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Beauty, Blog to Blog, YouTube

I Am Not My Wig

Okay everyone, I am sure the title has everyone all sort of intrigued, I have been avoiding this subject for quite some time because I felt like I would be judged and made fun of. I feel like as an influencer it is important to be real and up front. So here is the truth about me… I wear wigs!

Now there is a difference between being fake and being who you want to portray who you are. For some reason a lot of people have a problem with women who are not “natural” having fake boobs, nails, hair, eyelashes, lips, Botox, designer clothing etc. there is nothing wrong with enhancing yourself to feel beautiful.

Making your hair longer by wearing extensions, straightening your curls, coloring your hair, injecting your lips etc, it’s not pretending to be someone else, its being who you want to be on the outside. But its what’s on the inside that people fall in love with and makes you, “you.” Society has gotten used to these beauty methods, but wigs are still foreign, taboo and in a way “unexpected.” To understand my wig obsession we need to start from the beginning.

Growing up in an all white community has shaped and played a huge part in who I am. As a child I had curly, frizzy hair and I was often made fun of for it. I was called names because of the color of my skin and the texture of my hair. From a young age I was conditioned into the mind set that straight hair equaled beautiful. In American Fork, Utah .75 % of the population is African American or Black and 93% is White. Literally less than 1% of my hometown is black. Even in high school, boys would tell me that they thought I looked more attractive with straight hair. I hated my natural hair. I honestly despised it. Even now, there are days where I still do. Curly hair is way more high maintenance and can be a chore. When I turned 15 my aunts took me to get my hair professionally straightened for the first time. It took about 4 hours to straighten my whole head of hair and the beautician did not do a very good job (she had never styled African American hair before) but up to that point, it was the happiest day of my life. My hair laid flat against my head and for the first time it wasn’t a huge hassle to run my fingers through my hair. I could brush it effortlessly and quickly. It swayed as I walked and stretched all the way to my bum. I could not stop touching it. From that day on.. I WAS OBSESSED! Finally, I felt as if I were beautiful.

I started to straighten my hair every day without fail. And man did I get good at it! It was soft and flowy, long and straight, perfect. After a while I got bored with my hairstyle and decided to switch things up. I colored my hair blonde and IT WAS A HUGE MISTAKE!! It looked so bad that not even a full 2 weeks later, I died it back to its natural dark brown. The drastic back and forth changes instantly damaged my hair. Then, it happened…Every girls nightmare. My hair started to break off. It got shorter and shorter to the point where I eventually had to chop it. I cut it into a bob, which made it a small fro when it was curly. I liked it for a while but soon I grew sick of it. I wanted it LONG and STRAIGHT like every beautiful girl. So I invested in some clip-in extensions for a while…but my ends were already fried and straightening it every day was not doing my natural hair any favors.

Slowly my life changed when I was then introduced to the WIG. At first, I was a litte confused as you (my reader) might be as well. Wigs were for cancer patients and Halloween only, right? I couldn’t wear a wig, I would be too self conscious about my hair. Would people notice my hair was fake? Would I be made fun of if people found out? What if it fell off in public?? I could not risk it! I found myself sucked into the naive culture I was born into. I was at war with myself, so for weeks on end I religiously watched YouTube tutorials of many different girls showing how they properly styled their wigs. They looked great and flawless. So, I went for it. After countless trial and error for about 6 months, I finally got it down! I wore that wig with confidence! It also cut my hair maintenance and styling time in half and I also felt like “Man, I look good.”

Wearing wigs started to become an obsession. I wore wigs and nothing else for about 3 years and it was wonderful. I could switch up my hairstyles and their was no consequence. Then, it happened. I took my braids out like normal, washed my hair like normal, and looked into the mirror like normal, and noticed how long my hair had grown. Since I had been putting no heat on my hair for over 2 years it had grown from a short bob to way passed my shoulders. I straightened it that night and it reached the middle of my back. I was shocked and amazed! Turns out that wigs are a great protective hairstyle. Which means that your hair underneath your wig your hair is braided back. It is not exposed to heat like hair straighteners or curling irons and damaging products that styling my natural hair required. It is protected by the wig. Finally my natural hair was thriving and because of this my hair grew ten times faster than it normally would.

Some people ask me, “Do you ever wear your hair natural? Or do you not like your natural curls?”

I think a lot of people think that black women who wear wigs or fake hair of any kind they must not like or appreciate their natural curls. But did anyone think that we could love both? Wearing a wig does not mean I don’t like my natural hair. Besides tremendous hair growth, I also realized that I could rock my natural hair and still be beautiful. However, I didn’t want to put myself back in the cycle of damaging my natural hair. So I went back to wigs.

To this day I still wear them. But I rotate wearing them and my natural hair. There are some people who believe that wearing anything other than you natural hair is an insult to your God-given curls and that somehow you are not embracing your culture and the beauty of African American Hair. To me, choosing to wear my hair natural or straight is not about making a statement about my culture and, in turn, wearing a wig does not mean I do not love my natural curls. Women should not be judged for the decision to wear their hair natural or not. I should also not have to defend my blackness or culture because of how I choose to wear my hair.

Now why is this such a big deal? Why is this made into a big announcement? Well there is something you have to understand. When talking to any women of color, they dont blink an eye if you expressed that you were wearing a wig. It is a norm. In my community that I grew up in, this is still very taboo and not talked about. Coming out to the world about my hair has empowered me and has given me purpose to know that through my experiences I can relate and help others! The more I talk about my hair journey, the more women come to me with the same hair story as mine.

I am a proud African American woman no matter how I wear my hair. I hope that this article has helped other women embrace who they are and how they wear their hair. Don’t be afraid to try new things, branch out, and have the courage to be who you want without any fear of what others might think of you. My wigs don’t cover up who I am, they help me love who I am even more.

Click on the image below to watch my first Wig YouTube Tutorial! Please Like, Share and Subscribe!

https://youtu.be/X34dTG2EwPk

 

(18) Comments

  1. Ashley says:

    Hi Lara! I am also an African American living in Utah. I was adopted by white parents and have had no black hair education throughout my life. As soon as I discovered straightening my hair, I said goodbye to my curls! I was so sick of people commenting on how frizzy my hair was and touching it without my permission. I wanted to look “normal.” Like you, I finally felt pretty once my hair was pin straight. Today, my hair is thin and won’t grow. I want to try using wigs and other protective styles to get back to a healthy head of hair! Since I’m coming from 0 knoweldge, I really appreciate your video and blog post as an educational tool. Thank you for your voice!

    1. keilara says:

      Hey Ashley!

      Thanks girl!! I really appreciate your comment. I love your kind words, so thanks again. I totally feel ya with growing up in an all white community. It’s hard being a minority. I would seriously recommend wigs. Let me know if you have any other questions girl! I’d be happy to help xoxo

  2. Laura Adney says:

    Thank you for sharing this, this gives more perspective for people like me and the cultural impact and significance that surrounds African American hair. You are a beautiful soul

  3. GIRL. You seriously rock those wigs! I love how natural they look – but what I love the most is that they make you feel confident. That’s what all this is about, right? It’s why I wear makeup every day, and why I enjoy spray tans, etc. It doesn’t mean it’s “fake” – it’s like you said: enhancing the natural beauty! You inspired me so much with this post!

  4. Omg you look amazing!!! I 100% agree with you; anything you do to make YOU feel more beautiful is fine by me. I get Botox, wear makeup, etc. You’re killin’ it babe. And how fun that you get to change up your look so easily!? Love.

  5. You are totally rockin it girl!! Beautiful on the inside and out and your wigs and your natural hair are beautiful!

    Kileen
    cute & little

  6. You are so rocking the hair whether it’s natural or wigs. I feel like the stigma with the “problem” of women having fake things is a big issue. If we want to enhance our beauty with fake eyelashes or injections, etc. Thank you for sharing this story with everyone!

  7. I grew up in a mostly white community as well. I have naturally curly hair and it’s definitely tough to manage…and keep people’s fingers off of it haha. At the end of the day I think you should style your hair the way it makes you feel most comfortable. I wear my hair 99% curly but I have fun straightening it too!

    1. keilara says:

      It’s always fun to switch things up once and a while for sure. Thanks for your sweet comment! ❤️

  8. It can be so fun!! I love when you can change your hair up like this.

  9. I’m Asian American and I really related to this post a lot more than one may think! In the Asian American community, having small, narrow eyes are considered “unattractive,” and I heard that a lot growing up, not just from my Korean family, but from white students as well. Even Julie Chen felt that pressure because she got her eyes surgically enhanced and people were literally telling her she looked better afterwards! I really struggled to accept that my eyes aren’t going to look “western” unless I get surgery, which I just don’t want to do. But I totally understand why some people would and I think that another person’s decision to get surgery on their eyes (or wear wigs in your case) affects me in exactly zero ways and I think that everyone should just do what makes them happy as long as they’re not hurting anyone or hurting themselves!
    Thank you for writing this beautiful post!

  10. Wigs are meant to be fun and useful for many purposes, not detrimental to one’s character or even physical attributes! People can be so ignorant sometimes. Just do you! xoxo

  11. Tara says:

    i’ve been wearing wigs for over a year- all the fun and none of the damage. I’ll never go back 🙂

    1. keilara says:

      Yas girl! Me too!😘😘

  12. Such a good read! I agree, I think with wigs you get to try out different hairstyles and you can have the best of both worlds– natural hair style or a fun wig style without damaging your hair!

    1. keilara says:

      Thank you! I appreciate it. Amen. No hair damage!

  13. Yes girl, it’s about those options – I totally get it! I’m the same way with fashion and I need all the options. Wig or natural, you look absolutely stunning and thanks for staying real with us for this post!

    xoxo Bryanna

    1. keilara says:

      Thank you for your comment! ❤️

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