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Rent-to-Own Hair Weaves

posted by Adam Levitin

Apparently there is a business of rent-to-own hair weaves.  As a bald man, this is of particular interest. Below is a description of some of the program:

Please use our purchase program. The owners of this website or The Weave Loan Store/Weave Loans is not a lender Approval will vary based on credit determination and state law. This transaction is a rental-purchase agreement (or in NV, a lease agreement with an option to purchase; in IA, ND, NE, and SC, a consumer rental-purchase agreement; in CT and NH, a rent-to-own agreement; in AK, DC, DE, HI, ID, KS, OR, SD, VA, and WA, a lease-purchase agreement; in MA and RI, a lease; or in VT a consumer lease agreement). The Weave Loan Store Purchase Program is not available in MN or WI. For Consumers in Massachusetts and Rhode island, at any time after the initial payment, [sic]. You will not own the merchandise in The Weave Loan purchase program until the total amount necessary to acquire ownership is paid in full or until you purchase your early purchase option of our program. Ownership is optional. For consumers In VT, minimum 18-week  billing period applies. Product availability and pricing may vary by store, the internet sales, and seasons.. The Weave Loan Store Hair Extension Sales is not responsible for merchandise damaged by the customer. Free or reduced rent offers will not reduce total rent or purchase-option amounts. Our program contains credit and no credit check and no credit needed. The Customer must agree to not abide by the merchandise care instructions it is and shall hold The Weave Loan Store harmless of any damage caused by the customer. Program validation and Agreement requires verification of residence, income and personal references. You can release merchandise. The Weave Loan Store and Weave Loans, Wig Loans etc. are trademarks of Couture Enterprises INC. and the use of the names in anyway without written permission of the owners of Couture Enterprises is strictly prohibited and if used without permission will be subject to penalty of the law. By using the services and participating in our program are agreeing to the Terms & Conditions of this website and The Weave Loan Store. By using the services on this website you are agreeing to the Terms and Conditions listed.

There are clearly some editing problems with this langauge, such as "The Customer must agree to not abide by the merchandise care instructions".  

There's also the irony of a place called "The Weave Loan Store" claiming that it's not a lender. 

I particularly like the highlighted portion noting that "You can release merchandise."  Perhaps that's meant for hair weave businesses to finance their weaves and then sublet them to customers, but if not, how'd you like to rent my weave? 

But here's the real question:  what happens if you default on the rental?  Can The Weave Loan Store replevy the hair?  I don't think there's a self-help remedy here that doesn't involve breaching the peace.  And how does The Weave Loan Store prove that the hair being replevied is its hair?  It's not as if weaves come with serial numbers (as far as I know). 

Comments

Somewhere there has to be a good joke about scalping here, or creditors taking a haircut

In case it needs to be said, this is an incredibly racist business model. Black women's hair is heavily socially policed. A "bad weave" - i.e., one that can be easily identified as a weave, or worse, one done with the cheapest of materials- can have the same effect at a job interview as stained, ill fitting clothes. This happens only because social expectations require Black women to have well-maintained hair by European hair standards: flowing, neat, and "professional." That last one often means no braids, locs, or ethnic looking up dos.

Weaves do not have the same meaning- socially- for White, Asian or Latina women. We can freely don weaves or not and it will not much affect our ability to gain or secure employment, including in the military. This business is akin to predatory loans for medical treatment: it's a way to finance paying for something about which you often have very little choice.

Andrea has a case, but she's overstating it. True, black women's hair is heavily socially policed--more so than other women's hair, although all women get much less leeway on appearances than men.
But I've been in many workplaces with black women, and a short 1-inch Afro-style cut is always acceptable--and pretty cheap. (I believe it is the standard women's hairdo in most of Africa, but I might be wrong on this.) There are many reasons black women might prefer a weave to a crop, but you can't say there is no economic choice.

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