?

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