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Stephanie Coker: Which Do You Prefer? Braids or Weaves?

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So we all know African women are quite versatile with their hairstyle choices. We could rock a good bob, a perm, twists, afros, “didi”, Ghana weaving, dreadlocks, long and short weaves and of course braids. We love to look good; it boosts self-confidence and generally makes us feel great about ourselves.

Personally, I love a good weave. I like to play around with waves and curls, tints and highlights. Other times, I like to mix things up a bit and opt for well-made braids or twists: those long, well-made twists that you can tie up in weird ways and look utterly stunning with (who doesn’t want to look like an African Queen?!) There is also the kinky type I admire on so many women but don’t think I could ever pull off.

There are pros to both hairstyles. I’m sure many women would agree with me that fixing a weave is a lot less tedious than getting hair braided. It takes a lot of patience to sit for four hours (at least!) with people pulling and tugging at your head all to get your hair done. However, there is no denying that braids are a lot easier to maintain: you need not worry about brushing or curling or straightening; you just tie them up and you’re good to go.

A thought occurred to me: what do the menfolk think about it? I decided to find out what our admirers (the men!) think about our hairstyle choices by asking which they preferred: braids or weaves.

I spoke to a number of men and even took a poll. The comments came rolling in and as it turns out, most of them actually prefer braids. Going ahead to ask why, the reasons given were quite interesting. I’ll list some of them below:

1. Braids are neater and tidier; you don’t have strands of hair falling in your food and on the floor with braids.
2. They last a lot longer and actually look better with age. The tacking of weaves could come off and become misshapen, and then the woman would have to go to the hair salon to get it fixed.
3. Braids make a woman look more confident in her own beauty.
4. Braids don’t clog the bathroom sink like weaves do.
5. They look more natural; more African.
6. They’re totally hot!

A few men (and I’m sure women too) are of the opinion that wearing a weave is born of the need to adopt a more Western look, rather than embrace African ethnicity. I won’t go into this though.
Some men spoke for #TeamWeaves. They gave their reasons too:

1. Weaves give a woman an air of sophistication and make her look glamorous.
2. Good weaves are infinitely sexy.
3. Weaves are versatile; you could do a lot with them. You could wear your hair straight or curled, long or short. You could give it highlights or a tint in many different colours (red, gold, blonde, blue, black, auburn, etc). Braids look weird and almost ratchet (*gasp*) in unnatural colours.
4. Weaves are suitable for any occasion.
5. There are weaves to suit any woman but not all women look good in braids.

Of course, there is the category of men who really don’t care either way, as long as the woman looks great.
You are probably now wondering, “why then the craze for expensive weaves?!” They are a good investment, since you can re-use your weave quite a number of times if maintained properly. The conclusion I came to after my (philosophical) pondering was that although the majority of Nigerian men certainly prefer braids, women would ultimately fix themselves up however makes them feel most comfortable and beautiful. For now, it’s #TeamBraids 1 – 0 #TeamWeaves.

What do you guys think though? Do you prefer: braids or weaves?

Photo Credit: BigH Studios

Stephanie Coker is a versatile and fearless television presenter and actress whom continues to shine on the big screen and on radio. Hailing from North London, Coker has received high acclaim for her work on the popular TV show “Street Request” a music request segment targeted at young adults that airs on MTV Base. She can be heard on the weekly fashion talk show “Bailey’s Boutique” and seen on red carpets across the globe, including the MTV and BET awards. This young, multi-faceted and spontaneous lady is an alumni of Brunel University where she received her B.Sc. in Communication and Media Studies. You can find the globetrotting beauty on her new web series “Steph Rocks TV”, a channel for young returnees who want to be inspired by life on the African continent, which is sponsored by the prestigious, First bank of Nigeria. Stephanie’s production company, November 28 Productions oversees the production of the show from scriptwriting to filming.

35 Comments

  1. soniapaloma

    November 3, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    I like both, it all depends on how I feel and what hairstyle I want

    But sincerely speaking I will lean more towards weave because it does not take forever to get it done unlike braids

  2. wendy

    November 3, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    I personally love weave. i like long hair. Recently, i have opted for braids because i got tired of burning all my money into weaves. I came to a point in my life where i had to ask myself what the hell were u thinking burning all that money into weaves. .Braiding is more cost effective. Funny thing is that my hubby hates both. He loves my natural hair. he loves the afro and the versatility of the hair. I am currently all naturale… He is always begging me to carry my own hair.. I am like dude.. it be like say u no know say i like extra long hair..lol

  3. nameoh

    November 3, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    team braids all the way. you can look glamorous with the right braids. I’m still not comfortable with the idea of gluing or sewing someelse’s hair on my head.

    • Just me

      November 3, 2014 at 8:37 pm

      Braids sure takes time, but i prefer it to weaves.
      When i need to braid my hair, i simply schedule it for that day and plan not to do anything else because after sitting for hours, i’m usually tired to do anything else.

  4. Bobosteke & Lara Bian

    November 3, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    i prefer braids. I love the versatility of them. You Tube is full of tutorials on elegant, stunning suave styles for braids. I get bored with whatever I have on easily so this gives the chance to switch the look as often as I want.
    Weaves on the other, come prepared. You sew it in one way and it is difficult to be creative with it though that has never stopped me. You can turn a fringe into a pompadour, a sleek straight weave into a faux bob and long tresses into a Marilyn Monroe look alike.

  5. Nessa

    November 3, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    Braids!

  6. Olori Tari

    November 3, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    BRAIDS. They are the truth – best part is the easy to maintain factor and the styling. I actually look forward to packing my hair whenever I have braids done.

  7. Miss Mo

    November 3, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    I personally wear my own natural hair mostly but once in a while I prefer weaves to braids if I want a change.

    I stay away from braids because of the pulling and weight on the roots. I don’t have a lot of hair in my temple so I like to let it be.

  8. Fabulicious

    November 3, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    I haven’t used weaves in almost 3years and I have no regrets.I am no naturalista as well meaning I use my relaxer comfortably.That being said,my hair growth has never been better with braids.Only thing I will never make is Ghana weaving,forget it.As for weaves,they just have a way of making one look older(my opinion).

    1
  9. Shakala Maxie

    November 3, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    I actually wear my natural hair, but I also feel as though an African woman isn’t more beautiful than when she wears braids.

  10. Omolara

    November 3, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    I love carrying my natural hair, they are healthy and beautiful and i carry a bob cut, but for a change of look especially when i have under growth i go for braids, easy to maintain and for the fact that i can just wake up and not thing of combing my hair, braids all the way. I can’t stand weaves, it irritates my scalp and for the few occasion i have had to do it, i am always hitting my head, weaves no no no

  11. NaijaPkin

    November 3, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    braids…..i can get to my scalp freely

  12. Pat

    November 3, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    I bursted out laughing at “braids are neater and tidier; you don’t have strands of hair falling in your food and on the floor with braids”.

  13. baboushka

    November 3, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    It depends on my location and weather if its tropical Africa or summer braids and cornrows all the way my scalp needs to breathe plus I wash my hair weekly in the hot weather easier done in braids. Winter and colder weather I go for weaves

  14. Titi_Healthnut

    November 3, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    I’m team natural hair & wigs – when it comes to exercising, I find that both weaves and braids are difficult to maintain. I wear my natural hair so I can wash it frequently and use wigs when I want a different look. Wigs have come so far, they don’t look weird anymore.

    This is a wig —–> titisule.com/2014/10/17/photos-from-the-big-3-0/

  15. tunmi

    November 3, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    Wait oh, I thought she was going to ask women which they prefer since women are the ones wearing it? Women don’t do hair for the male gaze na, haba. I truly was disappointed as I kept reading. I was hoping to read from women.

    I’ll wait for the BN comments.

    • Muti

      November 4, 2014 at 12:59 am

      Keep waiting looks like you are a lone ranger is this field dearie. The rest of us have taken the article with a pinch of salt!

  16. Mz Socially Awkward....

    November 3, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    I am the braiding queen and only time I get a weave done (probably once very 18 months) is when I’m hankering after a short pixie-ish crop.

    Love the unique African fabness of single strand braids, particularly twists, and I’ve so confused my oyibo colleagues with the different hues and styles that I come in with that they’ve given up asking “How do you manage to do that to your hair?”. There’s something about rocking my braided hair that makes me feel ethnically bonded with my roots (I’m starting to sound like a character in “Poetic Justice”, abi?) and thanks to the abundance of Youtube videos, you can do all sorts of things with them.

    Kinky braids (especially long ones), wool braids, box braids with Expressions, tiny twists, medium plaits, etc. I’m a happy rocker of all.

    • Pat

      November 4, 2014 at 2:44 am

      “There is something about rocking my braided hair that makes feel ethnically bonded with my roots”. This made me smile :):):)

    • Lolo

      November 4, 2014 at 6:20 am

      i just love u too much(no homo,lol)!ur comments r always on point!!!braiding queen haha….

  17. Daisy

    November 4, 2014 at 12:46 am

    I don’t care about the argument. All I see is Steph’s cute face. She’s just too cute!!!

  18. Koffie

    November 4, 2014 at 1:06 am

    I love big box braids. I however find that its not as easy for me to maintain. You have to make your own scalp moisturizer spray and use edge control and think of creative ways to pack the hair. Its too much trouble atimes especially as I’ve not found the perfect edge control for my edges…ORS doesn’t quite cut it for me. Oh, and did I forget how heavy it could be when you wear your hairnet? I should just shave my head, all 16″ of my hair (lemme brag small)
    Weaves are relatively easier to maintain and I can weave it in a ponytail and sleep without hairnet! Bliss. I don’t mind dealing with ‘bending rollers’ once in a while. My problem with weaves sha is that I can’t leave my hair out on most of them cos my hair would cover the beauty of the weave and Invincible parting is starting to look rachet these days. Girl trouble…so most times i just put my hair up in a doughnut ring and wrap it up. Back to looking for edge control

  19. Miss_Flygerian

    November 4, 2014 at 8:44 am

    Team Braids forever.

  20. efe

    November 4, 2014 at 9:04 am

    i LOVE my long natural hair.The next option after my Natural Hair is the braids and for the weaves,i just got rid of all the ones i have. i just got tired of the whole thing,all the money i have invested in buying weaves for don make me car or land owner. lol

    • anonymous

      November 4, 2014 at 10:19 am

      My dear I agree with you. It’s short cropped hair or braids till I get my Iphone6.

      A sisteerh needs that phone

  21. MJ

    November 4, 2014 at 10:28 am

    If I could, I’d wear braids for the rest of my life but I am just a baby girl trying not to loose all her “front hair”. I absolutely love braids! I makes me look my age and “earthy” 🙂 I love really curly hair (weave) too. Frames my face perfectly, makes me bubbly than normal.

    I have on now, this beautiful two-tone kinky twist my stylist sort of invented. I’ve count of how people that have asked about the hair. :d #Winning

    • Ivy

      November 4, 2014 at 5:23 pm

      So whats the name of the hair? *biggrin*

    • MJ

      November 6, 2014 at 11:46 am

      LOL.. Its kinky twist. She does the twist from the left rather than the right. It looks like twist and dreads/sister locks at the same time. I used the Noble kinky hair in orange pack (2 packs) its BSL 🙂

  22. Uby

    November 4, 2014 at 10:58 am

    So no one now loves weaves abi?
    ok now…

  23. Hurperyeahmie

    November 4, 2014 at 11:16 am

    I love braids but my hair gets rough on time any help with this?

  24. Ada ada

    November 4, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    Tea, wigs all day

  25. UberChick

    November 4, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    So you think only men admire you?

  26. chi chi

    November 4, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Forget the article, this photo of Stephanie is FIRE. So beautiful.

  27. Tosin

    November 4, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    I’m free from both, thank God.
    I hated braids. I can also report that the one time they sewed hair on my head, it was a taste of hell.

  28. Aderonke says #Bring BackOurGirls

    November 7, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Doro braids…lol team braids all d way, thou i do weaves once in a while….braids brings out the “African Queen” in me…lool

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