Kelly Rowland has me thinking, “Is it practical for celebrities to wear natural hair? “

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This morning I was reading an Essence Magazine article, Hair Weave Tips and Tricks. The article caught my eye because I saw the beautiful Miss Kelly Rowland rocking her fierce new curly weave. As usual, the age-old  debate was sparked again, wearing weave vs. wearing your own hair in the comment section on Facebook. One commenter said, “How about just grow your own hair. We can do it Black women!” Of course we know that there are many reasons, some even medical why women wear weaves and wigs. And, of course we know that that is probably not the case for the majority of Black women who rock weave. Lastly, we know that not every woman who wears weave is bald. Some actually have really long, healthy hair “underneath.”

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So, the question is, ”Is it practical for celebrities to wear natural hair? ” The answer, I think is, yes. One excuse for not wearing your own hair is that constantly frying and dying your hair to create new looks will cause damage. However, there are plenty of protective and low-manipulation styles for natural hair. Another excuse is that celebrities need to look good all the time and have an image to uphold. But what if we change the image?  In my last article about the unveiling of Viola Davis’ natural hair, I wrote that Hollywood would not accept our hair until we accept ourselves. On the red carpet at the Essence Black Women in Hollywood 2012 Luncheon, Viola states, “My husband told me to step into who I am.”  She stated that with her new natural hair, “I feel more powerful everyday.” What if we as African women flip the script? I’ve heard many women say that they are just not into the “natural look,” and that it’s cool sometimes, but not all the time. I can feel that. On the flipside, there are many women who feel that their God-given “natural look” is never acceptable.

As a performer, you put on a custume and go on stage. When the performance is over, you take the costume off. So, when does the weave, the wig, the facade ever come off? When do you ever “step into” who you really are? I was elated when I read an article featuring Raven Symone (I wrote about it here.) where she explained that when she is working, she wears weave, but in her down time, she rocks her natural. I know that it’s hard enough for Black actresses without them having to worry about how their hair will be perceived.  I would dare to say that Black actresses can reclaim their power by embracing their uniqueness.

I really like Kelly’s new hair and I think weaves in general can be very flattering when installed correctly. Weaves and wigs certainly come in handy when you need a styling break or just want to change your look. I too enjoy the occasional quick weave or wig (though, I haven’t worn one in nearly a year). It’s not about condemning those who wear weaves, it’s about helping women to fall in love with their own hair texture. It’s about giving them tools to succeed with natural hair.

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