Sound Off: Does a Hard Wig Really Attract a Soft Life?

Many Black women accused of having a “hard wig, soft life” say the luxury afforded to them has nothing to do with hair.

Elizabeth Randolph - Author
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Apr. 19 2024, Published 12:31 p.m. ET

Too often, TikTok rebrands old concepts with new names. "Game" is now known as "Rizz," and "soft life" replaces "self-care” and getting out of the hustle and grind culture. Although a soft life can be gender-neutral, women are the primary content creators of this lifestyle. Black women, specifically, yearn for a soft life, but some suggest only those who wear hard wigs are entitled to it from wealthy white men.

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The theory has sparked the phrase “hard wig, soft life” and has many showing off their plan to stop “laying their lace” and embrace imperfection. But, as hilarious as the videos have been, it might not be accurate.

There are ways to have the life you want while maintaining a kept hairdo. It happens all the time.

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Sound Off: Do you need a hard wig for a soft life?

It's widely known that Black women have faced criticism for their hair for centuries, whether it’s curly, straight, or braided up in a wig. Over time, Black women have become increasingly dominant in the wig industry, with renowned hairstylist Kim Kimble leading the way as one of the best wig makers in the business.

Many women have also found entrepreneurial success by making and selling wigs to the masses. However, the hashtag "hard wig, soft life" suggests that some Black women believe they don't need a natural-looking wig to achieve the life they desire.

Amid the trend of "POVs" and real-life experiments by Black women trying to attract white men, some Black TikTok creators are pushing back against the idea that their hair played a role in attracting their partners.

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In March 2024, a TikTok user named Hannah Yoder (@hannahlee.yoder), who often showcases her natural curls, refuted this theory in a video. Hannah explained that how she styles her wigs has nothing to do with her husband or their family's life on their farm. She prefers not to pluck her hairline or manipulate her lace to make her wigs look more realistic because it wastes time.

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Still, Hannah doesn’t feel her husband cares either way about her hair. She said that her soft life is due to her and her husband’s love and mutual respect for one another and their finances.

Other content creators in relationships with white men supported Hannah’s theory, with one creator, MissAisha (@missasiaxox), stating that she led an easier life when she stopped caring about how “laid” her wig was. So, it seems as if the women who don't obsess over their hair may be on to something.

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Most men attracted to women ignore a hard wig when choosing a partner.

While I would never suggest a woman going out of their way to attract the male gaze, if that’s your ministry, that’s your business. However, when Hannah said in her TikTok that men have never approached saying, “Hey, your wig needs to be plucked," I felt that.

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Not to generalize heterosexual men, but most of the ones I know have no idea how much a woman puts into her wigs daily. In many cases, they only care about the length of a woman’s hair more than how it came to be.

From this perspective, there’s more to catching any man’s (even a white, wealthy one’s) attention than wearing your wig as a helmet. Like most relationships, you must have other qualities, like shared interests, beliefs, etc., to get the “good man” and soft life you want.

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Russell Wilson and Ciara attend the Sports Illustrated Super Bowl Party at Century City Park on Feb. 12, 2022
Source: Getty Images

Ciara and many other real Black women living soft lives with men didn’t have to wear hard wigs to get them.

I would also be remiss to add that many women with soft lives don’t enjoy wearing hard wigs. Let’s not pretend Ciara wasn’t hounded for years over the prayer she gave about the man she desired before marrying Russell Wilson before she finally released it in 2021.

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Ciara, for all intents and purposes, seemingly lives the cushiest life imaginable with her and Russell’s gorgeous family. Throughout her career, I don’t recall ever seeing her have a bad hair day, let alone a stiff wig.

While a hard wig may make a white man think you’re more carefree and less bothered, if that isn’t you, it’s totally fine. Men of all races are willing to give a woman the soft life she wants, regardless of her hairstyle. However, rather than focusing on what men and women do or don’t like, it’s much better to focus on what makes you look and feel your best long after a hilarious hashtag fades.

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