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Dianne Austin
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Dianne Austin

Dianne is the co-founder of Natural Haircare News and Coils To Locs.com. She's been blogging about natural hair ever since she made the decision to break free of the creamy crack in 2012.
Dianne Austin
Follow NHCN!

Black woman with hair weave, hair and self esteem

Chew on this: There are women who are getting their hair literally cut off of their heads because of the high market demand for real virgin hair to be used for hair weaves. Hair thieves can earn hundreds to thousands of dollars for a full head of hair.  All to satisfy the needs of women who want long straight hair.

Now maybe I didn’t start this commentary off right.  I’m not hating on anyone who chooses to wear hair weaves.  Women choose to go natural for a number of reasons and women who chose to wear hair weaves do so for both esthetic and medical reasons. We all have the right to decide how to style our hair without being made to feel like a pariah.  But learning about women in other countries who are being accosted for their hair gives one room for pause when it comes to choosing a hairstyle.

From Venezuela to India and beyond, the human hair trade has become an extremely profitable business venture.  It’s no surprise that the people making the money are sometimes taking the “by any means necessary” approach to making that money. And when it comes to making money, usually the weakest, less powerful individuals are trampled on in the process.

Case in point. Long haired women are being confronted at gunpoint and having the hair cut off their heads by thieves in Venezuela. In other parts of the world such as in Asia, and Eastern European countries, women who are poor have learned that selling their long hair is a good way to support themselves and their families.  These women actually make a living out of growing their hair long, and then having it shaved off at “hair factories”.  Then the process of growing their hair starts again in order to shave it off for sale.  Of course these women get very little for the hair that is being harvested.  Virgin hair that is in good condition and has achieved a certain length can command hundreds of dollars on the hair weave market, but these women only receive pennies on the dollar.

We shared on this blog the story of Pastor Aamir of Resurrecting Faith Church in Waco Texas who has declared war on weaves.  He believes that Black women who chose to wear hair weaves may have ” low self esteem”.  Not our words so don’t shoot the messenger!

Pastor Aamir recognizes that he cannot legally dictate how parishioner’s style their hair although he has asked his  “leadership” staff at the church to not wear weaves.

In the pastor’s interview with AmericaPreachers.com, he shared his interesting – and controversial viewpoint:

“Long hair don’t care. What kind of mess is that? I don’t want my members so focused on what’s on their heads and not IN their heads”.

 

“I lead a church where our members are struggling financially. I mean really struggling. “Yet, a 26 year old mother in my church has a $300 weave on her head. NO.  I will not be quiet about this”.

 

“Our black women are getting weaves trying to be something and someone they are not. Be real with yourself is all I’m saying,”

 

Of course, black women aren’t the only people using hair weaves by any stretch of the imagination.  But the pastor has taken an interesting viewpoint on a controversial topic that speaks to how women are treated because of their hair.

In our European-centric beauty culture, it’s no wonder that women will go to any lengths to get long straight hair.  Women who chose to wear weaves should at the very least make the conscious decision not to feed into this illicit hair trade by choosing to purchase synthetic hair instead of virgin hair.

Author: Dianne

Comment on this articleChanging attitudes about natural hair” is what we do at Natural Haircare News. Through informative articles, podcasts and videos, we go beyond just sharing the latest advice and tips on kinky, curly, wavy haircare – We shake things up and focus on the realities of wearing our hair natural. Not sure of which products are right for your hair type? Visit our solution oriented natural hair products store.

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