Weave 101: Introduction to Weavology
By Jonaye Taylor
As time goes on, technology advances. Technology has changed so much, that as a society we have become reliant on it. We can barely function without it. Nevertheless, we cannot be left behind! We must keep up with the Joneses by any means necessary, or at least the Kardashians! Now, I may have misled you into believing that I am speaking on society's dependency on computer technology, but you are wrong!
As women, we are excessively dependent on today's modern beauty technology! Flipping through numerous amounts of magazines, I am constantly bombarded by the latest beauty enhancement trends. Regardless of what magazine it is, the hair and beauty industry are definitely investing in advertisement to compete for the female consumer's dollar. So let us feed right into the frenzy!
Lets began with the history, shall we? Who is the originator or the first to kick off this fast growing trend worn by millions of women today? Historically, you may or may not know that wigs have been around for centuries, and for not only women, but also men indeed, wore them as well! According to an article, I found online, Ancient Egyptian Hairstyles, men and women used to shave their heads bald replacing their natural hair with wigs. Egyptian women did not walk around showing their bald heads, they always wore the wigs. Head shaving had a number of benefits. First, removing their hair made it much more comfortable in the hot Egyptian climate. Second, it was easy to maintain a high degree of cleanliness avoiding danger of lice infestation. In addition, people wore wigs when their natural hair was gone due to old age. However, even though the Egyptians shaved their heads, they did not think the bald look was preferable to having hair." Therefore, the trend was definitely not intended for the way we use it today! Furthermore, I do not think many young men today would fathom the thought of wearing a hairpiece. As for the older men, the closest you will get to them wearing a hairpiece would be a toupee!
While reading, you are probably thinking to yourself, "Well, I don't need a weave or a wig, so all of this totally disregards me!" You know what? You may be right. You may not NEED a weave or wig, but many women today do not either. Luckily, there are weave and wig engineers working around the clock to develop new methods to this faux hair madness! Without a doubt, we are definitely not rocking the same wigs our grandmothers wore. Thankfully, we have come a long way. Now, do not get me wrong, I enjoy seeing the older women wearing the wigs to church with a big shameless hat to match their Sunday outfit. It is almost traditional, they wear the wigs, and they wear them well. Nevertheless, the hair industry has stepped their game up and made it fun, flirty and fantastic for the younger generation to shamelessly wear a weave or wig.
Then there was the weave...an advancement from wigs! Before, especially back in the 1970s and 1980s, by wearing a weave, it almost seemed as if you were sworn to secrecy if you did so (close to cult-like). It was a weird phenomenon for a woman's hair to only stop at chin length one day and mid-back the next day. No one knew how the look was achieved, except for a few. It was fascinating like magic! Then, as the "80s" died out, and we started to bring in the "90s", more and more people became hipped to the knowledge of what was happening. Around this time weaves were worn to cover up mishaps like hair loss or styling misfortunes i.e. hair coloring. Rapidly, at the turn of the new millennium, the weave explosion took off just as fast as the Latin explosion (if anyone remembers big hits like "Livin' La Vida Loca" and "Bailamos"). Everywhere you turned, you saw a weave, whether if it was your favorite female celebrity to the video vixens to the girl down the street. You simply could not escape the madness!
Nowadays, you cannot walk into a hair salon and simply ask for a weave. Here are the basics! You must specify with the stylist which type of weave you want, what style you are trying to achieve and what kind of hair do you want to use. Do not be alarmed! This process can get very intriguing and intricate at the same time. You have to ask yourself if you want a full headed weave or a partial (half) headed weave. The names seem self-explanatory. Simplified, do you want all of you hair weaved or do you want some of your hair to remain out while a certain portion of it is weaved. Next, what is the look are you going for? Do you want more of an Aaliyah styled weave with long layers? A Beyonce styled weave with highlights? Alternatively, a Rihanna styled weave made into a short cropped bob? After these questions are out of the way, then you can move onto the next step! This step was important because it determines how the weave will be put in...bonded or sew-in. The safest bet is to go for the sew-in, but it is more costly. The least expensive option would be the bonded weave. Unfortunately, if not treated and removed properly, you will experience tremendous amounts of hair loss or damage, which could break the pockets with correction treatments. Next, what kind of hair do you want? I definitely would not consider synthetic hair as a weaving option because of the quality; it is definitely not worth the time or the effort! Therefore, I would gravitate towards human hair! There are plenty of human hair variations on the market; Remy, Indian Remy, Indian, European, Virgin and many more. Now all of those variations come with a price tag. The better quality the hair, the more you will pay. The cost of human hair alone can range from $20 for cheap hair to $1000 for hair in mint condition! Sounds mind blowing doesn't it? Indeed, it is.
Conversely, if you are not a weave fanatic, then you are in luck because weavologist have come up with awesome innovations. They have cultivated the clip-in hair extensions. This is self-explanatory as well; merely part the hair horizontally and add in hair pieces by clamping them onto the roots! In addition, Half wigs have been introduced to me via YouTube tutorials. You simply part the hair from ear to ear, place a wig cap on the back half of the head, and insert wig clips into the cap. See, it is easy as one, two, and three! the hottest craze to grace the hair magazines is the lace wig! It has been popularized by celebrities like Beyonce, Tyra Banks, Wendy Williams and more! There are plenty of variations for the trend as well.
Unfortunately, class is now out of session, we will pick up with Weave 102 next semester! We have already gone over weavology's history and theory; we shall go into more detail later. However, you will have homework! I want of all the ladies to visit the hair salon, magazine or internet for more information on this topic! It is fascinating and we have definitely only scratched the surface with this subject. See you next semester and I wish you all well!