So you think weaves are bad? So you sat there typing up yet another article to ruffle feathers for traffic? You sat there while your ‘beautiful head’ was covered in yet another type of braid which is as synthetic as a weave but you claim to be a natural hair crusader? You know what, you are fake. Fake gets you traffic, I know. Fake gets you to put up a show and set tongues wagging.

In fact, I have been meaning to write about weaves for the longest time now. I don’t wear weaves for personal reasons. I tried one last year and regretted it. It just wasn’t me. And I knew it. But I know women who pull off weaves (the figurative meaning my friend) pretty well. The first time I was going to write in defence of weaves was some weeks ago, when a woman wrote in the Wednesday Daily Nation that the top reason why Kenyan women will remain single is because they wear weaves. The absurdity of that claim is tremendous on so many levels I cannot even begin to tear it down. Two things: 1. Kenyan women are single? Which Kenyan women are those? The fallacy of hasty generalization. 2. Weaves are a reason for one to remain single? In what planet? Venus? Most men on earth cannot even tell a weave from real hair in a general situation so please, I want to know how that is a disqualification.

I was thrown into action today morning. I wake up, my chest is heavy. Finally the cold got to my chest. I drag myself out of bed since I am the Sunday morning cook. I feel the floor for my slippers. Who kicks around my slippers when I am asleep? Aargh. I turn on the lights, ah. There you are, slipper! I walk to the kitchen and do the necessary. And then I turn to my phone. I remember I have not looked at my Facebook feed for the longest time. I go to the site on my browser because I do not have the app since I don’t find it necessary. They separated the Messenger app anyway and that’s all I need. Normally, I only see the first post on my Facebook News Feed before looking at my notifications. This post is almost always from one of my four male friends for some strange reason. Okay, not strange reason. It’s because the Facebook geniuses back at Menlo Park believe they are my closest friends. Anyway, the status update I see by Mr JM is a quote from the now infamous Saturday Nation column I will not name because you already know what I am talking about and I would rather talk about the now obsolete quail mania. It’s about weaves. I quickly read it and go back to attending to other important things.

It’s church time now and I just have to go regardless of how I am feeling because the church on the other side of the great wall of Kinoo gives me a beautiful sense of renewal whenever I listen to sermons. I walk on up slowly and settle on an empty pew. It’s praise and worship time. I can hardly sing. Stuffed chest gives up a little phlegm when I open my mouth to do anything that even slightly puts my vocal chords to melodic action. It’s slow song time. I cannot focus. The only thing that keeps churning in my mind is the weave status update. Aargh. Now I will have to read it since it is affecting my spiritual process. Sermon is sweet. Bro presents and interesting argument on another topic on the walk back home but it does not deter me from my goal. Not to mention at the beginning and end of the walk, he asks about my white hair and if that is a sign of stress. A weave would probably help cover my weak hair up and all, I think. But that’s not going to happen. I look pathetic in weaves.

It’s now time to read the article despite myself. It starts with some nonsense about how no self-respecting woman would put a weave on her head. I almost weep from the utter ignorance. It’s good to note that the writer’s signature look is braids. How braids are less fake than weaves beats me. Apparently, a weave is a dirty and unhygienic piece of rubbish that hosts animals such as bed bugs and lice. I am yet to meet a woman who is sporting anything close to what is being described here.

Sweetheart, we are Africans, which you acknowledge. We accepted Westernization ages ago. And that’s why you go to the salon. Maybe not to put a weave to your head but to get it cooked up by heat and chemicals or get some synthetic strands attached to it. It does not make you any better or of a higher self-esteem as you want us to believe. We all want to look good and we cannot look good the same way. You already know that but somehow, in your quest to please male readers, you have decided to make a baseless argument. At least get your facts right before spilling emotion into a piece on a well-respected daily just so that you can trend. Like seriously, trend all you want but do not feed us arguments that are devoid of legs or hands.

Celebrities are mentioned too. The very celebrities who wear weaves too. The allegation here is that women who wear weaves want to look like them. I will have to sip my ginger concoction to proceed with this one. I am 100% sure that the women in weaves I have seen since I was a kid have no idea there are celebrities who wear them nor do they want to look like them. The 50 year-old back in my grandmother’s village in Githunguri couldn’t care less that Beyonce wears a weave. Her weave – the respectable shaggz woman’s, isn’t even long. She just wants to protect her kinky hair. We have kinky hair, a lot of us African women. We could cut it, like I am debating within myself to, but it is not easy. Pretty sure you haven’t cut yours too. I see pictures of Kikuyu women from the past. They cut their hair down to the scalp. You can be assured I will not do that. That was then, this is now. In fact, the very men who complain about weaves will complain to high heaven about a bald woman. Make up your minds, confused people.

On the hygiene issue. I will not speak for any woman who keeps her weave on for months without getting it out or washing it. But you know what, there are women who get braids for months too. You know those Kenyatta Market ones that are so tiny you wonder how the girl came out of the braiding process alive. There are even those who have their own hair and do not wash it for months. So pretending that those with weaves are dirtier than those in braids is preposterous. Please find another reason to hate on weaves. ASAP. And clean your hair, women, real or fake. It’s yours and nobody can tunya you!

Deep into the article, the writer knows ‘for a fact that men don’t like weaves.’ The very same men who take ages to know for sure it is a weave. So what?! Weaves are not made for men, they are made for women the last time I checked; unless you are a conflicted transgender like our Kenyan brother who makes the news every now and then. There is also that reason a lot of men haggle around. That nothing turns them off than running their hands through your hair only to find a mesh of threads and fake hair. Okay. Sounds legit. Almost. However you choose to do your hair as a typical African, your will always have a mesh of some sort. Be it cornrows, braids or dreads. I cannot see a man running their fingers through that successfully. If you don’t have any of those, you probably have chemicals in there so I am betting he will come out with some serious oil on his hands. So the only hair men would actually be comfortable with is short or natural hair, if I am hearing them right. In short, if you listen to some men, you will be as confused as they are. I can assure you that not all men flow with the crowd though. They do not wait for a #KOT stand to be released by some bigwig then run with it. They are their own men and they will love you the way you love yourself. Looking good is not a crime.

People who hate on weaves have become so driven on doing it that they even come up with fake stories about animals burrowing themselves in the skin. Drive traffic to your site. After all, it will not hurt anyone by peddling a fake story about fake hair. Unless of course someone is haunted by nightmares the next night about worms eating up her skull.

Wear that weave if you like it. Do not let anyone set standards for you. Especially one who has nice hair. Or a man who shaves his. Only you know what you go through. Take care of your hair. Sport different styles here and there. I’d rather you have fake hair and a real heart. After all, fake is relative. I hear there are human hair weaves too. It does not get any more real than that. It’s kind of creepy too but hey it’s your choice. So there goes your fake hair argument. Don’t fake reasons to hate on something for the sake of it. Hate it for a real reason. Weave not seen the last of these fake hair stories. I just had to. Feel good. Look good. Be good. Do good.

Written by Shiku Ngigi

Mum and dad’s daughter. Shouting big sister. Learning to listen. Jesus freak. Recovering tomboy. Mouse potato. Bass addict. Waking up the writer in her.

    11 Comments

  1. Miriam Jerotich (@miriamjerotich) August 3, 2014 at 10:37 pm Reply

    Yes!! Well said. It’s getting so cliche for men to say they don’t like weaves, they should get another line. Also wigs. At the end of the day, it’s just hair!

    • Shiku Ngigi August 4, 2014 at 7:45 am Reply

      Enough said.

  2. Shawrie August 4, 2014 at 8:20 am Reply

    I read that article Saturday morning and asked myself, “aren’t braids still weaves?”
    Am wearing one right now even after reading that hateful article.

    • Shiku Ngigi August 4, 2014 at 8:35 am Reply

      That’s the spirit!

  3. JM August 4, 2014 at 2:22 pm Reply

    So now our ladies should patch their heads with hair imports from the dead in Asia? How lower can self-esteem sink? Kama nywele si yako, wachana nayo. Those proudly declaring their love for the weave have deep seated personality issues. No matter how strongly you defend it, there is nothing dignified in wearing weaves. It is just like a beardless man trying to patch his face with another man’s beard. Totally shameful.

    And what’s the beef with men? We know what we want and weaves ain’t on that list. Better a lady with kempt, short and natural hair than one with a beautiful weave the size of Thompson Falls.

    And yes, weaves stink. You hit the dance floor and any form of body contact with the lady is a nasal disaster. It is even worse if she will sleep next to you.

    • Shiku Ngigi August 4, 2014 at 2:25 pm Reply

      The good thing is that I know all you want to do is argue. Keep at it. It’s good for the soul. 🙂

  4. ann August 4, 2014 at 2:56 pm Reply

    They say fake it till you make it…………if weaves make you feel good, go for them at the end of the day the critics will only give their opinion which only matters to them.

    • Shiku Ngigi August 4, 2014 at 3:04 pm Reply

      Fake it till you make it > Weave it till you grow it. 😀 Well said.

  5. Betty August 4, 2014 at 7:45 pm Reply

    tell them swirie…
    me loves the new look btw…

    • Shiku Ngigi August 4, 2014 at 8:51 pm Reply

      The new look is the blog under reconstruction my dear. Mambo bado. 🙂

  6. Madge August 8, 2014 at 10:48 am Reply

    Very well articulated. Am a big fun of your work and I think you present your points quite remarkably. Keep up at it. its always nice to read from someone with a contradicting opinion.

    Am rocking a weave anyway and it turns out they make me look amazing. these men don’t know what they want. They will drool over you if you are rocking a nice weave consequently ignoring the girl with kinky African hair who decides, regrettably, to follow #KOT standards.
    Who makes these standards anyway, the bigwigs on twitter are the majority who are ugly, possibly have loads of money, but are ugly nonetheless. if they are allowed to look that bad and make a pass,enough to give them the authority to set standards, why ain’t I allowed to put on my weave without any criticism? its unfair to crowd judge every weave as smelly as rusty, lotsa Nairobi girls will change their weaves every three weeks in the least. With the kind of competition, you can not even afford to keep it on longer. Perhaps the article wasn’t well researched before hand.

    PS: The new look is amazing!

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