Should Christians Wear Wigs, Weaves, and Hair Extensions?
For a very long time during my teenage years I wanted to be an actress. So, during filming one time I wore a wig that just would not stay on my head. I have no idea why but that experience of constantly having to adjust it during the shoot (was disappointing enough that it) is engraved in my mind. During those years, I used to transition often from natural to permed hair. However, a few months after I became a Christian in 1997 I decided to wear my natural hair indefinitely. By this time, I was already an adult, married with child. I began working for the New York City public schools as a substitute teacher. I did not always know when I’d be going to work. One winter evening of the same year, I had this bright idea to braid my hair with extensions that way I’ll have one less thing to worry about when I was summoned for work in the morning.
Something strange happened to me that evening while one of my sister-in-laws was braiding my hair. Halfway during the process I got up. I actually felt as though I was transported to the nearby mirror by an unseen hand. I looked at myself and saw the side of my head with natural hair and the other side with hair extensions and I started screaming frantically saying, “Take if off, take it off. This is not me.” The hair extensions seemed shinier than usual. What was happening to me? The extensions did not seem appealing to me as they used to. That was really strange. Since that time I never felt the urge to wear them again. In fact, I’ve developed a strong distaste toward them.
But Why? I lived on those things! It makes no sense. Why the strong aversion all of a sudden? Is it possible that they hold hidden curses that my soul despised and was trying to uncover? God, what’s up with that? As the years go by my distaste toward them grows even more. When I see them on people’s heads in the street, they don’t bother me that much. But every time I see a Christian in my church wearing wigs it troubles me to the core of my being. There were times when I scream out to God asking Him to put a stop to this madness, as I called it. It is so prevalent in my church that now out of 300 members I can count on my fingers and toes who does not wear wigs. Mind you many of those who wear them have red, blond, or other colorful highlights just like those who consider themselves atheists.
I’ve watched preachers come and go at my church. They came so close to talking about the issue of wigs and why they are inappropriate for Christians. Until one day, I was privileged to listen to this brave evangelist who preached for a crusade at my church. He did not mind talking about sin and exhorting the people to renounce it. He then got to the issue of dress. I was so sure he was going to tell the church about the inappropriateness of wearing wigs. But no, he did not. I was crushed and disappointed. Then the Spirit of the Lord said to me, “Nicole, he didn’t say it because it’s not for him to say. It’s for you to do something about?” Prior to this revelation, I had been learning that if a person wants to know what he is called to do he needs to find out what he hates. Then I began to understand my frustrations. There were times when I asked, “God, what do you want from me? And eventually He said, “Write about it so you could share it with the church.” So I did a research to confirm my suspicions. Sure enough, there were reasons to worry.
There were times I couldn’t sleep at night. I stayed up thinking of ways to get the message across. But at the same time, I love my people. I don’t want to offend them. I don’t want them to think I’m better than them. I’m far from being better than anyone. We all have our struggles and I believe they, like myself in the past, have been caught in this trap of “outer embellishment” without considering how God may feel about this issue. Thank God For Jesus Writer (2015) reminds us:
God has made us wonderfully and beautifully (Psalm 139:14) and anything that God has made in us that we do not like or dislike is often owed to vain desires, vain glory, seeking to be like others or wanting to be what He himself has not called us to be. (para. 6)
One time, one of my church sisters whom I never saw wear wig was singing in the church choir. And that day for the event, she wore a wig. I was so distraught I screamed out to God and said, “If one more person in here who has not been wearing wig starts wearing wig I think I’m gonna die.” I love my church family. Each and every member in my church is dear to my heart. Why am I fussing over them wearing wigs and hair extensions? I should just love them as they are, right? Right. I honestly can’t seem to control my feeling of distaste toward wigs. I have this deep sense that danger is lurking and satan is striking in very subtle ways and my people will be the victim. D’Blessing (2014) agrees when she writes:
It is true that to some extent wearing such is an indirect way of saying to God ‘I do not appreciate what you have done, hence I am going to perfect on your work’, but the most critical aspect of this issue is that many Christians are putting themselves in bondage by wearing the so called human hair “Remi” extensions and wigs in place of their own hair. It may look all beautiful outwardly but basically you can decorate your glory by wearing a bunch of [curses] on your hair. (p. 1)
I asked God to forgive their ignorance.
I asked God to forgive their ignorance.
During my research I found a video (Ravindranath, 2012), which explains the process in which one’s beauty is sacrificed (known as tonsorial) to idols in exchange for favors. The obvious conclusion is by wearing the wigs, the wearer will inherit whatever the curse (e.g., illness) that that person had before giving his/her hair to the gods. That is scary, especially with illnesses so prevalent in my church. TGFJ Writer (2015) states, “When a hair is sacrificed to idols and someone wears it, they put themselves in bondage” (para. 4).
As Children’s Ministries director at my church, many times I make up stories in my head for children’s Corner on how I’m going to address this issue. One scenario I thought about was to do a Psalm 139:14 check off. The idea was to line up some young ladies, find out their take on this verse, and then find out how many fake things they had on their body such as fake nails, eyelashes, wigs, hair extensions, weaves, make up, eye lenses, etc. But I also knew from experience that I could not do that unless God approves. I’m determined to never present a message to God’s people without His approval. My take on that is that God knows His people better than anyone else and it is up to Him to tell me what to say to His people. So far, He has never let me down.
Lately, God has been given me individual message to give to some members in the church. The message is not always received with joy at first but then with prayer I watch how some of them would get rid of their wigs which they thought they could not live without. A week ago, God gave me a message to send to my immediate family and while preparing the text message, the Spirit said, “Don’t forget your church family.” I was really stunned and I thought, “What? God my son is getting ready to graduate and I would like to live long enough to see it.” Like I said I did not want to offend anybody. But I knew better than to go against God’s command.
The message read, “Hello my family, it is expedient that we remove all wigs and hair extensions from our homes. God is getting ready to bless the family but we must do away with the wigs which are not of God. Blessings to you all.” I sent this message to 40 people and I got three responses. The first response, from one of my many nieces, was, “Hey auntie I am ok. Thanks for the message :-).” The Second response was from a church sister who wrote, “Could you please text the same to [my] daughters, I will appreciate it.” My response to the latter, “I did also. Please pray for them so God can prepare their hearts to receive the message.” “Thank you, I will,” she responded back. The third one came from another niece, which read, “What? lol I didn’t know you had my number.” I have to say this text got the least responses among those I have ever sent to my church sisters. I’ve always gotten tons of responses to my texts. The conversations usually ended with, “Thank you sis or I love you sis.”
While writing this manuscript, I received a phone call from a church sister who was returning my call from two days ago. The Lord had impressed me to tell her this story I heard seven years ago when I lived in Pennsylvania. The story is about a devout church woman who loved God so much that on many occasions the enemy tried to attack her but could not find a leeway. However, as soon as she put on a wig satan said, “Aha! I got her.” D’Blessing (2014) writes:
When a person brings something into their home that is cursed (whether knowingly or out of ignorance), it gives the enemy a legal right into that home or to that person. Deuteronomy 7:26 says, ‘Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing.’ The central point is that a believer should rid themselves of any cursed object! Case in point Acts 19:19: the people of Ephesus destroyed the cursed things in their life. (para. 7)
My church sister responded to the message with glee. She couldn’t stop thanking me. We prayed together over the phone and then she shared with me her story of how God had warned her from a very young age to stay away from hair extensions. She proceeded to say that because of her disobedience she felt that God had caused her hair to stop growing altogether. She then verbalized her concern about how to style her gray hair to which I offered some advice and reminded her of her natural beauty which is God-given.
To be continued…
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