The wig is one of the necessities for black women in their daily life. This is not accidental, but a long history for them. The black women’s deep relationship with wigs is not as you think. They have a complicated relationship with them. Let’s get into why do so many black women wear wigs. First, we need to learn something about the history of black hair.
1. Determined by the History of Wigs
According to historical research, black women’s relationships with wigs began in ancient Egypt, for the time being, wigs were supposed to show rank in society in this culture. The noble families always wear wigs with gold or some other golden materials lace to show their prominent position, and this is also a symbol of rights.
In Egyptian society men and women commonly had cleanly shaven or close-cropped hair and often wore wigs. The ancient Egyptians created the wig to shield shaved, hairless heads from the sun. They also wore the wigs on top of their hair using beeswax and resin to keep the wigs in place.
Wealthy Egyptians would wear elaborate wigs and scented head cones of animal fat on top of their wigs. Other ancient cultures, including the Assyrians, Phoenicians, Jews in ancient Israel, Greeks, and Romans, also used wigs in an everyday fashion. (Excerpt from Wikipedia: Ancient use of wigs). And when you watch some movies which are about ancient Egypt, you can also see that Egyptian pharaohs also wore wigs, not only on their head but also on their chin. The beard wig is a symbol of identity that can show her status. This is the first reason why do so many black women wear wigs, because of history. And another reason is wigs can solve their employment problems.
2. Wigs are good for their employment
The hairstyle will be a requirement for some work type, like curse or airline stewardess. It was a part of the uniform to wear the wig. It justified the respectability of that person. If a black girl wants to go to work, she has no advantage over the others if they do not wear wigs.
Civilization is making progress, white people and black people are equal and all the society is calling for a ban on racial discrimination. But all the same, black girls are still want to have beautiful hair like white people. Some of them are hard to accept the texture and length of their natural hair. The desire for beauty is born to everyone, it is not difficult to understand.
3. Because of hair loss
Hairloss is not just a problem for the elderly and patients, some young people also have to face it. Dr. Crystal Ugochi Aguh is the director of the Ethnic Skin program and assistant professor of dermatology at John Hopkins. He has found that nearly half of black women will experience some form of hair loss in their lifetime, with traction alopecia being a common cause. This is also another important reason why so many black women wear wigs.
Most black women are spending much time installing a wig or other weaving hair extensions. They delight in it and never get tired of it. If you pay more attention to them, you will find they can make any hairstyles that you can not do. It seems like every one of them is a hairstylist. They braid their natural hair and put on the wigs and style it, all of these steps are made by themself. So, it has become an “overhead culture” that is owned by black women only. Here we will share a story come from a black girl, she was talking about why she wears wigs:
It was while living in the UK I got acquainted with the wig-wearing lifestyle. For me, this was the norm then as every black woman I was surrounded by opted for this hairstyle. It’s interesting how the culture here in Canada (Halifax to be specific) amongst black women has more black women wearing braids compared to the UK where women wore more weaves and wigs.
I remember the first time I changed my hair, my classmates were staring so hard. It was a good start and they began to ask if I was going on a date. The people I live with won’t stop asking why I wear weave and tell me how beautiful my hair is. I have seen impressive growth in my hair since I stopped leaving out my hair for a long period. My hair length has gone from barely touching my neck to bra length over the past 5 years. I have never had any reason to cut my hair so I am not a naturalist. I realized the insistent putting of chemicals otherwise known as relaxers in my hair made a lot of difference. I went from putting relaxer almost 4 to 6 in a year to barely once or twice and always having my hair made.
For the first time in over 5 years, I let my hair out for over 5 weeks in the summer, it is safe to say had a significant amount of hair loss due to consistent combing. I decided to switch hairstyles to a wig that is different from my natural hair color and my colleagues couldn’t help but stare and wonder what I had done to my hair but refused to ask. So if any black woman has answers to these questions that people keep asking me to share them in the comment section below.
Although there are many reasons for them to choose a wig to wear, still, every one of them can choose whether or not to wear it. This is their own choice. No one will care for whether your hair is grown from the scalp or bought from hair stores. So, be yourself, girls.