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6 Signs You Have a Weave-Dependency Problem

Nkem Ndem

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If you have been living in Nigeria for a while, you probably would have noticed a number of people (not just women) ditching their weaves for the natural hair look. The natural hair movement is huge, and a number people tend to look down on people who still wear weaves – referring to them as “insecure” or “too vain”. The truth, however, remains that hair “weaves”, “attachments”, “extensions”, or whatever you call them, are one of the best inventions out there. Their power to give an overwhelming sense of happiness should not be underestimated.
The only downer is that weave wearers enjoy a plethora of benefits that make it hard to walk away from hair extensions. Thus, they find themselves addicted to its power and completely dependent on it.

Like any other addiction, the weave-dependency battle is mostly psychological. Compared to the time and effort it takes to maintain actual hair, weaves offer the convenience of requiring only minimal upkeep.

Many Nigerian women have since been exposed to the European standards of beauty, and are now conditioned to believe there is no value in the way that they look like as Africans. They battle a form of racial identity crisis.
These weave users become addicted to the fantasy and convenience of it all –
something their real hair will never live up to. The weaves and wigs now function as a sort of security blanket for them; they become absolutely dependent on them.

Truth be told, we all have someone (perhaps a sister, cousin, friend…or even you?) addicted to hair weaves. And since there is no known rehab center for the detection and treatment of this particular kind of addiction, here are 6 signs that indicate the weave-dependency problem.

No one knows what your real hair looks like
Is your hair permed? Or do you still have your natural curls? Are you blonde? Is your hair thick and long? Or perhaps, you just have 27 strands of hair left on your skull and you could pass for Gollum from Lord of the Rings? When nobody can tell what your real hair looks like, except you, your hairdresser and God…then you definitely have a weave-dependency problem.
You are willing to miss an exam or visa interview if, for some reason, you are unable to fix your weave in time for the appointment. Even your boyfriend is in the dark, and so your soul dies slightly when he pays you a surprise visit on the day you’ve taken your weave out. You even consider breaking up with him or getting a divorce (if you are married), just to avoid them seeing you without a weave.

You have a monthly budget for your weaves
Just as you make a budget for food, water, transport and other utilities per month, you put aside a stash for your weaves. In fact, weave money comes before anything else. It fuels your purpose in life and as far as you know, you cannot achieve your destiny in life if your weave game is not on point.
You can easily justify spending up to N150,000 on a mane when you only earn N80,000 a month and then complain that you are broke in a matter of days.
You even consider extending your overdraft, so that you can get them weaves redone. Unfortunately, the day that you actually sit down and calculate how much you’ve spent on weaves in your lifetime, you have a mini-heart attack and wonder if your villagers are after you. Can you relate? then you certainly have a case of weave-dependency.

You genuinely feel ugly without weaves
Thanks to the media and socializations, the western standard of beauty is continuously pushed into our faces. We find ourselves struggling with a form of psychological warfare that gets us believing that white is better; that straight, long weave is prettier than your afro tight curls. You only feel confident and sexy when wearing your weave. And the few times you have to leave your house without a weave, you feel super ugly. Even when people, who you’ve never met, stand around you laugh or point fingers, you actually believe they are ridiculing you or talking about how ugly you look.

Your internet history is crowded with links to weave tutorials and hair stores
You spend most of your time online watching YouTube videos on weave tutorials and checking out shops with weaves on sales. You go on Instagram and stalk other people wearing gorgeous weaves to know if their weave is authentic or fake. And if you think they are real, you quickly DM them just to ask “What kind of hair is that?”… Is this you?

You ignore your hairdressers ‘no-more-weave’ advice
When you visit the salon and your hairdresser asks you to take a break from weaves for a while, because your hair is damaged and needs to bounce back. You become so depressed and so emotionally unstable for a while, then you hear a voice in your head ask “Who needs a hairline anyway, when you can buy a silk base, three-part, Peruvian closure?” You realize that you actually do not have to take the advice. You would rather go bald than not wear a weave.

You can’t be bothered about “Black pride” and you’re sick of people who are anti-weave
You have a weave dependency problem when you cannot stand all the talk about natural hair. You are actually offended when someone tries to explain how wearing a weave is not a way to exhibit “black pride”. You consider them hypocrites and you do not hesitate to call out any man who has the testicular fortitude to condemn or hate on a woman for wearing weaves. You know they are also the same ones that contribute to why women use them in the first place.
They ask their women to wear their hair natural, yet they go out and still chase or lust after the ones wearing them weaves.

Having considered these signs, do you think you have this weave dependency problem? Do you know anyone who does or did? How did they get over it?

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Felix Mizioznikov

Nkem Ndem is an energetic and highly accomplished Media Consultant who loves to help small businesses, especially women-led, grow their online presence using the right digital strategy or transition from traditional organizational boundaries. With years of experience in Copywriting and Editing, Content Branding and Strategy, Social media, and Digital Marketing, she is clearly obsessed with Digital Communications. She is the Head of Content and Lead Consultant at Black Ink Media - an Ideation and Content Agency that excels in providing fresh, creative digital services to content-centric businesses. Find out more about her at www.blackinkm.com or send her an e-mail at [email protected] Also follow her on IG: @nkemndemv, Twitter: @ndemv.

24 Comments

  1. Whatever

    May 9, 2017 at 11:13 pm

    She postulates in a weave.

    • Anon

      May 10, 2017 at 12:46 am

      Bullseye!

  2. Mary

    May 9, 2017 at 11:43 pm

    Nice right up, and inspiring. Of a truth addiction or over dependency on a particular thing is bad.
    Determination to try something new is the key to overcoming it.

  3. Villagewoman

    May 10, 2017 at 12:29 am

    Because this piece is about truth as it relates to our collective self-hate ( shout out to colonialism), there will be little to no traffic here…

    • Fisayo

      May 10, 2017 at 2:53 pm

      2 big yawns to your hasty, pre-emptive judgement and clumsy attempt to sound intellectually superior.

      People like you are the ones who bore at the dinner table because they believe nobody else is as “woke”.

  4. Fleur

    May 10, 2017 at 12:33 am

    So this is the Important topic of the day? Oh, I forgot this is a lifestyle online mag. But educate me, what is wrong with an addiction to weaves? Mark zuckerberg is addicted to grey tshirts. I don’t see any problemas. He seems clean and well Kept and as long as he performs optimally at what he does, he can buy up the world’s supply of grey tees. I have natural hair but I respect other folks’ preference for weaves. They do them, I do me. I actually stopped weaves because my hair was thinning. If not ,I’d still be wearing them. Either way it’s about a look I appreciate and not my acceptability of my blackness. Everyone who needs to guess my color knows I am a black femme- weave, color contacts or not

  5. MurdaSheWrote

    May 10, 2017 at 12:55 am

    I don’t see weave dependency as a “problem” and no one should. It’s just hair. It’s their choice. They don’t want natural. They want artificial. Who care’s? It’s honestly NOT THAT DEEP. By the way I’m natural so it’s not about being defensive. This Nkem just posts the silliest articles I’m sorry. I remember the last time she posted something about cake and white bread being healthier than vegetables. I could not believe it. Then she started apologizing in the comments section about how she didn’t do enough research. Like WTF! And u posted it!!! Please take a chill pill a day. You need it. Reminder/PSA: IT’S JUST HAIR!

    • Xyz

      May 10, 2017 at 6:14 am

      I just had to reply cos I mistakenly liked your comment. I knew there would be one cyber bully who would come for Nkem again. Please crawl back into the hole you came out from jor. All you Nkem haters, when you see a post by Nkem Ndem, please waka past quick quick. Don’t open it and start your cyber bullying again.

      As for the matter at hand, why can’t black women live and let live? Wearing hair attachments and weaves can be said to be part of our culture. After all, what is culture? Tons of white women wear weaves to make their hair appear fuller and longer, yet no one calls them insecure.
      But then, too much of everything is bad, and addictions are the worst.

    • Mysteek

      May 10, 2017 at 6:27 am

      @murdashewrote You are a very hateful person.women like you are the ones who tear other women down out of spite because you know they have the potential to be better than you are. Where is the article you have written? What have you achieve in life? Nkem please ignore this ratchet. Keep them articles coming. You are a great writer. Never a dullong moment with your pieces.xo

  6. Engoz

    May 10, 2017 at 5:29 am

    Lol, I found this article harmless and funny. ?

  7. Sugarae

    May 10, 2017 at 5:30 am

    Did she put into consideration that there are people out there who their scalp hurts when they make their hair? Making braids is just some 8hrs of pain,letting our their natural hair and air breathes on it makes it more difficult to make the hair. All they need to do is fix the weave cos it’s one of the shortcuts to looking elegant.

    • mz_danielz

      May 10, 2017 at 9:57 am

      Babes, you don’t have to sit that long anymore.

      Your stylist could braid the hair down and then crotchet it.

      I’m carrying lovely tiny braids that would have taken me a day and this is what I did. No one can tell the difference

      The advantage is that the braids are always neat as your hair doesn’t interact with them and you can wash and re-use the braids.

      I’m someone who loves braids and I just went natural last week in Nov so this works for me.

      I must add though this is irrelevant to the subject that going natural hasn’t been stressful for me at all and I’m a 4c.

      My hair grows fast (this is due to nature honestly) and surprising it’s soft and doesn’t break or tangle.

      I use a leave in conditioner, Shea butter and coconut oil anytime I wash my hair and I steam once every three months. I actually sleep off wearing the products overnight. For my edges, I use an eco styling gel and it works fine.

      I want my hair to get to a particular length then I’ll start adding all dem avocado and the rest.

  8. Ijs

    May 10, 2017 at 7:22 am

    If we were all black in thé world, and someone invented weave people will wear it. I want to look pretty with longer hair and its not because i am subject to. ” european Standards Of beauty”

  9. john

    May 10, 2017 at 8:05 am

    Or perhaps, you just have 27 strands of hair left on your skull and you could pass for Gollum from Lord of the Rings?…this made me to laugh out bcos this is actually true..most of those so called big girls ,slay queens even the ones u think that are educated and enlightened etc look like golum underneath, I have seen it with my own eyes..I have to admit, this is the only article of nkem that I genuinely like…the funny part is when they say white women do it too as an anthem..as if white woman que in line and spend huge amount of money to buy hair taken from another women of other race..tell it to the birds.. there was a documentary about this hair stuff on aljeazera on how poor Indian women go to their temple and shave of their hair which is to be packaged and send to idiots in Africa and countries where u find black women..It is a big business in india and black women has the audacity and temerity to call themselves original and Queens..smh.. .Isn’t funny u dont see white women comparing themselves to black woman and saying but black women do it too for every stupid decisions they take bcos it is beneath them

    • ohms

      May 10, 2017 at 10:25 am

      John you are wrong. There are features in Black women that White women like to have and vice versa.

    • Pippy

      May 10, 2017 at 2:57 pm

      Na wa o

      John came here to write a thesis. See painment on the matter!

  10. lollly

    May 10, 2017 at 10:30 am

    i also found this article harmless and funny!….perhaps its because I am not like Gollum

  11. zzzzzzzzzzzzz

    May 10, 2017 at 11:40 am

    Years ago I used to wear my hair natural, untill I went for a blow out and the stylist allowed it to relax, anyway then I was seen as the odd one out. Now with my permed hair I am the odd one. This just goes to show that the going natural is just about moving with the trend, there are reasons why I still perm my hair and wear wigs because for me it makes my hair manageable.

  12. Girl on Fire!

    May 10, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    Nkem is my girl but I must add that this is a bit insensitive. I have a boss I have worked with for 3 years and I don’t know what her hair looks like. I do know though from her front line that she doesnt have hair, in fact I have heard colleagues who have known her for longer refer to her hair as “bishop cap”. Now please who with that kind of hair would want to show it off? how do you even style it? you cant pack it, you cant it flow, nothing! Nkem darling, this seems like a harmless article but people do have genuine shortcomings that make them insecure.

    • Engoz

      May 10, 2017 at 4:06 pm

      Are we going to deny black women’s weave dependency because of the few exceptions who may suffer from alopecia which didn’t result from weave wearing? Can we stop pretending?

  13. Lexie

    May 10, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    I couldn’t care less about this natural hair movement “thingy”. I like permed hair and hair extensions. And it doesn’t make me less African than those who choose to carry their natural hair. My hair, my choice! Stop hair-shaming, if there is any word like that.

  14. Icare

    May 10, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    Calm down people. It’s not that serious. Nkem wrote about addiction. Read carefully before you comment. She never said weaves were bad. She’s just making reference to signs of being addicted to it. We all agree too much of everything is bad. THIS is not weave shaming. PEOPLE just hate the truth!

  15. Idomagirl

    May 13, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    Just to note, not everyone with a weave is “anti-natural hair”, there are tons of women with natural hair underneath their weaves and not everyone with natural hair is anti-weaves.

    Not everyone with natural hair is on some “black power” shit, some have a scalp that is too sensitive for relaxers, others just prefer their natural hair texture among other reasons.

    That weave queen you’re judging might have 4C natural hair underneath her Brazilian hair, but weaves are more convenient & less time consuming for her.

    All these divisions and judgment help no one.
    It’s just hair at the end of the day.

    • beeee

      May 15, 2017 at 9:23 am

      omada

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