Monday, August 22, 2011


For every Barbie doll that I never owned or knew existed there was an Indian girl around with her long flowing locks that piqued a realization in me: I was meant to be Samson’s reincarnate.

Authors: Ava Drake and Christiana Duodu 

Sometime in the eighties, Whoopi did a sketch for SNL where she tied a cloth around her head to demonstrate that she now had Barbie doll hair. She seemed pleased with her long flowing polyester hair!  I recently caught this on you tube and wondered if, in addition to her then job as a comedian, she also doubled as the proverbial mosquito on my childhood wall.  No need to correct me here—as a child growing up in Ghana, I had more mosquitoes than flies swarming around me so it is only fitting that they replace “flies” in this saying.  Also in Ghana, I was neither influenced by Western civilization nor Barbie dolls; yet I frequently engaged in the “cloth around my head” imitation of long hair. No one ever revealed to me that there could be beauty in long locks; as a matter of fact, cutting my hair like a boy (preferably a high top) was considered the “cool” thing.   But like my penchant for all things spicy and chocolate, I innately adored long hair without any external influence and wanted stalks of it just like Dotti (my Indian neighbor).  

So now…fast forward to my 20s and on any given day, you will find me diligently patting my weave to Beyonce’s “Get me bodied”.    My name is Ava and I have been a gleeful weave addict for the last decade! 

Sadly and unbeknownst to me, I should have been enrolled in a weave anonymous class for the last three years with an experienced dedicated sponsor (preferably Sanaa Laathan’s character in Something New): because to the masses, my love for all things “weavalicious” apparently translates to my need to look more European and a deep hatred for myself.  With the natural hair movement sweeping across the nation and the popularity of Chris Rock’s Good hair – which I have yet to see— having extensions (lots and lots of it in my case) is now being seen as an attempt to be more “White”, anti black, and a fool’s endeavor (monetarily speaking). 

Friends of mine, ex weave addicts, now on the natural hair bandwagon, feel they are superior, freer, and in their skin because they have now accepted themselves by giving up weave.   The daunting task of a “weavalicious” woman entering the afro centric Mecca—the black poetry or comedy club— isn’t at all frightful or uncomfortable to them anymore.  When the performers start to make fun of the silky, silky, straight haired girl with her nappy fronts – it was one time! And I was giving my Chi iron a rest— or the ridiculous looking hairline from a lace front; the redeemed, ex weave,  now natural hair rockers can laugh along carelessly.  They are no longer under the white man’s thumb because they are “Foxy Brown—ing” all over town.  Well, damn it! I feel the need to stand up for us remaining weave divas. 

I GET IT!!!   No one race is superior to the next.  From the deepest corners of the African continent to the coldest villages in Russia – we’re all created equal.  I… get… it...   The long, golden locks on the young Grecian co-ed isn’t any more superior to the natty dreads on the Jamaican songstress.   We’re all one in the same.  As an African woman, I can try on 10 different outfits with my hair the way the good Lord intended it to grow out of my head - tight, stringy coils- and walk out on the streets as confident as any 20-something New Yorker or Houstonian. 

On the other hand, I can relax my hair, add a few hair extensions (okay LOTS of extensions) and transform my 10 outfits—in my opinion— from cute to fabulous just by virtue of adding longer, more voluminous locks on my head.  It’s not a personal hatred of one’s self – it’s a preference…a desired look. 

Don’t let it offend you;  if you feel more at peace and ‘real’ when you pat your ‘fro, don’t for one second be taken aback when I pat my weave.  You see, my weave is an accessory.  You may wear a bold Egyptian neck piece with your long, flowing maxi dress.  I wear my weave.  You may strut down the street in the latest CL pumps and Prada clutch.  I strut my weave.  Your arms are toned, your hair is cropped, you know no bounds. 

My arms are not so toned, my long weave act as a bicep cover up.   I forget to wear a bra, my weave acts as a shield to my headlights.  Point is:  so long as clothing and shoes are required in public places, expect me to accessorize as I please.  My weave is here to stay. 

 Written by: 
Christiana Duodu and Ava Drake

Have a good rest of the week everyone!

Channeling my inner Foxy Brown: this is what I have under my weave...


  1. best post yet! Pat your ladies, ah ah ah, pat your weave ladies...

  2. oh, oh, pat your weave ladies... and do the hair flip, do the hair flip, do the, do the, do the hair flip (I just made that up:))

  3. lol. i was once a weave addict who feels more free natural. but shoot it is harder work to maintain. i see no reason both hairstyles can't co exist. i see no team weave v team natural.

  4. i agree! love your weaves. do u get them done in nyc? if so by who and what brand/type of hair do you use? xoxo