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Beyoncé’s hair has been scrutinized for years. Usually spotted in wigs and braids, the pop star has mostly styled her hair with extensions, as many celebrities do. But her longtime use of weaves has made it hard for some to believe that her hair is as long as it appears in the video.

These claims have driven her fans, her hairstylist and even her mother, Tina Knowles, to attest publicly that Beyoncé is wearing weaves by choice, not out of necessity. In a since-deleted video shared on Instagram in 2019, Ms. Knowles combs through her daughter’s dark brown, waist-length hair in an effort to shut down rumors. The video was reposted by Mr. Farinah, who captioned the video: “WHAT WEAVE WHAT WIG. YES YES ALL NATURAL.”

And in 2017, Ms. Knowles posted a photo on Instagram showing her daughter’s real blond hair in a low ponytail.

“INCHES!!!! So happy my baby’s hair grew back!! She is going to get me,” she joked in the caption.

While it certainly can help, no. For example, the founder of Sundial Brands, which is the manufacturer behind popular beauty brands like SheaMoisture and Nubian Heritage, is bald.

There’s a longstanding stereotype that Black women’s natural hair can grow only so long, leading some to believe that Black women wear weaves because they are pretending to have long hair or are assimilating to white beauty standards. In reality, many Black women can grow long and healthy hair just fine, but the stigma persists.

Black women have long been pioneers of hair innovation, leveraging natural textures whose versatility can be used to create practically limitless different hairstyles. Weaves and braids are also protective styles, since Afro-textured hair can take time and attention to style and maintain. Braids and weaves can make visits to the pool or the gym more manageable, for instance, and having a protective style requires a lot less hair products to pack while traveling, saving luggage space. When installed correctly and properly cared for, these styles can result in length retention by reducing daily hair manipulation.

Ms. Knowles later reposted a video featuring audio of the comedian Katt Williams bragging about his long, natural hair without the use of a perm. The clip, which she shared on her Instagram account with a cheeky caption, included an image of Beyoncé and her natural hair.





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