(Wig shown above: Muse by Raquel Welch)
As I often do, I got the inspiration for this blog from our wig wearers in our FaceBook group. One person expressed gratitude for the help and information that others had posted about their experiences. A lot of us are long-time wig wearers now and it’s easy to forget all the questions and fears we had at the beginning of our journey. It is helpful to have a reminder that we are all at different stages in this journey. Though it is a personal one as no two people have the same experiences or needs, there is so much we all have in common.
I am as guilty as anyone in forgetting about those early days when I was terrified to leave the house for the first time in a wig. I had forgotten that I worried so much about how I looked, would the wig stay on, and could anyone tell it was a wig. Hours were spent on thinking and re-thinking my decision and looking at myself in the mirror from every angle. It was much later that I realized most people are too busy worrying about themselves to think too much about someone else’s hair. And yet…yes, I still have those days when I must look in the mirror a second time before leaving the house, but those days are few now.
I have come to see the pain, confusion, and fear of those days as a learning experience that has served me well in other areas of my life. I learned that I am not my hair, my looks on any particular day, or my outfit. Of course, we all like to look nice because it makes us feel good about ourselves and that’s not bad. But when we get too caught up in measuring ourselves or anyone else on their looks, we are selling them and ourselves short. But my point here is that it made me look deeper into myself, my fears, my flaws, and also my strengths. My dad used to say, the only way to get through your fear is to face it head-on, eye to eye. Granted that thought can be scary, but he was right.
What helped me get through those early days of wig wearing was asking the what-if questions: What if someone thought I was wearing a wig…so what? What if my wig moved a little…so what? And realizing that the world would not end in either case, it was easier for me to exhale and go on. I learned I could face my fears and problem solve when it was necessary. I learned there was help and answers to my questions, but I had to ask, had to find the right people and resources.
I wish that I had found WigStudio1 sooner, and the FaceBook group sooner too, because it is such an asset. Every question that I had in my early days and more, I have seen on the group page. The group members are open, kind, and not afraid to share their experiences, frustrations, and fears. In return, those who have made the journey ahead of them can share their wisdom, and maybe remember how it was for them. The ability to add photos of the wigs, on and off a real person is priceless. Just when I think I know all I need to know about wigs, I learn something new on that page!
The other point that this person made was to be patient with yourself and not get frustrated because it takes time to be comfortable with this new thing. There is so much more to it than putting a wig on your head.
I can’t believe how naïve I was about it all. When I got my first wig, I gave little thought to the care and maintenance. It was all about the color, style, the believability of it. It was a few days after I got the wig that I started to worry about the rest. What do you mean I need a special comb, brush, shampoo, conditioner, stands…and…? I got my first wig in a wig boutique and though I liked the wig and they styled it, make a few alterations to make it more me, which was fantastic…they spent little or no time talking to me about the rest.
The big WAKE-UP moment for me: My first wig was a Raquel Welch mid-length, heat friendly. The cap fit me so well that I didn’t worry about security at all. Imagine my surprise when I found out later that, 1. Not all wigs will fit me the same, and 2. Not all wigs come with a complete mono-top, hand-tied. I was truly clueless. That’s when I went on the hunt for resources and had to educate myself.
Today, I have about 15 wigs that I rotate through. I’m still a big RW fan, and most of my wigs are from the Raquel Welch brand. I have come to trust the brand as one that has things important to me and my comfort level. Everyone will likely find a favorite brand or two depending on their needs.
In summary, I am grateful that today’s wig wearers have such great resources to help them along the journey. If you are reading this and not in the FaceBook group, please join us there. It’s a great place to share, ask questions, see new styles, and see how styles and colors look on others.
Until next time,
Vickie Lynn - (with no makeup just back from my walk and feeling grateful for my new RW Muse in Glazed Strawberry, a slight departure from my shaded cappuccino.)