I have admitted in the past to be a lover of hair weaves and extensions, there was a time I would not have been seen dead without some type of add on or extension piece attached to my hair. We should all know about Chris Rocks movie good hair! and it led me to ask myself; Do I wear weaves because I like the look (European)? The hair blows in the wind and it is manageable. Or do I like it because I have become subconsouislly brainwashed to believe these weaves are beautiful.
Debates are a matter of personal opinion, and this is one of those, but I can admit I am not that much of a slave to the European weaves, as I love to wear my hair in braids and embrace my afro-centric identity.
As I am currently taking a break from the weaves and have ‘bravely’ decided to wear my hair natural. I have created a list of struggles we as black women face daily with our hair. My aim is support, advise and encourage so let me know your thoughts.
1. Not enough knowledge is given on products – What Do I buy?
These are a few of my favourite brands on the market at the moment.
- Olive Oil
- Aunt Jackies
- Beautiful textures
- 100% Pure Coconut Oil
- Shea Butter
Prices on products varies but costs on the health of your hair should be priceless.
2.Where do we buy the products from, taking into consideration, price, the location of where you live. Does your area have enough hair shops for black women?
As a South London native I can only advise areas in South here are a few of my favourite spots.
3. Who do we buy it from?
Asian men dominate the hair industry in the UK. Men from backgrounds such as Pakistan, India, Bangladesh migrate to Great Britain and open hair shops that sell products for black people. This whole industry has been monolopised, why? because manufacturing of products is done in Asia because it is cheaper. Which then means the people exporting out of Asia are these Asian men who have warehouses in Britain or the US that there other Asian brethren can easily access, purchase goods and open their own stores.
How can a black woman ask one of these men advice about her hair? The guy behind the counter does not care about the woman’s natural hair journey he just wants to sell his products and send the money back home. As black women we need to do better.
4. Product overdose, why do so many products do the same thing?
With so many products on the market doing the same thing it is very easy to feel like you are getting conned. Products promoted are said to do the same thing “Moisturize” “Detangle” “curl enhancing” etc. So how do we pick products for ourselves? Here are a few basic ways I navigate the hair shop and choose the same product but a different brand.
- Price (what is your budget)
- Have you used this brand before?
- Do you like the product packaging?
- You can always buy more later write a list and take your time!
Now of course there are many more points I could make but these are my main concerns. I do plan to update with more points however feel free to add more in the comments. The natural hair community is growing so this post is to get my naturals thinking about how to embrace there looks.