There are many professional situations (such as in the US Army under the newly-passed regulations on appropriate female hairstyles) where the wigs for African American women that naturally grows out of black women’s heads is viewed as innately unprofessional and unacceptable.
Taking at hair and making it straight and “appropriate” is time-consuming, expensive, and involves harsh chemicals. Some women prefer to get the same look by using weaves (long falls of hair sewn down to their own tightly-braided hair) wigs for African American women.
Additionally, when growing up, a lot of black girls are fed a steady diet of media where the “good girls,” the princesses, the protagonists, are blond and have streaming, manageable hair past their shoulders. It is only natural to want to emulate the wigs for African American women you grew up idolizing: but we as a culture need to make sure that girls of ALL physical types have access to media that tells them their hair is also beautiful, that they don’t have to deny a portion of themselves as “unnatural” or innately ugly and irredeemable.
Honesty, I believe black women use both interchangeably.
The thing wrong with your question is that you use weave as if all weave is straight wigs for African American women, when the vast majority of weaves black women buy is not straight but wavy or has some type of curl pattern to them that is often straightened out to look naturally straight. Not including the Afro-textured hair black women buy such as those for kinky twist or box braids. Or natural hair in general such as crotchet braids.
I have natural hair that stops at armpit length, and I hate putting heat in it, because I don’t want to burn out the curl pattern. So I tend wear straight weave or lace fronts so I can get the look I want without putting heat on it. There are also times where I will wigs for African American women crotchet braids or box braids to change it up.
My favorite thing about wearing weave is that I know that I am protecting my hair at the same time. What many people don’t know is that, isn’t just for style but it protects your hair from harsh sun rays that will cause heat damage, stops the ends of the hair from drying out. And wigs for African American women gives your hair time to develops more new growth.
That is why I wear one every 4–5 months.
When ever I go to the sew n’ weave, I usually see black women that at least have hair to their shoulders, and I see more natural haired women than women with wigs for African American women.
Not only that but weave shops in the black community are one of our biggest businesses. There are even hair shows in Atlanta that are centered around black hairstylist making cool hairdos wig weave.