As Black History Month (UK) wraps up for another year, I am forced to realise that the organisers of the plethora of events encouraging black women proudly to ‘keep and wear their hair natural’ did not want me to talk or exhibit at their events! Yes, some of my emails, online forms, voicemails and messages could have been lost in cyber space, but surely at least one would have got through?
Well, it’s their loss. For organisations claiming to discuss, inform and proffer solutions for maintaining, wearing, styling and managing natural afro hair, excluding the SimiWeave™ is a short-sighted, uninformed, and BIG mistake. I can prove and demonstrate that thanks to the SimiWeave™, my hair is not only 100% natural (which I define incidentally as ‘free of chemicals and other artificial products that permanently alter the natural structure of the hair’); it is also healthy, thick and long. So shouldn’t they be begging me to be the poster child – or at the very least, a spokesman (or..erm…woman) for ‘proudly keeping and wearing your hair natural’?!
No, not yet, because they need to be informed first; and I accept that that is down to me! Right now, they look at me and see my straight SimiWeave™ hair and conclude that because I do not wear my hair ‘natural’, then my hair is not ‘natural’ and that I have nothing to contribute to their event or debate, or the cause. This is because their definition of natural typically adds ‘and bereft of any hair attachments or other coverings’ to mine: therein lies the problem and short-sightedness.
It is true that my natural hair is rarely on display but this has nothing to do with not being proud of it, or wanting to emulate white women, yada, yada, yada. Just like 62% of our customers, I simply do not have hours to spend on styling it every day, only to have it dried out or flattened by the sun, wind, rain, traffic, etc. and then have to spend more time fixing it. I prefer to wear what I call ‘protective hairstyles’, and since 2003 this has been the SimiWeave™. Forget all your preconceptions of the word ‘weave’: the SimiWeave™actually uses a wig cap that covers and protects @90% of my hair! It is the patented original and best 'U part wig'!
They will argue that opting for a wig is lazy and that I am not taking care of the hair that God gave me properly. Bring it on – you are just giving me an opportunity to sprout the merits of the SimiWeave™ U part wig! It is temporarily and gently attached using combs/clips, and it is not permanently fixed using damaging thread or glue like traditional weaves! You can remove it easily to let your hair breath, and to wash and care for your hair. And if you corn-row your hair to get it really flat, you could be accelerating its rate of growth too.
Then they will criticise the straightness of my SimiWeave™ U part wig. I do wear curly / frizzy SimiWeave U part wigs often, however, I have to admit that the choices are limited. Afro-centric hair can be mimicked effectively using synthetic (artificial) hair, but unfortunately it tends to be Brillo-pad harsh and uncomfortable. As for human (real) afro-centric hair, tell me where I can find black women willing to cut off their hair to sell, and I’ll be there – I have been searching forever!
Next, they will question why I don’t go for ‘more natural-looking’ protective hairstyles like braids, twists and locks featuring hair extensions instead, and force me to point out that by their own definition, the presence of hair extensions disqualifies these options from being ‘natural’. I’ll also explain that before the SimiWeave™ U part wig, I employed such options prodigiously but they always took up too much time to put in and remove and always drove me to use chemical relaxers. Then the relaxer would break and gradually thin my hair and drive me back to keeping it natural. And so on. I endured the hellish and expensive cycle of two-years natural, then two-years chemically relaxed, then two-years natural, etc., typically experienced by most black women, for over twenty-five years!
Whilst I am delighted that so many black people are interested in and discussing the issue of ‘going natural’ and that opting for natural hair instead of chemical relaxers is gathering momentum, I find that these events and the advice they give generally falls short when it comes to practical, realistic and convenient suggestions for maintaining and styling natural hair. This is why their delegates fall off the natural bandwagon all the time, and why theSimiWeave™ U part wig is a viable and popular choice for so many black women with 100% natural hair! I wonder if I were to contact these event organisers next year without mentioning my brand name, would they let me present my case? They have to realise sooner or later that despite its name, the SimiWeave™ U part wig is a deserving part of the natural hair movement!