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Periaktoi Writing Post

Volume 55
Issue 1

Single Visual Art Post

  • Essay
This I Be-weave
Mya Houston


Red, pink, purple, yellow, blue, black. These are colors that many of us have had atop our colorful scalps before, including me. However, my situation is one that requires neither bleach nor hair dye. The term “weave” has been bounced around from place to place, but the true meaning remains unknown. My interpretation of weave is a protective style worn by people, mostly of african descent, that promotes hair growth, protects our hair from harsh elements, and adds a sense of beauty and fabulousness to our everyday living. Weave ranges from elegant extensions to the wackiest and most wonderful wigs. With weave, you can be Beyoncé, Oprah, or Rihanna.

Growing up, I didn’t start wearing weave until about second grade. Back then, weave was a completely new concept to my family, but it started to mold its way into my everyday life until I got into the fifth grade. At that time, I was a competitive dancer and the style I had to wear for competitions required my hair to be straight. As a result of this, my hair was straighter than uncooked, crunchy pasta for the next two years. Little did I know that this style came with a price. I didn’t realize that I was stripping myself of the hundreds of years of ancestry in my dark auburn, nappy, 4c mane. When I got to seventh grade, I noticed the tragedy that had taken place right above my forehead—I’d been cursed with breakage. My previously beautiful and long hair was now the forgotten weeds after a freshly mowed lawn.

Of course, I got made fun of for this and was constantly attempting to change my hair to fit the conformities of my basic, non-ratchet community. As a result, my entire eighth grade year was full of protective styles like braids and crochets. Some of these styles weren’t spectacular, but an embarrassment too great would await me if it weren’t for the protection of my fake hair.

However, to my luck, my hair decided to make a miraculous comeback. It had grown a whole 5 ½ inches within that year, and that wasn’t the only benefit. Through this experience, I was able to regain my confidence and find myself engulfed in the world of weave. It helped me to express myself in the many ways that I could never pull off with my natural hair, whether it be long, short, straight or curly. I could exemplify my true authenticity in wearing weave. It became part of me. The power of weave makes me feel like I can soar the highest peaks of skyscrapers. Weave transforms me into my greatest inspirations, like Beyoncé, Oprah, or Rihanna. With weave, I can take on my greatest dreams and aspirations. Weave helped me be red, pink, purple, yellow, blue, and black. Weave helped me believe. Therefore, I believe in weave.