Recently it was reported in the news that a preacher out of Texas banned the women in his congregation from wearing weaves. I thought it was a joke when I first heard about this, but on further inspection, I realized it was true—in my humble opinion, sad, but true. We are truly in trouble when a man of God is focusing on hair and not hearts.
What is all the fuss about weaves? Okay, I must admit, I’m bias, because, yes, you guessed, I wear a weave. Why? Let me get honest. I like long hair and at present, my hair is short, and I’m growing it out. Can’t it grow without a weave? Yes, but when it grows, it invariably breaks. The weave, which I might add, I maintenance on the regular, provides my hair with an environment to flourish. And to the Texas pastor, I must remind him that the Bible in I Corinthians 11:15 says “A Woman’s hair is her glory.” Okay, it didn’t say weave, but as far as I’m concerned, the weaved hair on my head is mine. I paid for it!
The Pastor purports that women who wear weaves have low self-esteem. With all due respect, this is not just an unjustified generalization but a slap in the face to the church-going, tithe- and offering- paying sisters of his church. Not to mention, the women who wear weaves, such as moi, who are not members. There are myriad reasons women wear weaves and there are women with more hair than they know what to do with that have low self-esteem.
Okay, stop the pressing comb. In all fairness, the Pastor’s heart might be in the right place, but he’s going about things the wrong way. Why am I giving Pastor A.J. Aamir, the benefit of the doubt? I am, because there was a time in my life that having short hair did play a role in my no self-esteem.
As far as I can remember I had short hair and I longed to have long hair—no pun intended. It wasn’t just short, but it was dry and unmanageable. I can still remember my mother brushing and combing my cousin’s hair and looking at me with wary eyes. “Are you jealous?” she would ask me while she combed through my cousin’s thick long sandy brown locks. I would swallow hard, blink back crocodile tears and lie. “No, I’m not jealous.” Then I would repeat the line she fed me, “Hair don’t make you and hair don’t break you.” But back then as a little girl who longed to have Brady Brunch hair, having short hair did break me and it hurt.
I grew up in a time when television commercials about hair products only featured Caucasian women. Their shiny, usually blonde hair, would bounce and fill the screen, blow through the wind and just look downright magical. Eddie Murphy’s daughter, nor anyone who looked like her, was on the air touting Soft & Lovely Products. It was the age before Jeri Curls and my mother wasn’t thinking about getting me a perm. She did, however, buy two long pigtails and attached them to my head. I’ll never forget that day. No more sweaters around my head. I had the real thing. In fact, the coarse braids looked so real, everyone in the neighborhood thought I had long hair. I dreaded the day I had to stop wearing them.
By the time I reached high school, my mother had passed away, and I was alone with my hair horrors. In high school, I wore my hair in an afro. By the time I got to college I had experimented with perms. Upon graduating I got into braids, then extensions, wigs, and then in my early thirties I started wearing weaves. Throughout the years, I have worn my own natural hair and I enjoyed doing so, but invariably, I would return to the fake stuff.
For those of you who have read about my childhood, you know it was dysfunctional and it played a part in my need to have hair. However, after many years of working on myself, I no longer need long hair. I like it and am able to afford it. I like long hair, like I like pastel colors, ice cream, a good movie, great conversation. It’s just a preference and not a sin.