The word “weave” elicits eye rolls and furrowed brows from most people of color. But the reality is weave wearers enjoy a plethora of benefits that make it hard to walk away from hair extensions.

For one, there’s the versatility weave provides. Studies have proved that women love switching up their hair and weave offers a viable way to try a haircut, a color, and even a new texture without committing long term.

There’s also the convenience of doing minimal upkeep, when compared to the time and effort it takes to maintain actual hair. And for the record, I am well aware that not all weaves are created equal and many women have yet to perfect the art of blending. But for those that do, weave is a favorable alternative to hours spent styling hair in the bathroom or sitting in a salon.

Furthermore, when my hair’s not at its healthiest, I can slap in a weave and in less than two hours, my “hair” is more shiny, luscious, and full than it’s ever been. In fact, the more damaged my hair becomes, the more I rely on weave. Extensions are an easy way out of a hair emergency. Instead of struggling to tame strands compromised by heat or chemicals, I can braid my hair up and sew in a beautiful weave. Crisis averted.

For 11 years, I relished all the benefits of wearing weave. And then I got tired of it. I wanted to be able to feel the wind blow through my own hair. I wanted to massage my scalp with my fingertips and not feel tracks. I wanted to say proudly, “it’s all mine” when someone inquired if my gorgeous head of hair actually grew from my scalp. And most importantly, I wanted to keep in my (dwindling) bank account the $400 it costs for a sew-in every three months.

Thus, I swore off fake hair. A year and six months have passed and I’m itching to give up and sew in some tracks. I’ve struggled over why I feel this way. Yes, weave is easier to maintain. And yes, it has a way of appearing perfect. (Anyone who does their hair daily knows, there’s always a strand or a curl that just doesn’t want to behave while weave pretty much bends, curls, and twists at your command.)

But is it deeper than that? Do I not feel beautiful without 16 to 18 inches of Brazilian wavy or kinky curly flowing from my head?

The truth is, like any addiction, the battle is mostly psychological. Weaves and wigs have become a security blanket for many women, some of whom haven’t seen their real hair in years. We become addicted to the fantasy and convenience of it all, which our real hair will never live up to.

As I reach my personal two-year mark, I am renewing my commitment to deal with my real hair, on its good and bad days, no matter how strenuous the upkeep or how unpolished it looks. I want to feel comfortable in my own skin, and that includes the hair that grows out of my head. And I will make it past the beauty supply store without running into buy a relaxer, two packs of human hair, a needle, and thread … I hope.

Clutchettes, what has your experience been with weave or wigs? Have you ever been addicted? Why do you think so many women choose weaves instead of learning to style their real hair? Discuss.


–Jaclyn Marshall

  • Chrissy

    Nope. All weave ever did was make me feel good and attractive in some hair that was made of plastic.It did nothing for my hair but hide and damage it. and so did the dyes I put in it to match. Also the weave glue did something to my scalp and now I have super bad dandruff. So in all reality all weave did was waist my money and damage my scalp and hair all to look a certain way for a certain period of time…how foolish was I…

  • Kensington

    I wore a full sew-in from December ’10 to June ’12. Honestly, I miss it. Prior to adding extensions, I had been natural for some time. I have the adult version of cradle cap, and between that and winter time, it was killing my hair. To protect it, I switched to a weave, and my hair is now healthier than it has been in my 20 something years of living. It’s thick, even, full of body, and gorgeous.

    Recently, I’ve been thinking about going back to weave. I love my hair and being able to wet it and wear my curls, but I miss the versatility. Overall I felt sexier with a few more inches. My own hair is just past my shoulders when pressed out, and I had no more than 12″ which was cut into layers, so it was shorter. For whatever reason, I felt sexier with that little bit of difference. I’m torn because I love my hair, but I can’t add color like I did. I had a few tracks sew-in and had my stylist create natural looking highlights. She did such a good job that I was able to wear them for 6 months with maintenance. I enjoyed wearing curls, updos, and being able to blowdry it straight. On the other side…the wind blows in my hair it falls back into place, and I can properly shampoo my scalp with the medicated treatments. Nonetheless, I miss my weave. The irony? My spouse prefers me without it. In January, I’m going back with a sew-in.

  • Lynaya

    Weave offers versatility without damage to my real hair. I LOVE it! It’s also a protective style so as long as I take care of my own

  • Alexis

    I am struggling right now. I have been wearing wigs and weaves constantly for 2 years now and just recently I realized how dependent I feel. I almost feel naked. I got a fresh relaxer today and my boyfriend is begging me to at least wear my hair for a month. But its hard and I don’t feel like I can do it. I will try because me feeling like this is ridiculous and I am ashamed of it

    • Rebecca

      To Alexis: Your feeling of dependency on a weave is due to the “spirit” entangled in the weave. Some human hair have been sacrificed to foreign Gods, so it is a part of idol worship. If I were you, I’d cry out to God, repent for being ignorant, and get rid of ALL weaves from your home.

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