The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Tightly Woven: Have expensive weaves become integrated into Starkville’s current cultural fabric?

Eric Irby
Tightly Woven

     Weaves, which used to be a minor trend, have recently become something of a subculture among African-Americans, dominating the African-American beauty market.

    Weaves seem to be the new status symbol and an easy way to compete with the next girl.

    Tylena Byas, model, rapper and junior apparels, textiles and merchandising major, said she feels, besides the fact that wearing a weave helps with her modeling, a weave can aid a woman’s self esteem.

   “I think weave is more relevant in today’s society because it helps women feel more confident. No, I’m not saying you can’t be confident in your own natural hair,” Byas said. “I just feel to each his own. I prefer weave because I model, and it gives me easy, accessible styles that my natural hair wouldn’t be able to do.”

   In the past, most African-American women would not even hint that some of their hair included a weave, but recently, women wear a weave as a sign of pride — almost something like a crown.

   Jasmine Rillen, model and senior fashion merchandising major, said wearing weaves can allow one to feel more beautiful but that the source of additional beauty can also become a habit.

    “I wear weave because my hair is short, and I like length,” Rillen said. “But I also like it because it makes you look prettier and gives you confidence. I don’t know what it is about it, but you become addicted to it.”

     Additional length is one of the most common reasons women wear weaves.   

   Unlike extensions, which can be clipped in or applied with an adhesive to the hair, the majority of weaves are sewn into braids on a woman’s scalp. 

  Installing a weave can be a very long and daunting process that sometimes takes more than four hours, but, as the old saying goes, “pain is beauty.”

   Miyatah Love, senior accounting major, said getting a weave put in is a tedious and uncomfortable procedure.

  “It actually really doesn’t feel all that good, and it takes an extremely long time,” Love said. “Once, it took six hours for her to install my hair.”

    The “silky crack,” as some call it, comes in a variety of shades and textures.

   Some popular textures of weave include Brazilian, Malaysian, Indian and Peruvian.    

   “Remi” is the umbrella term that encompasses varieties of  “good quality” hair.

     The term “Remi” indicates the weaves are constructed of  virgin human hair and, unlike synthetic hair, its cuticles aren not stripped.

    “Remi” is a more expensive type of weave due to its authentic material.

    As opposed to synthetic hair, which can cost anywhere from $60 to $85, Remi can range anywhere from $100 to $500 a pack.

   These figures do not include the cost of weave installation, which ranges anywhere from $80 to $120 dollars, depending on the type of  product and style.

    Due to television shows like “Basketball Wives,” “America’s Next Top Model” and “Bad Girls Club,”  and musicians like Beyoncé Knowles, women flock to their nearest hair store or website to purchase the look these female figures wear. Weaves give some women a sense of power and sex appeal that becomes accessible with a single purchase.

  Korbin Houston, sophomore whose major is undeclared, said she thinks women wear weaves to emulate pop culture stars and considers it just another cosmetic process.
  “I believe women want to achieve a certain look and, like anything, like makeup or nails, it does help amp our personalities and gives us that ‘oomph’ that famous people have,” Houston said. “In all honesty, my natural hair is actually long, but the only reason I have weave is because I’m lazwy. I didn’t want to fool with my hair and there’s nothing wrong with more. Unlike a lot of things in life, weave is fabulous, and you can never have  too much hair.”

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Tightly Woven: Have expensive weaves become integrated into Starkville’s current cultural fabric?