Shades of Gray?
So many women that I’ve talked with or heard from lately are saying that they are ready to give up the coloring processes and learn to love their hair the way it is now. Often that means a form of gray, silver, or white hair. The situation with wig wearers is a bit different. We can change our color any time and with little fuss. But the same desire might still be there. How can we make such a drastic change with ease?
Shades of silver, gray, or white don’t have to mean “old” or mean any age. However, the challenge seems to be learning how to make that change. If you have worn a brunette wig for five years, should you just turn up one day in a lovely gray or silver wig? What if you’ve not shared your wig journey with others who see you every day, should you have a transition color/wig? There is no one answer to that question. It all depends upon your comfort level. Fortunately, there are resources to support any decision you make.
If you do decide to “just go for it” get help if you think you need it—learn what brands carry the wig styles and cap construction that you prefer if you are new to wigs. If you already know all about caps, styles, brands, and what works best for you, then you are ahead of the game. All you need to decide is if the colors you are considering are found in the styles that you like…or is it time to re-visit other styles that might have colors that you love?
Tips from the professionals about choosing a color/shade and style:
- Go for a soft color, and one with dimension. Nothing screams “fake” like a flat solid root-to-tip color with no variation.
- Color should always be multi-tonal, especially as you age. That is true for blondes as well.
- Remember, in most cases, we lose a “plumpness” in our faces as we age. The styles that looked good on us at thirty might look a bit harsh now. Example: a too-blunt bob, close to the jawline and with no layering can be a very severe look.
- Go for a layered style, and one a little below the jawline.
- Tone—is so important, and wig wearers must learn how to care for their wigs to protect the wig’s color/tone.
If we must look at new styles to find the colors we like, there is that question again: Short or long as we age? This is the question that never goes away. Ask yourself if your style makes your face look younger or older. Does the too-long hair pull the face down? Would you look better with a shorter, more face-flattering style? So many people get caught up in the look of the wig on a model—we need to be interested in how the wig looks on us with our face shape, and our coloring—huge difference.
Don’t be afraid to claim your color—and don’t be afraid of shades of gray! Try different shades/tones and get help if you need it. There are in-between colors that you can choose, but often the salt/pepper colors age us more than a lovely silver or white. It’s all about shade/tone, color, and style.
If you had rather take the plunge more slowly, there are some lovely options. Ellen Wille Smoke Mix and Pearl Rooted are lovely, and Raquel Welch Silver and Smoke, Iced Granita, and Silver Mist come to mind.
Skin Tone! We must not forget that our skin tone will play a big role in how we look in these shades of gray, silver, or white. Yes, it is ever important as we age because our skin tone changes. Know your skin tone as it is NOW and that will help you key in on colors/shades that will look best on you. For example, if you have a cool skin tone you likely already know that ashy colors, shades of honey, beige, and gray work well for you. Just remember, the tone and color gradient, and dimension are the keys for gray shades just as it is for any color. Flat equals fake.
I am reminded of two in particular that I have recommended before when writing about the fear of going gray. Just two of my favorites. Notice the dimension, and the shadings. No flat, drab and lifeless look with these!
Until next time, here I am thinking that I might go gray…maybe silver.
Are You in a Wig Style or Color Rut?
(Wig shown above: 100% Human Hair Bang by Raquel Welch)
Yes, it is bound to happen. But we are still shocked and confused when it does. One day we are so happy with our wig, our look, and we are comfortable. Then the next day or the next, we look in the mirror and think, hum, am I in a rut? Suddenly that look, that wig that you loved, and still do, just looks sort of boring.
We all know that this happens in all areas of our life. We become tired of our clothes often long before they are old. We want to try new paint colors in our homes and change out the furniture in the living room. So, why should we be surprised that we sometimes need a change of hairstyle and/or color?
Changing your hair/wig style and color is so much easier and less costly than getting new furniture or a new wardrobe, so let’s take a look at that process. How do you decide what to try next? Are you ready to get out of your comfort zone? Or if you are like me, ready for a slight move but nothing to distract.
The great thing about wigs, and especially buying a wig from Wig Studio 1, is that you can get a lot of help before you make the big decision to buy a new wig in a new style and/or color. Between the just-for-you FaceBook group with input from staff and other wig wearers, you can learn about first-hand experiences and likely see a picture or two of how that wig looks on a real person.
I know that for me, seeing other wig wearers, and learning about their experience with certain brands and styles has been most helpful. The wig reviews on FaceBook and the reviewers on the YouTube channel are invaluable. Take advantage of all these resources because it might make your decision easier. It did for me.
In the end, the decision will be yours, and sometimes it helps to just give it some time. It will be to our benefit to do our homework, and to remember what it was we liked about our current wig(s) in the first place. What are we bored with exactly—color, style, length, wig cap? Once we have a clear idea of what it is we want to change it will help us narrow down our options.
One of the great things about wig-wearing is the ease with which we can make changes to our looks. I know what colors and lengths look best on me, and when I want to branch out, I normally go to something in the same color family and just change the style/length. This too can get boring, but I have two wigs sitting in boxes in my closet that I know I will never wear because I made an impulsive decision one day. But I also have a couple in boxes that I have recently re-visited and wondered why I had not been wearing them more often. The moral of the story, we do get bored, but we can also change our preferences. Though I know I will never wear the blonde wig with too much gold in it, I will very likely wear two other wigs I had put aside for reasons that I couldn’t recall when I was looking through my options.
I recently went for a longer style, and guess what? I loved it. As long as I have been writing about wigs, I can still be surprised. One of the many great things about wigs is that they let our imagination roam free. We can surprise ourselves as much as we can surprise others. Life is short, and we are often caught up in all we must do for others and ourselves, and sometimes we put ourselves last on all our lists. But if we are at our best, we can be our best for others too.
Don’t let yourself get into a rut with your style or color. Just do your homework, and don’t do it on a whim. When you are ready--change it up! Life is short. I will bet that, like me, you will be happy that you did. Embrace another version of your best self.
Me in my newest, Raquel Welch, “Crowd Pleaser” in shaded cappuccino.
Until next time,
Just One More Wig?
(Wig shown above: Elle Wig by Jon Renau)
I ask myself, who am I kidding? Wigs are like chips or chocolate; one is never enough. I have long come to terms with the fact that I will not stop looking at wigs, wanting more wigs, and buying new wigs. Of course, we must replace our old and worn ones, but if you are a seasoned wig wearer, you, like I, look for new styles and colors regularly. And that is part of the fun with wigs. We can change our style and color in minutes. No more waiting for a bad haircut to grow out or sitting in a salon for hours getting cuts, color, and all the rest.
Wigs continue to get better and more popular every year. There is a good reason for this. There are many benefits to wig wearing other than the obvious—needing an addition to or replacement for your bio hair. Wigs are everywhere—from your coworkers, the lady at the bank, your next-door neighbor, your friend at church, famous singers, Hollywood stars, and models on the catwalk.
So, what are those many benefits you may be asking if you are a new wig wearer or are contemplating buying one (or more)? Below are just some of the benefits that come to mind, and you seasoned wearers may have even more.
- Special occasion! You can change your entire look to match your outfit and the occasion without costly visits to the salon for that special night out, party, or wedding.
- Lots of Options: You can change your style and color without spending hours in the salon, and you can stay close to your natural color or step way out of the box, and experiment with color and style.
- Saving time: Think of all the time you spend or have spent in the salon, and in front of the mirror trying to style your hair the way you want it. Maybe extra time trying to camouflage thinning area or a thinning area. Wigs are lifesavers if you are running late, traveling, and just can’t devote time and energy to your hair.
- Confidence Restored: Whether you just want a change, have a special occasion, or have no time to spend on your hair, or if you know that your hair is thinning and it messes with your confidence, a wig can help you be the you that you want to show people.
- Protection for your bio hair: Overexposure to hair coloring chemicals, blow-drying, and other hair treatments can take a toll on your hair and scalp over time. You can give your hair and scalp a break by wearing a wig, even if it is just once a week.
- No bad hair days: Wigs put an end to bad hair days.
- Wearing wigs can save you money: Unless you do indeed have a real wig addition, several wigs a year might cost you less than those regular salon visits, hair coloring, hair treatments, and care products—not to mention the cost of your time.
For me, it’s all about confidence and convenience. I used to hate those hours in the salon chair, and the cost. Then, I was stuck for months with the same style and color if I liked it or not. For me, even factoring in the cost of wigs and wig care products, I rarely spend per year what I had spent before in the salons. I also love having the no-fuss wigs, the shake-and-go ones. I used to spend so much time with my fine hair, even when I had a lot of it, trying to get it into some style that was flattering and that would stay. I would leave the house in a bad mood because of my hair! You will have your reasons, but yes, I am addicted to wigs because they make my life easier.
Until next time, think about those lovely new styles for fall and winter, and don’t forget to watch for those sales! I am wearing RW Muse SS Cappuccino in this picture. It took me 60 seconds to put it on and go!
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.
Is Your Wig—you? How to Pick a Wig Color
A friend of mine was looking at the wig site and all she could say was, “Oh, that looks like so and so, mostly actors she had seen on television. Of course, she meant the HAIR looked like the style and color that person had worn or was currently wearing. I had to remind her that most of us choose to wear wigs that look good on us, not an actress or a model. And she asked the question that we have all asked, and still, do when we look at the wigs on the computer screen. How do I know it will look good on me?
I have written about this before but thought it was time for a refresher, and a reminder to myself and any others who might need it, especially those new to wig-wearing and that scary choosing process. And as a side note, please take advantage of the knowledgeable staff and reviewers at WigStudio1. Exceptional. I posted a picture of a wig to get color confirmation on the WigStudio1 FaceBook page, and I was answered in ten minutes, allowing me to make my final decision. That group is invaluable for many reasons, but I love it because I can see real people in different styles and colors, as well as links to great reviews.
With all that said, let’s review how the experts tell us we SHOULD be picking colors and styles:
My disclaimer - Though there is “collective wisdom” in the hair, wig, and beauty industry, it is an opinion, BUT because it really is collective wisdom, I am paying attention. In the end, it is you who has the final say:
While it's a beauty myth that women over 60 must wear their hair short, the real marker for whether you should be wearing your hair short is whether it would be flattering to your face shape and hair texture. This short hair look works best on those with naturally straight, medium-textured hair.
Does short hair make you look thinner or heavier? It is believed that short hair isn't suitable for women with round faces. (However, that's not totally true.) There are some cuts that do nothing for you, but some that can flatter your round face. The perfect ones will be cuts with choppy strands framing the face, asymmetric side-parted hairstyles, angled bobs/lobs, and styles with the volume on top of the head.
What is a good hairstyle for a 60-year-old woman? A wavy medium-length shag style is the best haircut for older women, especially women in their 60s plus. It looks flattering with bangs especially, and some say it can take about a decade off your age/look. Layers can mean more movement and a more youthful look. Shorter hair, which tends to expand at the ends, can leave you with an unflattering triangle effect. Whereas loose waves and that movement makes for a younger look. Beware that straight hair can age you, so play around with face-framing layers to give your hair some softness and movement.
The Ever popular and Debated “what hair for what face shape”:
(Here is what I found from the same so-called beauty “expert”):
· If Your Face Is Heart-Shaped: Wispy, Layered Cut.
· If Your Face Is Oval-Shaped: Angular Bob.
· If Your Face Is Square-Shaped: Shoulder-Length Cut.
· If Your Face Is Round-Shaped: Pixie Cut – What? Isn’t this the reverse of what this same expert said before?
· If Your Face Is Long-Shaped: Side-Parted curly bob
Everyone has an opinion. For example, I would not wear a pixie cut with a round face unless I had small delicate features. So, take this “collective wisdom” with a grain of salt. I think it’s about a bit more than face shape. It’s about hair color, hairstyle, density, texture, and one’s attitude too.
Can changing our hair color make us look younger? (an always popular question)
I think we can all agree this can be true. Here again, are some “experts” weighing in. What do you think? Again, I think it depends on skin tone and condition, and the hairstyle and volume. I am not a fan of gold tones because it doesn’t go with my complexion, but it works for many others. So we see again that these blanket declarations may not be right for everyone. Also, I have seen many women who can totally rock the white hair with no gold tones. But I do agree that tone can be important, and shading, highlights, and all those things can make or break a look. What I learned in my quest was that there are a lot of variety in gold tones, and it’s not good to rule out everything in that range. Again, take the following “expert’s declarations” with a grain of salt:
· Blonde. As we age many people experience premature gray. For blondes, this can look ashy and age the complexion. Rather than keep your tresses platinum or white, add some gold tones to your highlights and you’ll soften your skin tone.
· Red. Adding warmth to red and strawberry blonde hair has the same effect as adding warmth to blonde. It makes you look healthier. Ditch the blue reds and select something warm to add a youthful glow to your tone.
· Brunette. Lighten up dark roots with caramel highlights and you’ll ditch the drab. A few highlights will soften your look and recapture the youth of summer days long past.
· Black. This is tricky. Black hair can be undeniably mysterious, but when in doubt – leave the blue out. A warm shade of black looks more natural and believable than Elvira’s blue-black, and there’s nothing worse than an off-tone box job look, no matter your age.
In summary, everyone has an opinion. Most women have had enough hairstyles and colors that they have learned what looks best on them. If you are a new wig wearer and get close to your bio hair color family, you will likely be more comfortable with that to start. Are you a brunette who has always wanted to be a blonde? Great, but what shade of blonde? Knowing your skin tones will help you decide.
The hair color that looked good on us at twenty-five may not look so great now. Don’t be afraid to experiment a little. Yes, buying the wrong wig is annoying, but you can cut down on the chances of buying a color that doesn’t suit you by knowing how colors and tones work with your skin. Look at the colors in your wardrobe. What do you gravitate to or have more of in your closet? That will give you a clue if you are warm, cool, or neutral in the tone family. Once you know that it is easier to pick a wig color that will have shades/tones to compliment your skin tone.
I may have made a color jump myself and will share that picture next time.
Until next time,
Happy short Wig Season (for me anyway)
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