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[Report] More Black Women Opting for Curly Weaves… Is it a Step Towards Natural Hair?

Avatar • May 3, 2012

Yesterday the Philadelphia Inquirer published and article about the increasing number of black women who are opting for curly, kinky, TEXTURED weaves. Check it out;

This summer, hair weaves are taking a turn for the kinky, the curly and the wavy.

Why is this news?

When black women first started sewing hair onto their scalps during the 1990s en masse, the resulting shoulder-length bobs were as much about achieving a smooth texture as it was about having length. Fabulous hair was defined as long and straight.

However, as more black women have come to terms with their natural curl pattern, store-bought tresses are trending toward the fuzzy rather than the flat-ironed. Robin Givens’ Boomerang straight has given way to Cynthia Bailey’s The Real Housewives of Atlanta wavy.

That’s progress — well kind of.

African American women are giving up their relaxers, but they still want long hair,” said Ellin LaVar of New York City’s LeVar Hair Designs. LeVar is a weaveologist to the stars whose client roster includes Oprah Winfrey and Naomi Campbell. As for their embracing of curls, from a practical standpoint, women are tired of muscling their kinky hair into submission — a requirement for a straight weave to look natural. And natural locks — or the appearance of it — are gaining acceptance.…

They found the bone-straight hair didn’t match their hair texture. This shift in packaged hair from straight to curly is definitely due to the natural hair trend.”

But weave wearers argue their actions aren’t about self-loathing. In fact, the new generation of black professional women, like publicist Carmena Ayo-Davies, insist they love their natural hair. Ayo-Davies doesn’t use a relaxer, but she does have to constantly blow out her hair, especially because she regularly goes to the gym and gets photographed often. By purchasing hair from Richardson, she gives her own hair a break, saving her time from daily dillydallying.

Beckett, who wears her hair past her shoulders, has similar reasons. Her weave curls back up after washing, and looks like her natural hair. But unlike her natural hair, she doesn’t have to consistently subject it to the heat of hair dryers and flatirons. “I can work out and do all the things I do without having to deal with it,” she said. “It’s low-maintenance.”

Click here to read the full article

In the meanwhile we want to know; Do you think this means natural hair is becoming more accepted in black culture? Or is it another way to avoid dealing with one’s natural texture? Share your thoughts in the comment box!

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V
V
8 years ago

I didn’t vote bc I think curly waves are both natural (textured) hair becoming more accepted in black culture and on many cases another way to avoid dealing with one’s natural texture. Some people love the natural look but don’t have the patience (and/ or tenacity to look for the right way) to care for their natural hair. Curly weaves are the best of both worlds. And the fact that more textured looks are becoming popular shows the embrace of textured hair as more mainstream look.

BrooklynCoily
BrooklynCoily
8 years ago

I found the responses for why those two women chose to wear weaves to be passe…seriously! Why is it that having natural hair is a hassle? I get the ‘wearing weaves to give your hair a break’ argument — I get that! But, the rationale of not having to ‘deal’ with your hair during your daily life is just asinine to me. Or the notion of “HAVEING to blow it out” is just as silly. You don’t have to blow it out! Why is ‘dealing’ with your hair a bother? I work out and I do things as part of… Read more »

mangomadness
mangomadness
8 years ago
Reply to  BrooklynCoily

+1

Beth
Beth
8 years ago
Reply to  BrooklynCoily

It is silly, but hey, the positive side is that the current natural hair movement is teaching many women that their natural hair DOESN’T have to be a pain, a hassle, a struggle — at least, not for long. Acceptance will take time. Many of us once would laugh at the thought of embracing our ‘natural’ hair, but we’ve learned through trial, error, & circumstance that natural hair is not only beautiful, but it’s just as manageable as other types of hair — the key is in the learning process. Whenever I hear other women complain about their natural hair,… Read more »

I got sense!
I got sense!
8 years ago
Reply to  BrooklynCoily

Because for some women it is. They don’t have the time, energy and/or desire. The same way many women don’t work out regularly. You obviously care and have issues with how and why women wear THEIR hair. Your post shows this clearly.

merry
merry
8 years ago
Reply to  I got sense!

@i got sense!

it’s a forum so people can post whatever view they want, esp. when a question is asked. in particular, it’s a natural hair forum.

imo, there’s nothing wrong with anyone disliking the same tired rhetoric/excuse black women make about wearing their hair natural.

i don’t get why people get all bent out of shape when people respond to something online. she clearly said, ‘to each her own.’

on a natural hair forum, or probably any hair forum, people pay attention to how people wear their hair. why do you expect anything different?

OMG
OMG
8 years ago
Reply to  merry

Umm, okay. I don’t really understand the majority of your post. I never said anything about others shouldn’t post what they think or how they feel. No duh, it’s a hair forum. I can read Captain Obvious. What does that have to do with what I said? I posted my thoughts just like everyone else. I never said there was anything wrong with disliking anything. Who is bent out of shape? I don’t know you or anyone else here. When did I say I expected anything different? Really, what the hell are you talking about? @BrooklynCoily asked: Why is it… Read more »

I got sense!
I got sense!
8 years ago
Reply to  OMG

Side note: I have no idea why my screen name changed. o_O

Yah Rly
Yah Rly
8 years ago
Reply to  I got sense!

Thats why I hate these hair forums sometimes. People are so quick to jump on someone just because they have thier own reasons for why they do what they do to thier hair. Its a little unrealistic to think that these women are “just making excuses” for not wanting to deal with thier hair. Are we gonna look down on women who get braids too or is the hate only reserved for weaves?

Yah Rly
Yah Rly
8 years ago
Reply to  Yah Rly

their*** sorry long day 😛

EG
EG
8 years ago
Reply to  merry

Learn to follow your own advice

EG
EG
8 years ago
Reply to  EG

@Merry

Annie L.
Annie L.
8 years ago
Reply to  BrooklynCoily

@BrooklynCoily

I felt the same way. To each their own but using these two women’s mainstream, age-old, go-to excuses as the examples in the article just made me sigh.

Dandelion
8 years ago
Reply to  Annie L.

For many women, hair in general, be it straight, curly, whatever is a hassle. Maybe these women just don’t like doing hair.

Mary
Mary
8 years ago
Reply to  BrooklynCoily

I agree that their responses are a bit weak. To each her own. *shrug* But I think whats really interesting is that she cited getting photographed often as one of the reasons why she uses a weave. Sure we all have bad hair days and I can see you not wanting that saved and shared around the net BUT maybe african american women’s lack of visible bad hair days is half our problem with accepting our hair as is. We have relied on straight styles and frizz free natural looking weave styles so long that society thinks the sudden lack… Read more »

Cacey
Cacey
8 years ago
Reply to  Mary

welll…idk about other people, but i can’t always count on MY hair to look fabulous twenty four seven. in fact, i get only about 1 or 2 good hair days per seven days, and if you have to keep manipulating your hair to make it look good for pictures and photo shoots…i can see how you might find it preferable to wear weave- even if all you do is grab a weave that looks just like your own hair. she might want to preserve her hair and shield it from damage. that’s very plausible.

merry
merry
8 years ago

i really can’t stand weaves, of any kind.

i wish we’d address the ethics and morality of weave-wearing more.

wear your own hair. why ask a woman or girl halfway across the world to shave her head because you can’t or won’t take care of your hair? or because you dislike your hair. or because you can afford to ask her to cut it…

merry
merry
8 years ago

African American women are giving up their relaxers, but they still want long hair,” said Ellin LaVar of New York City’s LeVar Hair Designs. LeVar is a weaveologist to the stars whose client roster includes Oprah Winfrey and Naomi Campbell.

the inference i draw from this is that without a relaxer, a black woman can’t have long hair.

i can’t stand these stylists. i’m sorry. they are not concerned with hair health. she is saying what she needs to say to keep her clients coming back.

Lillian Mae
8 years ago
Reply to  merry

I think her clients want that look to blend or be accepted in with hollywood…she can probably back up that particular statement. Even though many celebrities claim to have natural hair under their weave, we see few of them actually sport it public, magazine, album covers, etc…

Carla
Carla
8 years ago

I wish that articles would stop referring to this movement as the natural hair “trend” because I want to believe and continue to believe that this is more than just a trend!

Beth
Beth
8 years ago
Reply to  Carla

I agree! I think that many beauty companies (and even more so hair stylists) want natural hair to be nothing other than a mere trend — a fleeting venue for profit. It’s gonna be awhile before natural hair is taken seriously.

Sheri
Sheri
8 years ago

Nope, I do not think curly weave wearing is a move towards natural hair. If anything curly weaves are just a trend worn by women who like the look of natural hair but do not want to go all the way raw with it themselves. Once they get their natural hair experience fulfilled they’ll be right back in straight hair; no hard feelings, it just is what it is.

intlgrrl
intlgrrl
8 years ago

I kind of feel there is a little hint of double talk in this article. Like the statement that Ayo-Davies embraces her natural hair, but she has to do constant blow outs because she does to the gym regularly (to me, i would probably wear my hair in its natural state in this case — doesn’t make sense to blow out hair that is only going to be sweated out at the gym), and photographed regularly… what does that mean? what does a blow out hairstyle have to do with either of these activites?

intlgrrl
intlgrrl
8 years ago
Reply to  intlgrrl

PS… I did read the rest of the article, and I did like how the author ended the article :

But honestly, I can’t wait for the day when women — especially African Americans — are comfortable with their curls, no matter how tight or loose.”
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/tumblr_l5odf4qsfE1qbrimro1_1280‑1.jpg[/img]

hyspin
hyspin
8 years ago
Reply to  intlgrrl

love your sketch, it has given me the spark I needed to get over my Artist block.

; )

intlgrrl
intlgrrl
8 years ago
Reply to  hyspin

Thanks, but I can’t take the credit. I wish I did know the artist’s name. a friend of mine email it to me, because he knows I’m always looking for cool art, especially art with black women that have their natural hair.

Mary
Mary
8 years ago
Reply to  intlgrrl

Seriously. The last thing anyone black or white would do before they went and got sweaty exercising is blow their hair out. Hopefully that is a misquote.

Zenith
Zenith
8 years ago

I am looking forward to the day when black women are not automatically associated with wearing hair weaves. Wearing a weave is so common place among black women that currently, any black woman who has a lot of her own REAL hair (hair that is actually growing out of the follicles of her own head, as opposed to having been purchased) is wuestioned about whether she is wearing a weave. I have a problem with that. It is just not normal or pleasant to be associated with something fake.

Eboni
Eboni
8 years ago
Reply to  Zenith

+1

Alisha
8 years ago
Reply to  Zenith

+1

napfrocurlzgirl
8 years ago
Reply to  Zenith

I agree with you. I work at a place that is dominated by black women. Out of about 35 black women, only 4 of us don’t wear weaves and I’m the only natural. If I change up my hair, they touch it, etc. One had the nerve to ask if I was “mixed.” I just don’t get why soooo many women want to walk around looking like Barbie heads…you know, that cheap, shiny looking hair with the unnatural looking hair line. Throw in the 5 inch fake nails and colored contacts.…y’all should see some of the women I work with.… Read more »

Fe
Fe
8 years ago

I think I’m more appalled by the colored contacts than anything else.. now we’re going to work with that mess in our eyes?.…smdh.

Sheri
Sheri
8 years ago
Reply to  Zenith

Thank you! I recently went to a beauty supply store to see what they had on the shelves and (as usual) it was owned by Asians. She asked me “is that your real hair?” referring to my should length locs. “Yes” I replied to her. “Ohhh, it’s so nice that you wear your own hair” She and the gal behind the counter stood there staring at me with their mouths slightly agape as I walked out of the store.Even in dreadlocs folks think we are wearing fake hair!

Fe
Fe
8 years ago
Reply to  Sheri

Asians LOVE our natural hair. They’ve even told me to never wear or put fake hair in mine or my daughters hair.…now ain’t that some sh..?

Natalie
Natalie
8 years ago
Reply to  Sheri

Why are you surprised the majority of products in those stores are aimed at women with relaxed hair and the majority of their profits are from women buying hair — fake or real. A minority of women wear their natural hair so of course they would be surprised when they see a black woman with long natural hair.

Jane
Jane
8 years ago
Reply to  Zenith

Agreed! Reading this article, I kept thinking “great, now I’ll have to answer questions on my natural hair too.”

Cacey
Cacey
8 years ago
Reply to  Zenith

you know what’s sad is when you get weave-checked just for having HEALTHY hair. lol healthy hair is literally such a rarity in my town that people assumed i had a weave. my hair didn’t even appear to be very long in the style i was wearing, it actually had drawn up to only a quarter of its actual length- but because it was full and bouncy and all that jazz, my poor classmate was actually staring at my hair during our exam trying to figure out where the tracks were. it didn’t dawn on her it was mine til… Read more »

Mina
Mina
8 years ago
Reply to  Cacey

LOL She needs to be focused on her exam paper and not trying to mentally weave-check you in the exam!

Tati
Tati
8 years ago
Reply to  Zenith

+1 Excellent point

Mai
Mai
8 years ago

So I didn’t like this article, it was odd and it doesn’t really sound like a lot of women who wear kinky curly weaves are really embracing the texture. That being said, this was the weirdest statement: “They found the bone-straight hair didn’t match their hair texture.” Huh, black people knew their hair wasn’t bone straight since forever, it’s not like we realized it a year ago.

Alisha
8 years ago
Reply to  Mai

Lol, your last sentence is hilarious!

Sophie
Sophie
8 years ago
Reply to  Mai

+1, I was thinking the exact same thing about that “realization” haha

Penelope
Penelope
8 years ago

I don’t understand why natural hair is called “textured” as if other hair types don’t have one…Straight hair still has a texture (ie. smooth). It’s like using “ethnic” to describe anyone who isn’t white…White people still have an ethnicity. But back to the main issue…I voted neither. My friend is looking for a curly wig because she wants it to look natural, but when I asked, “Like black hair?” she said “No, loose curls.” Um…So on the one hand, natural hair texture is slowly getting to be more widely accepted, but on the other hand, it’s still a way to… Read more »

Monica
Monica
8 years ago

I didn’t take it seriously.

When I read the article yesterday, I thought it was simply a fluff piece or advertisement for two of Elizabeth Wellington’s friends.

I’m sure both women is get a boost in sales.

Sophie
Sophie
8 years ago

On the one hand, I think it’s helpful for the “image”, I guess. If more black women wore hair that looked like average black hair, then that would look normal. For the people wearing it, though, I don’t think it’s really any more acceptance than a straight weave because if it *is* their natural texture and they’re not wearing it just to grow it out then they’re just avoiding learning about their hair, and if it’s another texture then they’ve chosen it over their own and that’s not really any extra acceptance even if it’s not “self-loathing”. I also dislike… Read more »

Mary
Mary
8 years ago
Reply to  Sophie

Amen.

Michelle
Michelle
8 years ago

I believe women of color are realizing their true beauty of who they really are. I remember when I wore straight weave and I was addicted to wearing that hair but realize that it isn’t truly me. Most women will realize that the texture fits a non black woman. I believe the media has publicize these non black stars to be the center of what beauty represents. Growing up as a young black female can be damaging to some. It’s good to see that more black women are embracing their culture more and identifying who they are now.

Kailyn
Kailyn
8 years ago

Things is, I tend to hear all these comments about not wanting to deal with natural hair because people work out and/or tired, etc. First, I’m a dance instructor and sweat just about every day of my life. It’s actually been easier being natural than when I was relaxed. Second, I’ve seen just as many videos about styling, creating, and managing weaves and wigs as I’ve seen for natural hair maintenance–somehow I always end up on these vids when looking for hair tips on youtube. I’ve seen styles that naturals do performed on wigs (twist outs, form curlers, flexirod sets,… Read more »

Beth
Beth
8 years ago
Reply to  Kailyn

Every person’s process is different and that has to be respected.”
+1.

Donna
Donna
8 years ago
Reply to  Kailyn

This is not really about the article i just have a question. I am a college student and i am on the basketball team. So i sweat pretty much everyday of the week and the one days that i do not have practice or a game i wash my hair. I have heard that sweat can do a number to your hair. My hair is about arm pit length and I was wondering if i should really wash it after every practice. It usually takes me about 1.5 hours to wash and detangle my hair and i don’t really have… Read more »

Monica
Monica
8 years ago
Reply to  Donna

Have you considered putting your hair in small or medium twists or braids? You can shampoo and deep condition your hair once a week, braid or twist your hair and cowash on the days after practice.

Donna
Donna
8 years ago
Reply to  Monica

Thanks for the suggestion I will try this right away. I usually was my hair on Sundays 🙂

Alecia
8 years ago

I think it’s good to see natural weaves, only because I didn’t forget watching “Good Hair” with Chris Rock and apparently noboby wants to buy afro hair 😉 But, on a serious note, I think afro weaves compared to yaki weaves will need a little more TLC, so why not just wear your own hair.

Gloria
Gloria
8 years ago

I think that it’s nice that kinkier looking hair is becoming more and more accepted. I just have a problem with the way they discussed natural hair in this article. While I understand that

Gloria
Gloria
8 years ago

I think it’s nice that kinkier hair textures are being more widely recognized as beautiful, regardless of whether or not they are natural. However, I have a problem with some of the rhetoric in this article. While I understand that there are many women (of all textures) who simply dislike having to style or care for their hair at all, and so find weaves and wigs to be a nice way to avoid having to style their hair, I think that this article will make people think that kinky hair has a long list of problems. They made it sound… Read more »

v.payne
v.payne
8 years ago

I love my natural hair!!I havent had a relaxer since jan 2011 and I did the BC in December 2011 . My hair is multi-textured and extremely thick. Mostly curly and frizzy all over. My hair is all different lengths , so I wanted to do something with my hair to help it grow. I currently have bohyme brazilian remy installed in my hair and I LOVE it. It works just like my hair and good news is because of the quality I can keep it in a while so my hair can grow. Right now my hair in the… Read more »

Cacey
Cacey
8 years ago
Reply to  v.payne

those earrings are gorgeous. give them to me!

Jill
Jill
8 years ago
Reply to  v.payne

What color is the hair both of the 2 colors?

Natalie
Natalie
8 years ago

I think it is great that the quality of weaves has improved so much that women can have curly styles. I’ve never been attracted to straight hair weaves as I think they look totally fake but if I was the weave wearing type I’d try a curly weave.
Whatever a woman chooses to do with her hair is her own personal business.

Tee
Tee
8 years ago

The curly fro is one step in the right direction

Light
Light
8 years ago

Why does anyone really care what someone else’s preference is for their hair? Weave, braids, natural, bald, long, short. It shouldn’t matter except to the person who is making the personal decision. There are probably many reasons why black women do what they do to their hair, not just 1 or 3 reasons, and it’s really no one’s business. At some point we (black women/women of color) won’t be so critical of one another and accept each other for all of our differences.

Khalia
Khalia
8 years ago

LeVar is a weaveologist to the stars whose client roster includes Oprah Winfrey and Naomi Campbell.”

This man fixes Naomi Campbell’s weave and we’re supposed to listen to him?! Naomi looks like Mr. Clean thanks to him. Consider the source, ladies!

Carli
Carli
7 years ago

I don’t understand why wearing weaves mean I’m self loathing. I don’t get it at all. No one ever gives any reason why it’s self loathing either. It’s a fallacious argument because you’re saying I’m self loathing for wearing weaves..but you’re not giving any logical reasons for your premise. That being said. I’m natural, have been for a little over a year! Yay! :D!, but I still wear weaves every once in awhile because it gives my hair a break from all the management I have to do. Also, it helps my hair grow longer, Idk why but it works… Read more »

Cami
Cami
7 years ago

I read a lot of the article and I think that getting curly weaves is a step in the right direction for black women. We are learning to accept curly hair textures and thus learning to accept our own texture. People of our own race are some of the only people who dislike our texture. My hair is stil short right now, But I get more compliments on my own short natural hair from more Asians, whites, and Mexicans than I do from other blacks. Its a shame .But I think curly weaves are a step in the right direction.

Emmeaki
Emmeaki
4 years ago

You have curly/kinky hair that grows out of your head. Why not just do your own hair?

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