Hair Care: Weaves

Company History

In 1998, L’Oreal (French) purchased Soft Sheen, a company owned and managed by African-Americans, which targeted the “ethnic” hair market. Making the move to dominate this market, L’Oreal followed up with the purchase of Carson, Inc. The resulting brand was SoftSheen-Carson.

Today, weaves are an open secret.

I didn’t catch onto weaves until the last few years. I think my ignorance ended with Oprah Winfrey and Beyonce.

I used to think most, if not all, black actresses and singers had the greatest heads of hair in the world. These women were blessed, able to withstand relaxers, heat, and constant abuse that people like me could not. I thought if one was rich, or had the right genetics, they would have hair like the woman in the picture.

Hair Care

Primary beneficiary: the advertisement promotes caring for your weave like real hair.

Secondary beneficiary of this magic potion: the natural / relaxed hair beneath the fake hair.

Yet, black (hair) magazines never provide good hair care advice. There will be articles coupled with this product. I can only see this leading in one direction: baldness.

The advertisement builds on the fantasy that caring for the weave is tantamount to taking care of the real thing. No, it is not. Natural / relaxed hair, and the scalp, require tender loving care. A weave only allows one to neglect them – compounding the problems it hides.

Hot Enough for You?

As of this writing, it is 94 Fahrenheit degrees outside. I’m thinking: could I wear that thick and heavy thing in this heat? No. I’d be scratching my scalp off. My own hair makes me hot enough. Right now I’m sporting bantu knots to stay cool.

I can’t blame clever business people. They realize if some black women never want to show their own hair, they can convince them that synthetic material, or human hair, can be treated better.

Alright, then.


I Would Relax My Hair, But

It’s been well over a decade since I relaxed my hair and I don’t feel like re-learning how to deal with my hair. Whenever I would consider making the change, a multitude of issues come up:

  1. The warning on the box still says eye and scalp injury. I’ve seen pictures of relaxer scalp injury. It ain’t pretty. It’s downright sad and scary.
  2. It burns! It burns! In retrospect, it was crazy of me to go through torture just to get straight hair.
  3. I’m cheap. I don’t want to spend money on salon visits or a ton of expensive miracle products – just to stop breakage and hope it makes my hair grow.
  4. I like my hair thick. I value my hair line and nape. I don’t want to worry about a relaxer causing hair loss in those areas.
  5. I don’t want to wait until my scalp heals after getting a relaxer, before I can do anything else to my hair or scalp.
  6. It smells toxic, which is it. It stinks too.
  7. I’m lazy. What may be convenient to others isn’t to me. I don’t want to follow any complex rules regarding my hair. These rules seem to grow. Here are some that may be required, before heading off to the salon: base the scalp with heavy oils, do not scratch the scalp, deep condition the hair, do not wash the hair, [another rule], etc.
  8. I enjoy my free time. I don’t want to visit a salon every 6-8 weeks losing an entire Saturday.
  9. Hair salons employ scissor happy staff. There are hair dressers who don’t (wont?) wash the product out completely.
  10. If it is supposed to permanently straighten my hair, then why must I use flat irons or certain techniques to re-straighten it?
  11. Using different relaxers is really tricky. One can love certain products only to have them discontinued. That’s cruel – I sense a conspiracy, yo.
  12. I don’t know, or care, about the differences between no-lye and lye relaxers. I wouldn’t want to risk eye or scalp injury or baldness just to find out which one works.
  13. After losing hair with relaxers, I view it as a gateway product (yeah, like a drug!) to weaves and wigs. If a relaxer was supposedly good for hair, then weaves and wigs would not be necessary. It is just going from bad to worse. (Don’t get me wrong, I wear wigs on occasion.)
  14. I am terrified of involuntary baldness. I’ve read the horror stories. That’s too much stress for me.

Outside of these hassles, what is supposed to be the benefit of a relaxer?