Why Raven-Symone's Hair Story Is Our Ambition

PHOTO: FRED LEE/GETTY IMAGES 

Raven Symone's acting career has blossomed over the years and so has her natural hair style journey. We fell in love with her head of curls as little Olivia during her role on The Cosby Show and watched her again a few years later on Disney's That's So Raven and The Cheetah Girls. In each of her roles she confidently wore weaves or long wavy yaki human hair wigs. Yet occasionally we caught a glimpse of Raven’s curls and we loved them.

In recent years we've watched her slay protective styles and it's inspiring, refreshing and fun. 

Raven's Mane Moment: Shameless Style Versatility

In interviews for Essence’s My Mane Moment Black women celebrities share their hair journey and what “Black is beautiful” means to them. During Raven's moment she shares insight into the reason behind her bold and various looks over the years. She explains that she loves to wear wigs because they offer her the versatility of switching up her looks. This couldn’t be any truer as we know first hand that wigs offer the versatility and the freedom to do what you want with your hair.

“What inspires the hair change? It’s mostly because I had to have one style of hair my whole entire childhood for work: the long curls. It was cute, but you know I’m tired of it now so the good thing is there’s the weaves. There are the wigs. And why not have fun?” Raven shares during her moment. 

But having fun with her hair doesn’t mean Raven's natural hair is damaged. In fact, she admits that beneath her wigs and weaves she’s got healthy curls.

"I can change who I am with a track, but when I take it all out and my hair is healthy, I can enjoy my texture for what it is. I have curls, I really do. You won’t be seeing it, but I got curls. And I like my curls."

Recognize Yourself: Love Your Hair, Love Who You Are

According to Raven, her curls are who she truly is. But she chooses to wear wigs and buoyant hairstyles for work to differentiate Raven the actress and TV host from Raven behind the camera. Showbiz is competitive after all. 

“I feel like when I wear my curly hair, it’s like Raven-Symoné Christina Pearman: who my parents birthed and who I am," she said during her mane moment. "It’s not the person that’s on camera or this. That’s why you’ll rarely see that hair. It’s more me than anything else.”

Real Talk About Protective Styling

Black women occasionally get a lot of flack for not always wearing our natural hair. We're no doubt here for the natural hair movement and the message that black hair is beautiful. But Raven proves to us that wearing wigs don’t mean you don’t love your natural hair neither do they mean your natural hair is damaged.

Everyone who wears their natural hair knows that protective styling is a life saver for our hair. And wearing natural hair wigs is the ultimate protective style.

Due to the nature of our black hair, we are more prone to breakage than any other hair type. Protective styles such as wigs, therefore preserve the hair, limit the manipulation to the hair, helps the hair grow stronger and of course, retain length.

Celebrate Change 

Wigs give us the versatility to switch up our look. After all life is too short to have boring hair. Rock a chin length yaki hair style today and have your hair down your back tomorrow. It all just works and you can pull off both with confidence. From rocking a unicorn-colored hair style wig today and taking it back to basics with a jet black hair wig tomorrow you gain natural hair style versatility without damage to your actual hair.

Why Wearing Wigs Challenge The Status Quo

For a minute, lets indulge in what could happen to Raven's hair if she decided to make her natural hair the canvas for her bold styles.

Heat Damage

Most styles Raven wears are straight or wavy. To achieve this on her hair, she would have to get her hair straightened more often than not. This could potentially lead to heat damage, weak curls and breakage.

Color Breakage

From frosty white to pastel pinks and purples, the colors of Raven's weaves and wigs are vibrant, flirty and bold. But what would replicating those colors on her hair natural crown mean? In two words: damaged hair. Her hair would need constant bleaching and peroxide which compromises the hair's shaft and can cause damage which makes the hair dry and brittle. 

Length Shortage

Although going from long barrel curls one day to a mohawk the next day is achievable. What’s not as achievable is going from a cropped mohawk to a chin-length fringe bob.

Definitely, if Raven had to do these all on her natural hair, there’s going to be some problem with versatility. But with clip-ins of varying lengths, wigs and weaves, the hairstyling world is her oyster and can be anyone’s too.

Natural Hair Wigs: Wear Your Dream Hair Boldly

For Raven, her natural hair is saved for her family and her close friends. It’s the hair she wears in her safe space, while her wigs are for work. For you, your natural hair could be the hair you wear when you take your children to the park  while a stylish natural hair wig helps you maintain your individual style effortlessly day in and day out. 

The bottom line is, wigs work for different lifestyles and they rock! And Raven-Symone proves this to be true. Thanks Raven for inspiring us all.