Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Sorry, Financing Your Hair Weave is a Bad Idea

Let’s talk about how going into debt to finance hair is a bad idea. Financially and psychologically.

Paying interest and finance charges to pay for a weave is not a wise financial decision.  Can we agree upon that? Probably not, or else the Weave Loan Store wouldn’t exist. (Google it, I’m not providing a link to such non-sense.)  And – surprise – bad credit will not hold you back from borrowing money to put on your head.  Why is this a bad idea? Let’s consider this: you don’t have the $250, $500, $750, $1000 or whatever amount for a weave, so you go borrow it at some not defined until you follow all the links and phone calls interest rate and finance charges. You put this borrowed hair onto your head. And then start paying for it. I’ve never had a weave, but from talking with folks who are pretty much experts, it’s advisable that one come back in 4-6 weeks, for a touch up or a whole new do.  And how you going to pay for this one?  Do we see a cycle starting here? Am I the only one seeing folks losing their rent or mortgage and cars (also on borrowed terms) and cutting short their grocery list, so they can have swinging hair down their backs?

Okay. Let’s say you declare that going into a credit downward spiral is one’s right and prerogative. Can we talk about the line in the ad that says “you can afford to be beautiful”?  Where is India Arie when we need her?  Of course, this is not the first notion that one needs someone else’s hair attached to your own to make you beautiful, or the hair weave industry wouldn’t even exist. But now “you can afford to be beautiful”?  What does this say? You can choose to not go into debt and stay ugly? The only way you can be beautiful is to borrow some money and some hair? You’re natural self just ain’t enough.

I will admit this – I used to be ignorant of this whole weave business and did not realize how many women were wearing weaves.  Then I happened to talk to a hairdresser who explained it all to me and – wow! Wasn’t I surprised as she pointed out (Black) women with weaves as they walked by.  I was about as surprised when one of my (White) friends admitted that not only was she not a natural blond, but many (dare I say, most?) blondes weren’t. Gasp!  This altered hair thing was universal.

And full disclosure – I used to have long hair.  Not weave-hitting my butt-long, but long. Some would still regard my hair as long, but I don’t.  I like long hair and long for my once-long hair.  I get it.  Yes, my vanity does include having hair that hits my shoulders. I get it.  But I also get this – I don’t have to have long hair to be beautiful, though that is my preference and quite truthfully, I do have to remind myself of that sometimes.  And I’m trying to share the same message with my three daughters with three lengths and textures of hair.  And I know, there are some women who have medical baldness or their genes just don’t grow their hair long and they don’t want their hair short. I get that. We can go on about all the media-induced ideals that make women want long, blond hair swinging to their butt. And then we can pretend how we aren’t influenced at all by that, but need weaves because it’s easier to manage or better for when we work out. Okay.  All this goes into our hair psyche. I know – our hair and what we do with it - for whatever pyscological, sociological, anthropological and cosmetic reasons – can be complicated.
Lupita Nyongo - in her short hair gloriousness
But, for the sake of argument, can we also point out how many beautiful women have the short pixie cuts or short afros?  How many are bald?  As much as folks ooh-ahh over Beyonce and her long blond tresses, how many are fawning over the beautiful, short natural afro’d Lopita? 

Here’s the bottom line, the thing that really bothers me about this “you can afford to be beautiful” line. There is so much self-esteem tearing down, natural beauty defying, under current of self-hatred, buying into of what beautiful should look like, financial misguidance, and awful communal peer pressure packed into that one statement.

Maybe you have a weave or have talked yourself into getting a weave. And you may have a really good reason for it – personal vanity, personal preference, medical reasons - you really don’t have to justify it to me. But can we agree on these two things?
  • You don’t have to have long, flowing hair to be beautiful. And I admitted, I’m working on this one too.
  • Financing hair to sew onto your head is a bad financial decision. I’m not wavering on that one.

In the meantime, enjoy some India Arie.

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1 comment:

Innocent Saqib said...

Wow, cool post. I'd like to write like this too - taking time and real hard work to make a great article... but I put things off too much and never seem to get started. Thanks though. hair weaves