Since the days of Madam CJ Walker (maybe even before then), black women have been at it for decades. I’m a dude, so I’m not even going to pretend to understand #TheStruggle when it comes to a black woman’s hair. I am married to one, so that makes me somewhat qualified to speak on all things hair care. Or maybe it doesn’t. But my bathroom counter full of hair care products, my wife’s nightly one hour hair routine, and my “floor-pacing, waiting on her to finish her hair before we dash to an event” self says I am. So I’m just going to go with that. And I ask you to go with me.
Creamy Crack Crew. Team Natural. Flat Iron Rollers. Weave Nation. Women who swear by each of these styles could create their own gangs. Women sit for hours watching YouTube tutorials, reading blogs, and in beauty parlors to maintain and service their hair (maybe service isn’t a good word…It’s not like it costs as much as a car note each month *sarcasm*). One thing I’ve learned as a black man is that you NEVER do or say anything to deter a woman from her quest to find the perfect hairstyle that fits them.
It’s easy for dudes. We go to the barber shop and drop $20 or so and we’re good to go. That is, unless Soul Glo plans to make a comeback anytime soon. If not, our hair is fairly easy to maintain. Women, on the other hand, a whole ‘nother ball game. Real talk though, they might be in a cult and just don’t know it. Beauty supply stores be “coming up” on the money they make off black women. I looked at the price tag on one of the small bottled concoctions my wife has and I was floored. But that’s the price you pay for beauty, right?
Church Growth #FAIL
So you can understand my surprise when I read the story of a black man who pastors a church in Waco, Texas. He asked that his female staff members refrain from wearing hair weaves. Sir, have you lost your ever loving mind? Did you not grow up around one African-American female? I understand the brother’s intentions. He even mentioned it in an interview. Weave costs. That good Beyonce weave, though? Man, you might have to take out a loan for that. And that’s where the pastor had issues. He was concerned about churchgoers who may be struggling financially, yet find a way to drop $300 on some hair. He wanted his staff members to model behavior and let other women in the congregation know that weaves aren’t necessary. Interesting perspective there. But the internet went crazy this week. Weave nation stood up. No way he was going to disrespect their crew and get away with it.
I aint too sure this pastor read Rick Warren’s The Purpose-Driven Church or Robert Schnase’s Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations. It’s a pretty safe bet to say he didn’t. And he probably won’t be invited to Woman, Thou Art Loosed any time in the near future (he might be a sure bet for the hair conference knock-off “Weave, Thou Art Loosed”…y’all think I’m playing. This might happen). Either way, the brother should have consulted with brothers like me. I’ve got two sisters, a number of nieces, and a wife on my resume. And I’m involved in ministry. He could have called me anytime. It would have been the shortest conversation ever. After his rant about the cost-effectiveness of eliminating weaves, I would have shared four words with the brother: “Don’t Do It, Pastor”. Wisdom, if I may say so myself.
Question: Did this pastor go too far? Or can an argument be made that his thought process makes total sense?