I’ve just purchased £145 worth of Brazilian straight human hair.
You’re probably thinking:
What are you planning on doing with human hair?
Why did you spend so much money on it?
Where did you even get it from?
I'll answer all questions as simply as possible.
I’m planning on getting a weave (I’ll explain later what that is exactly)
Because I wanted to have good quality hair that will last a while and to be honest, this was the cheapest I could find
I bought it from a company online called Angel Grace Hair Company from a website called AliExpress.
So, you’re still probably a bit confused as to what I’m talking about but I promise that by the end of this post, you’ll be well educated about Afro-Caribbean hair and weaves.
Black girls tend to hide away their natural hair and instead wear extensions that are typically of a different hair type. For example, I had the option to buy Peruvian, Malaysian or Brazilian hair. But why?
Afro-caribbean hair is coarse, thick and very high-maintenance. It is prone to breakage because of the fact that it is dry and the kinky/curly structure makes it more difficult for the oils to work their way from the scalp to the ends of the hair. So unlike Caucasian hair, lots of moisture is needed to avoid damage. Oils and moisturisers therefore need to be added to the hair and scalp regularly.
Afro-Caribbean hair doesn’t need to be washed as much as Caucasian and other hair types need to be. This will come as a surprise to most of you, but I only wash my hair once every 1-2 weeks. This is because shampoos actually dry out the hair and so a high-moisture shampoo is best to use. Leave-in conditioner is also vital in locking in moisture. A good hair wash and blow-dry can take me up to an hour sometimes!
Anyway, going back to the Brazilian straight hair that I bought.
As you can see, my hair type requires a lot of care and can be very frustrating to manage. I have experienced hair breakage myself where some parts of my hair is long and others are short. It’s just a headache. What’s more, it’s very difficult to style.
Hence why I decided to get my hair weaved. This involves hair extensions being sewn into my own hair in order to protect it. It gives me a different hair type for a certain amount of time, that is more manageable and easy to style.
In the past I have had my hair braided which is where synthetic hair extensions are plaited into my hair creating length. I often do this because it looks more natural and again is easy to maintain.
So why do black girls often hide away their natural hair? Yes, because it is hard to maintain and difficult to style, but there is definitely another underlying reason why this is the case.
Well for me, having grown up in a town in Oxfordshire where the majority of people are white, I always questioned why my hair wasn’t like theirs. I didn’t understand why my hair couldn’t do what their hair did. I didn’t like how I was the odd one out - the one who had cornrows and couldn’t wear their hair down because it physically COULD NOT GO DOWN.
What’s more, looking at black celebrities such as Beyoncé and Rihanna who - at the time - I thought didn’t have the same hair type as me even though they were black, confused me even more. Why was their hair like my friends’ and not mine?
I then started to question my beauty and attractiveness in relation to my hair and came to the conclusion that my natural hair didn’t make me look good.
I don’t know if that’s just me or a general feeling amongst the black girl community, but this is definitely the main reason why once I turned 17 I started wearing weaves and hiding my natural hair.
The pressures of society are real and they really do have a great impact on girls like myself who are sucked into thinking that their natural hair is simply not good enough. Black YouTubers too such as UK-based Patricia Bright who has over a million subscribers - the majority of them probably being black women and most importantly young girls - influence this feeling. She has even set up her own hair extensions line called y-Hair.
Don’t get me wrong, she occasionally appears in her videos with her natural hair out, but most of the time she has long luscious locks which clearly is not her own.
Recently I haven’t been too self-conscious about my hair, in fact in my first year of uni I had my natural hair out for the majority of the time. But when I walk around campus or just out in public and every black girl around me is rocking a weave, the self-consciousness starts to build up again.
So Brazilian straight hair it is. Enough with the frizz, the breakage, the dryness and high-maintenance.
As much as Beyoncé sings of how black girls should embrace their natural features, in reality it is so difficult.