How Do You Choose Your Wigs?
(Wig shown above: Remy Human Hair Topper 14" By Amore)
There is much more to choosing a wig than liking how it looks—in theory. I was asked to address this topic again: What are some of us doing wrong with our wigs? I will re-review some of the answers I got when I interviewed some stylists in my town, and who I knew would tell me like it is. They work with clients who wear helper hair, so they understood what I was asking.
Though wigs are different from natural hair in a lot of ways, the same rules apply when it comes to color, length, and style. There is nothing worse than getting the perfect wig and finding it is not perfect for you. (This was the first hard lesson that I learned.)
What follows is the advice of two stylists who have devoted most of their careers to hair. They nicknamed their advice their “dirty dozen” rules for hair—wigs included.
Here are their opinions based on their experience.
“The Dirty Dozen” questions and concerns from clients:
- Center parts—not for everyone. They can make you look older. It takes away from the fullness at the crown. If you are young, it’s not so much a concern. Most people do tend to look better with more fullness at the crown. It draws the eye upward.
- The ongoing debate of whether should older women have long hair or not: If your hair is too long it can make you look older. They agreed that it doesn’t have to be short to work best for mature women, but long hair draws the face down, and the eye down, especially with heavier bottom ends styles with a lot of volume. Do you want people to focus on your chin and neck? For longer styles think layers and less density. Women of all ages can wear long hair and look good, but style and color are everything. They did note that if you have a heart-shaped face you have an advantage in wearing longer styles, especially with bottom volume. This style works best to “fill out the face triangle” by having more hair at the bottom under the chin area.
- Manage your expectations. Understand what your style really is – meaning, what you like and what looks best on you may not be the same thing. Also, make sure you are using volume in the right places. Refer to their comments on face shape. How does your hairstyle work with you or against you to compliment your face?
- If you have a full or very round face, watch for too much volume on the sides near the cheeks. A lot of hair there will make your face look wider. Try for more volume on top and a longer style that comes under the chin—not at the chin and curving around to accentuate more roundness.
- If you have a long face, go for that side fullness and less volume on top. You can still wear longer styles if you like, just balance the hair with the face. Bangs are also good for long faces. More about bangs in number seven.
And for all the face shapes in-between round, long, heart-shaped, well, you get the idea. The stylists’ mantra: where do you want the focus? What features do you want to highlight, or dimmish?
Bangs – handle with care was their advice. No thick straight across-cut bangs unless you have a long face and even then, it can be tricky depending on the style. Thick straight bangs will “close your face” and make a round face look even more so. Their advice for most bang lovers is to keep it light, don’t cover your entire forehead, ever. Keep your face open by making sure your forehead can be seen, at least part of it.
Color can make all the difference. Natural hair is not just one color. For wigs, you must have some shading and dimension to look natural. Know what colors work for you. For example, gold blondes tend to age some people depending on their skin tone and undertones. For some people ashy shades make them look ill or washed out. Learn if you are a cool, warm, or neutral in the color family, and pick your hair colors appropriately. A special note for those over the fifties: Going too dark can look harsh and fake. Better to lighten up, and don’t be afraid to go salt and pepper or silver/gray. It will make you look younger than the too-dark shades.
Layers are important for styling in that they keep things more balanced, and the look is less heavy– hair that just hangs in one length brings the eye down.
Don’t use too much product. If your hair won’t move it dates your style, and makes you look older. Don’t be a helmet head.
Visit a stylist and let him or her make your wig more you—have it tweaked to bring out the best in the wig so that your wig will bring out the best in you. It is a good investment especially if you have an expensive wig and wear it every day.
Be open to trying new styles. There is nothing that dates you more than keeping the same style for too many years.
How do our Wigs Play a Role in our Identity?
(Wig shown above: ARIA WIG BY ELLEN WILLE | MONO PART)
Who are you? You are not just one thing. You are not just your looks, your personality, your wealth, or your job. You are many things. But as I talk to women who have lost their hair, for whatever reason, they all share a common idea. Their hair is part of their identity. I can understand that even though I know it’s “just hair” and it is not the sum of us. It doesn’t define us. But we have looked at ourselves in the mirror for X number of years and our hair has become part of what we see day after day, year after year. And then one day it looks different, or one day most is gone, or all is gone, and then what?
Oftentimes, when women lose their hair, whether temporarily or permanently, they feel the loss deep down as if they have lost something forever that was a part of who they are—or were. This can result in grief stages just like any loss. If you are new to hair loss and/or still in a grieving stage, be kind to yourself and know that you will find yourself again. I think that is why we just seem to know when we put that wig on if it is us or not. We can still see our real selves—we can see beyond the style, color, and the fact that it is a wig. We can see more than a flattering (or not) wig, we can see if that wig reflects who we are or not. You can bet that if you compromise on this, keeping a wig that you just can’t connect with, it will end up in a box. Or if not back in the box, you will make yourself wear it but will always be aware it is not you.
Unlike a new dress or shoes, a wig replaces your hair, something that you had for many years in most cases, and something you never thought you would be without. While men lose their hair and suffer from loss too, I am sure, they don’t seem to deal with it in the same way that women do. It was always more “acceptable” for men to lose their hair. For women, it has always been different, like a lot of things are for women.
While wigs can make a huge difference in how you see yourself in the mirror, and how others see you, it will begin to make a difference when you can look in that mirror and just see YOU. Then you will know that you have put the grief away, you have lived through it, and you are stronger for it. I think it took me a good while before I stopped seeing “wig” in the mirror and just started seeing myself. I worried every day for a long time that someone would look at me and figure it out. It was inhibiting and uncomfortable—and unnecessary.
One day out of the blue I remembered what my grandmother told me after my mother cut my bangs too short when I was in first grade. She took me aside as I was having a meltdown moment and looked me in the eye. (I have heard something similar from others in different ways since and maybe you have too) The gist was: “honey, remember that most people aren’t thinking about you or even seeing you, they are busy thinking about themselves.” This thought helped me as I went out into the world trying to still be me with my first wig. I wished my grandmother had been around so that I could have thanked her. But the day did finally come when I stopped watching other peoples’ eyes to see if they were looking at my head/hair/face. I just tried to look people in the eye and be myself—tried to project confidence. The more I did that, the more “me” I became. While for months at home, I still saw the wig first when I looked in the mirror, one-day things changed. I looked at the entire me, and that was the turning point. The real me and the me that I projected out to the world merged, and I was “back” at last.
Fast forward to now, and there is nothing but excitement when it comes to wigs and wig products, and I value being able to put my Muse on my head in five seconds, run my fingers through it and go. I am looking forward to shopping for more wigs for fall and winter. I just got a new one that I am kinda in love with. See my picture below.
Until Next time.
Vickie Lynn in Crowd Pleaser, RL 12/22 Shaded Cappuccino, Raquel Welch.
Three New Styles | Alexander Collection by Rene of Paris
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GABOR'S NEW SPRING STYLES!
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Wig Studio 1