Extensions play a big part in culture, identity, and appearance and it was one thing I needed, one thing I lived for. I remember the first time I got them. I was in 3rd grade, going into 4th. My family moved not so far but a block away from where I stayed on Austin and Augusta making me transfer from Beye to go to Whittier. I was definitely going to miss my old friends but I knew this was a perfect opportunity to start fresh. I was excited for new friends, new clothes, and defiantly a new hair style that was actually the only thing I could think about....i can’t enter this new school with pigtails I’m so sick of them, they’re so embarrassing! Braids were in and that’s exactly what I wanted. So I begged my mom to let me get my hair braided and she agreed. We set up an appointment with my cousin Monica and she asked me if I wanted extensions. I told her I did and she said I would have to buy weavee. I didn’t know what “weavee” really was or how to buy it, the only thing I knew was everyone was wearing it. She told me to go to the beauty supply store and to buy the really nappy kind called yaki. She called it “braiding hair” which were one of many types of weavees you can buy, there all for different styles of what you want and they come in different lengths, colors, textures but when I heard that I was very surprised and clueless, if I was going to buy “weavee” why I wouldn’t buy the nice kind. But I bought it anyway and when she got done with my hair I instantly fell in love and became obsessed, never wore my natural hair again. It became an obsession, once you start wearing it you don’t want to stop, just like make up. I would get so many different styles from just straight back or even curled; every other week but there was a certain style that was my favoritee which was called Iverson braids which were really pretty and popular. Many people started braiding my hair also and the prices started changing. My cousin charged at least $40 to braid my hair, and the cost of hair was another story. Hair itself can range from $20-1500-3000 depending on how nice the hair is, for an example “human hair” can start from 50-3000$ and By the middle of 4th grade I was introduced to micro braids which were a different type of extension that used “human hair” and it took 8 hours just to braid so they would charge a lot. $100 for doing it and about $200 for the hair, sometimes more it all depends on how “real” you want it to look. Sounds like a hell, I know but I could stand it. I actually wore extensions for about 5 years straight in braids. By the time I was in high school, the middle of freshman year, I was introduced to a style called a sew in by my mother’s friend Nikki (who is my stylist now). Which is extensions being attached by actually adding the hair by sewing it in. She didn’t charge me a lot. I wore this style for a year straight. Still no breaks throughout the years. They told me I should wear my natural hair but I didn’t want to hear that. My hair wasn’t short but it wasn’t the length I wanted. It was like an addiction. Once you get hooked to extensions and perms, you don’t want to go back. I never once thought about cutting my hair until the summer of sophomore year. I watched this movie called “good hair” by Chris rock and it inspired me. It made me more comfortable with my choice and I finally got sick of the weavees and wanted to something new. So I cut my hair.
January 18, 2011