While researching the appropriate age for hair weave, I came across an article by Briana McCarthy on Essence.com.
McCarthy recalls seeing a young girl at her son’s school, wearing really long hair weave. She wondered if the hair weave wasn’t doing damage to the young girl’s self-esteem (not to mention her edges).
Hair extensions and hair weave have become a necessary staple for young black women who, like the biblical Samson, find strength in really long hair — even if it isn’t theirs.
Some women who live vicariously through their daughters, buy hair weave for their children who are too young to have an awareness of shame or a lack of self-esteem.
As I got in my car and drove away I thought about that young girl. First, I thought about how fast she looked with all that hair in her head. Then I begin to wonder if that weave that made her feel cute was doing more harm to her than good. For some, this may not even be an issue worth talking about. You’ll probably think that since her mother bought it for her to wear, then it has to be okay. That seems like a good answer, but I can’t help but to think about myself at that age. I didn’t know myself at all. I was very impressionable. I was slightly insecure, didn’t understand the meaning of real beauty, and didn’t love myself fully, “flaws” and all. At that age, I wanted to look like the women on television. They had long flowing hair (which in retrospect was probably weave) and wore tons of makeup. That, to me, was what beauty was and I wanted to look them one day. One day, I too, would look as beautiful as those women did. Or, at least that’s what I thought.
Before ya’ll get all crunktastical and assume I’m talking down about people who wear weave, let me clearly state that I am not. Weave is harmless. It is only an accessory. However, weave in the hands of the insecure and the broke can become a dangerous weapon. I’m not trying to be deep or make a big deal out of nothing, but I am wondering if the weave she was wearing will one day make her feel less than.
Photos for illustration purposes only