by Portia of huneybflyy.com
Heat-free Hair Founder Ngozi Opara
It’s no secret that the natural hair community is probably the largest it has ever been right now. Social media sites such as Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest are overflowing with natural sistas and their manes. Inspirational hair photos are everywhere. There are women who are pulling in thousands of followers on social media sites because of their hair. Natural hair amongst black women has really become a movement that could possibly end up in history books someday.
However, natural hair alone isn’t the only phenomenon that seems to have everyone’s attention. The “natural hair weave” is leaving a pretty big impression on the natural hair community as well. The debate on hair weaves has been around for as long as hair weaves have been around. Some women hate them, some women love them. Some use hair weaves as a means of protective styling. While others simply like to change up their look without having to manipulate their own precious strands. On the other hand, natural hair weaves are different. These weaves look like the natural hair that’s growing out of your scalp before you relax, flat iron, curl etc.
We’ve all seen curly weaves but sometimes, the hair that’s used doesn’t blend well with African American hair. You have to do so much manipulation to your leave out hair that you end up damaging it in the process. The hair that’s used for natural looking hair weaves is like nothing we’ve ever seen before.
There have probably been times when you’ve been scrolling through social media admiring someone’s hair, not knowing that they’re actually wearing a half wig or weave that looks like it’s 100% theirs. Women who are looking for natural hair inspiration also can’t tell the difference between the natural looking hair weave and real natural hair. There was even a comment under a photograph that read “Her hair is beautiful, but who knows if it’s real with all these natural weaves these days.”
So here’s the big question: Should natural hair gurus, on social media sites, tell their followers that they are wearing a weave or wig?
Founder, Ngozi Opara, of the popular natural hair extension brand Heat Free Hair has been in the hair care business for 11 years. She started her company in 2012 after she was tired of having her clients come to her studio with heat damaged hair because they were trying to blend their own hair with their weaves or wigs. Opara wanted transitioning women to have an option that allowed them to wear a protective style without having to compromise the health of their hair. Women needed hair that looked like their own.
Heat Free Hair comes in a variety of beautiful hair textures. Textures range from 3B-4C in wefted hair, closures, clip-ins and wigs. Their “For Kurls” Collection is their most requested texture and it ranges from 3c-4a. The different textures alone are great for women who are transitioning, need a protective style, or just want to change up their hair but still have it blend with their own. Heat Free Hair acts just as your natural hair does. You can set it with curlers, bantu knots, twists, braids and rods. You can even blow it out. Finally, a hair extension line that caters to black women and has their best interest at heart.
As for the big question, Opara does not feel that it’s necessary for women to declare that they’re wearing extensions.
“I think it’s important to look at the intent behind the person,” said Opara.
“I don’t think anyone should be obligated to disclose what they do with their hair. One of the great things about the natural hair community is the willingness to share this type of information to encourage and inspire others, but sharing is optional and not an obligation. I think a lot of times people put a lot of emphasis on someone else’s journey that they don’t focus enough on their own. If something is beautiful let it be beautiful, but to belittle it because it “could be fake” makes no sense to me. Now, if someone is lying and saying its real when it’s not then that’s different because their intent is to mislead.”
Most will probably agree with Opara. Weaves, wigs and extensions are fun, versatile, and protective. No one should ever have to share anything about their hair if they don’t desire, because it really is no one’s concern. But what happens when women wear the “natural looking” extensions, purposefully deceive others into believing that it’s their hair and gain notoriety for their natural hair even though it isn’t their own?
Opara believes that you have every right not to mention that you are wearing a weave or wig.
“If people ask, then it is my hope that you would tell the truth, but there is no unspoken hair obligation for you to disclose whenever you are wearing a weave,” she said.
What are your thoughts on this movement? Should women who intentionally deceive their audience confess? Or is it really no one’s business?
Portia is a wife and mother who enjoys making things and people look pretty! As a graduate of Rowan University, Portia has an insatiable craving for natural hair, beauty, and fashion, but she also enjoys traveling and home decor. If you’d like to know more about her, visit her blog at huneybflyy.com