June of 2012 in Las Vegas marked the first vacation my boyfriend and I went on together. It was roughly 6 months into our relationship and we were excited to get away. As we were going through security at the San Jose airport, I walked through security and a TSA inspector stopped me. She patted my body down, and seemed surprised she found nothing. Confused by what set off the metal detector, she started moving her way up towards my head and paused. There she was, patting my head down, realizing she felt some tracks with clips, and all she could say was, "Damn, I thought it was real girl! Does he know?" Absolutely mortified that my hair had just set off a metal detector, all I could say was "Don't say anything" and rushed away. But I was even more embarrassed that it happened in front of my boyfriend, with whom I avoided the conversation of my hair extensions. The trip went on and we never discussed what happened.
For about the first year of our relationship I had hair extensions and I completely avoided the conversation. It wasn't that I was ashamed, or that I was scared he'd break up with me; I simply did not know how to bring up the subject. So, like my typical 22 year old self, I avoided awkward moments and went through large feats to do so. This included:
- Not letting my boyfriend touch the top of my head
- Removing the clips before showering, washing the tracks separately, and clipping them back in before I stepped out of the bathroom
- Running with them on during a Tough Mudder event
The longer we were together, the more awkward the topic became, which is why I let it go on for as long as it did. But as I look back, I can't help but wonder why there is such a stigma in having a weave, with how common it is today.
According to research undertaken by hairtrade.com, over a third of women (34%) use hair extensions as a regular part of their beauty regime, but 87% of those questioned didn’t tell anyone they were wearing them. At least I'm not alone.
Eventually the truth came out about another year later. He simply asked if I ever wore extensions while we were together, and I said yes. So despite the stigma, it was the easiest thing to admit. Feel comfortable with who you are and own that weave. It really doesn't matter if that hair is not yours, girl.
Thou shall admit I have a weave.