Are you at that place where you are hanging on to old styles and colors long after you should have let them go? How do you know when it’s time? Because in addition to the obvious wig aging there are other reasons to let that wig go. So, what are the indicators that you are holding on to something that is doing you no favors?
But one thing to consider before we start tossing our old wigs, we might consider if we can revive any of them. Should we spend the time and resources to rescue our old wigs—in other words--should they be rescued? The short answer is yes, if that wig can be made wearable again, then it is worth trying if only to sell it or donate it. Maybe it is time to move on for you and the wig, but that wig might be perfect for someone else and very much needed.
Another thing to consider: Have you stopped actually “seeing yourself” in the mirror? Psychologists tell us that we do one of two things most often in this regard: we look but don’t “really look” because we think that we already know what we will see. Or we look too much, too closely, criticizing every part, angle, and perceived flaw. Either way, we are not seeing ourselves as we are, or as others see us.
There is the day we notice a little line on our faces and wonder how long it had been there. We catch a close-up look at the ends of our favorite wig and wonder then they got raggedy or stiff. Change is often slow, and when the accumulation of it is finally enough, we notice, and we are shocked. But if we had been looking, we would have seen it in progress. But we are busy humans and who has time to stand in front of the mirror and look at themselves all the time? Or inspect our wig every time we take it off? And therein lies part of the dilemma as to why one day we do look in the mirror and wonder why we ever bought that wig in the first place. The style, the color, doesn’t seem to be us anymore—sound familiar?
Wigs are even more of a challenge than coloring and cutting bio hair. First, they cost more, and you hope the relationship will be a long one because it doesn’t grow out if you have made a mistake. So, we are afraid of making a mistake, and because of that we often default back to our old styles and colors, trying so hard to get something “close to what I had before” and we think that is a good thing. It is not always a good thing. Maybe your lifestyle has changed. Maybe you retired, or work from home now and can be less structured in your life, including your look. Maybe you like short wigs for summer and want to take things up a notch with new styles or lighter colors. Don’t worry about trying to copy your old styles. There are many styles that look good on many people. The wig companies know that and why there are so many bobs of different lengths and short boy/pixie cuts.
When a friend of mine got a new wig (a first wig) and asked my advice I cringed because it made her look ten years older. Suddenly, she looked like her mother, and it was the wig—color and style. Both were wrong for her, and I had to tell her. I asked her to try on two of my wigs to see the difference in how she could look just to make my point that there were wigs for her that would work. I loaned her the one of mine she liked best and she forgave me for telling her that her new wig made her look older. She was able to swap it out, and she learned a good lesson.
The moral to my story is don’t be so intent on reviving your old wigs that you can’t see it is time to move on. Some might work, like one of the two that I worked on recently. Trying to revive an old wig can be frustrating and time-consuming because success can depend on so many things: age, wear and tear level, general care, type of fibers, and style. The one that I was able to rescue was in great condition because I had just stopped wearing short wigs for some time and had put it away (and had forgotten about it) before it had suffered much abuse. It just needed some TLC. Sadly, the other one had seen better days. Is it time to revive it for ourselves, or time to sell or donate? Rescue or toss season at my house seems to happen in the spring, even for wigs!
Now, it’s holiday season time, and what better time to gift ourselves with a new wig? A new style and color would perk me right up. How about you?
Until next time,
Vickie Lynn (in my Muse, which seems to last forever).
As I have written about in previous blogs, there is a psychological impact of hair loss, like any other loss, so I don’t want to make light of it, or the pain caused by it. But to linger in the stages of grief too long can hurt us too.
So along with those grief processing steps that famously end in acceptance, let’s look at some things to think about along with way.
- Your Perspective: You know by now that you are your own worst critic. We’ve all heard it and it is true – you are harder on yourself than anyone else is. This also means that you probably view your hair loss more critically than others do.
- Your Feelings: It’s not the end of the world, and there are many worse things many other people must deal with—right? Yes, we know this, and some of us might have even had that sentence directed at us. Knowing it and internalizing it is a different thing. It takes a little time, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Learning to live with your hair loss is a psychological challenge but it is only as difficult as you make it—however, we need tools to deal with it just like any other problem or challenge.
- Your Solutions: Find help if you need it. Most of you who read this have long since gone to the doctor and you know all about your hair loss, but now you need a different kind of help. You need help from people who know about wigs and wig care. You need to find others who are dealing with this—you need support from those who can understand.
- Your Options: Professional therapy is there for you. If you’re still having trouble coping with your hair loss, some professionals can help you work through those grief stages. Don’t write off your pain because you are afraid of being seen as weak. Issues with anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem can impact your mental health both in the short and long term. Get the help that you need and don’t feel bad about it for one second.
We may not have a choice about losing our hair, but we can choose how to respond. We can refuse to live in denial and allow hair loss to destroy our confidence and quality of life. Getting the help that we need is the first step. Learning about wigs and how they can enhance your life is the next step and just as important. Talk to people who know about wigs, and don’t be shy about asking questions. I’ve found that most people do want to help if we just ask. I find this especially true in the wig community because a lot of the people have gone through the same challenges themselves. They know about the feeling of loss, dealing with self-esteem issues, going through the stages of grief, and getting to acceptance—and then going on to help others.
Things NOT to do:
Please don’t give up after trying just one or two wigs. You will likely feel the same as a lot of people: the wig has too much hair (because you are not used to seeing yourself with a thick head of hair), and the fit is not right. Granted, some wigs do have a lot of hair, but you should know that some have a lower density and no permatese if that is what you like best. In other words, don’t make quick decisions. There is a wig cap learning curve as well. Did you measure your head? Do you know about the different cap styles/construction? Also, know that it will take a while to get rid of the feeling that something is sitting on your head.
Don’t think that you will look like the wig model. Have realistic expectations. Your face shape, coloring, and age may or may not be the same as the models. Even the length of your head and neck will be different, causing the wig to look longer or shorter on you, perhaps.
Don’t be afraid to put your hands in and on your wig. This can be tricky because you don’t want to mess up the “factory part” if there is a chance you might want to return the win. If you know you like it and will keep it, get in there and style it. Very few wigs come right out of the box looking great. Don’t be afraid to use the proper products on it to make it your own look. Put clips in or wear a headband to add an even more realistic look.
Don’t give up because you haven’t found the right way to secure your wig. And by “right” I mean the way that works for you. Different people like and use different methods. I am a “purist” in that I like nothing but an occasional clip or bobby pin to secure mine if I go to the dentist. But I have found a cap that fits me well. Also, I don’t do a lot of up and down, running around, being outside, etc., that might require a more secure means. So, as you can see, securing your wig is a very personal choice. Find what works for you and your life.
A happy ending—yes, there is one. Before you know it you will be a pro in your own right. You will know all about caps, fibers, heat-friendly wigs, and how to care for them. You’ll know which colors and styles flatter you—and there is when the fun begins. You have options! Just take a look at the website today—wow.
Until next time, remember, we must make many choices every day. Today, let’s Choose to be Confident.
Vickie Lynn --and Ollie the Owl (sitting among my violets in my living room looking very confident indeed).
Though we are all wig wearers, some for many years, some new, we are individuals with different likes, dislikes, and needs. This is as true in wigs as it is in life in general.
We all have different wig priorities. If you have no hair at all or little hair, or a sensitive scalp, the wig cap construction will be very important. If you can’t stand wig bands, clips, and pins, the kind of cap and the way it fits will play an even larger role in your choice. For me, it is the less on my head the better, so a good-fitting cap is very important to me. The better the fit, the fewer security measures I feel the need to use. Sometimes it’s just luck. Our heads are all a bit different and sometimes a “made to scale” wig manufacturer’s cap won’t fit as well if you have an in-between size head and can’t get that perfect fit. If that’s the case, you will need to make security decisions.
Getting a hand-tied cap with a mono-top and lace front will cost you more because it costs the manufacturer more to make. That’s easy to understand. And ideally, you’d think everyone would want or need this. But that is not necessarily the case. Many wigs that just come with a basic cap can work well for many people. A lot depends on the wig style. If the style one doesn’t have a part and may have bangs—then a mono top and lace front would not be a dealbreaker for a lot of people. Also, for the same price, you can often get two or three of the basic cap wigs compared to maybe just one of the wigs with all the bells and whistles. That is appealing to a lot of people, especially if you are hard on your wigs, or if you just like to change styles a lot.
All fibers are not created equal. This too, you may have already learned. Some look and feel better and seem to last longer. Every manufacturer seems to do them a bit differently. They have their own vendors, processes, and craftspeople. Human hair wigs are just that, so we all know how to take care of human hair, and the pros and cons of this. It is when you get into fibers that it is more of a challenge. Over time, the coating of the fibers, the color, and the strength of the fibers will change. Depending on how much you wear your wig and how you care for it, can shorten, or lengthen the life of your wig, but eventually, the fibers will show their age and wear.
The big tradeoff: So, we must decide, do we want the best of the best, the middle of the road, or some less costly ones but do the job just fine? Fortunately, we can have one of each if the budget allows. I seem to have landed in the middle of the pack with lace front, mono-top and hand-tied as my preference, but hand-tied is not a deal breaker if I can have the other two. I still have a couple of basic cap wigs that I bought early on and can still wear but I find them hot and scratchy now because I have lost more hair loss over time. My scalp is more sensitive now too, and I must be picky about my caps.
The little extras are important. I like to get a wig with those soft tabs on the side and at the neck, along with the ability to adjust the fit. I can live with a mono-part vs. mono-top, but I hate not having the ability to make fit adjustments or have that comfort of the felt tabs on the side and the one at the bottom of the neck. So, in the end, we all find our sweet spot, what we can live with or hope we don’t have to live with, as the case may be.
Until next time,
I know what it’s like to try a wig and be disappointed. Whether it is my lack of homework—did I understand about fibers, cap construction, and care or was I caught up in how the model looked?
Becoming a seasoned wig wearer, one who has confidence in what to buy, and what colors and styles work best on you, takes time. Like anything new, you can’t start out as an expert. You must allow yourself to make a few mistakes, no matter how much you think you have researched things. It’s all about giving yourself a bit of grace, time, and space to find the right wig, one that feels right to you, and one that compliments you, your complexion, and your face shape.
It makes me sad to see (on various media formats), “I give up on wigs. I’ll just have to deal with this hair loss some other way.” The general theme seems to be that they try one or two wigs and decide it’s not for them. They are upset, disappointed, and often needlessly so. Things might have been different if they would have given themselves more time to do research, ask for help, and to understand it is a journey, not a sprint. Learning to buy a wig, the right wig(s) is a skill. Like any other skill, it takes time to master it.
Reading all the comments on Facebook and learning about all the disappointments was hard for me because I had been there too. I wanted to hug all those ladies and say, “it’s because it is all so new—it feels like too much hair, the color might not be the best fit or the style, and you are not used to wearing something on your head—but it will get better with time. Don’t cheat yourself out of something great without giving it a real chance.”
One bad wig experience does not mean you will never be able to wear wigs comfortably. Even several bad experiences don’t mean failure. Yes, wigs are expensive and can be intimidating to work with at first. But you have to make friends with your wig, make it your own. Once you claim it, you can begin to work with it. Also, you need to manage your expectations. Everyone’s head (and neck length) is a bit different in size and shape, and you will eventually find the wig brands and caps that work best for you, and that will make your journey much easier. Also, please remember that your wig can be modified.
There is a process and a learning curve like when you must learn anything new. A lucky few will take to wig wearing right away and have all kinds of fun trying new styles and colors. But most of us go down a different path. We struggle to learn about wig fit, the different wig caps, the difference in the fibers, wig care, colors, and sizes—it can be overwhelming.
In my field, of writing, we have “tags” for the different kinds of writers: Plotter or Pantser. I think the same idea can be applied to learning about wigs. Did you start researching all about wigs, view hundreds of videos, and pictures, research manufacturers, talk to wig wearers, or find wig blogs (a plotter)? Or did you find a local wig boutique and go in and trust the person there to just tell you what you should wear? Or did you go all out Pantser and just order a wig online that looked good to you because it looked good on the model? Maybe it was something in-between these actions, but you get my point. Did you approach wig-wearing in a more thought-out process or did you make an emotional decision?
So, yes, there is a process, but it’s one that you can learn. For me, it was research-research, and trial and error. The advice I would give is:
1. Ask for help. If you are reading this blog, then you know that you can find it at Wig Studio1. There is so much expertise there!
2. Do NOT give up, and if you are in this phase, or if you know someone who is struggling, pass this on. There is a wig and style that is for you, likely there are several, but you will never know that if you give up too soon.
Refuse to accept failure and disappointment about wig-wearing. If thousands of people can do it, so can you. So, whether you are a plotter or Pantser, keep trying because the right wig is out there waiting for you. Before you know it, you will have a collection of your own. The day will come when you look at your wigs and you will be happy that you have options.
Until next week, take a look at the wigs on sale now (and ongoing) and maybe start there. If you are not sure about style or color, ask for help. There is a world of expertise at Wig Studio1. There are wonderful blogs, videos, and all kinds of great resources. And remember, we are all in this together. Pass it on.
Until Next time,
The whole point of wearing a wig for most of us is to feel just as beautiful and confident as you did when you had a full head of natural hair, and that is hard to do if you’re worried about strangers whispering, “Is that a wig?” at the office, the grocery store, party or worse still, when meeting someone new. When meeting someone new or preparing for a special occasion, you don’t want to be worrying about your wig.
A good wig is an investment so taking the time to learn before we buy is important. Here are some tips from the experts, information that I have gathered, read, and live by.
1. Replace Your Wig Regularly
The best way to broadcast to the world that you’re wearing a wig is to wear an old ratty-looking wig. Unfortunately, no one has invented a wig that grows new hair yet, so we’re stuck with wigs that lose their quality over time. No matter how hard you wish, no amount of wig styling products or cap adjustments can save a wig that’s past its prime.
Plan to replace your synthetic wigs every 3 to 6 months and your human hair wigs every 6 to 12 months. Use your judgment based on your individual wear patterns.
2. Rooted Colors
Unless you naturally have very dark hair, it’s unlikely that your hair is just one color. Most people have shades of color and gradients (dimension) throughout their hair.
Wigs with one flat color just look fake or look like a bad color job. Wigs with rooted colors, on the other hand, mimic the natural gradients in bio hair by blending several colors.
If you can’t find a wig that you like with rooted colors look for a wig that is a ‘blend’ of two colors or ask a stylist to give your wig highlights and lowlights two shades away from the wig’s base color. (Don’t try this at home if you don’t have training!)
3. Lace Fronts and Monofilament Tops
Lace front wigs create the illusion of a natural hairline, making it look like your wig hair is growing right out of your head. Monofilament tops do the same thing, but for the wig’s part. Each hair of a monofilament top wig is individually sewn into the wig, rather than being machine applied. This allows the wig hair to move freely and lets you part the wig anywhere you want.
4. Mess Up That Part
When something looks too perfect, especially with wigs, it’s usually a sign that it’s fake. Wig companies could and should do a better job with this in my view.
Most wigs come out of the box with eerily perfect parts.
As soon as your new wig arrives, take a pair of tweezers, and carefully pluck out a few strands. Then, using baby scissors, cut a few strands so that they look like they’re just growing out. Last, choose a couple of hairs to place on the ‘wrong' side of the part. (Again, don’t try this at home unless you feel comfortable with your skills.)
5. Trim Your Wig
Or not—but take it to your stylist and get it shaped up to better flatter your face. Some of us have the skill set to do this ourselves, but some of us (uh, me) do not.
6. Blend it Out
If you have some natural hair, try ‘blending’ your natural hairline with the hairline of a lace front wig—as follows:
- Place your wig an inch or two farther back on your head than you typically would, exposing your natural hairline.
- Fully attach the wig to keep it steady and from moving too much.
- pray a little dry shampoo into your hairline and along the wig part line and use your fingers to tease everything together.
- Mimicking your own edges is one major key to achieving a flawless illusion. It keeps people guessing.
NOTE: If you’re going to try this trick, it’s important that your wig color matches your natural hair color.
We’ve all seen the instructions on how to do this and seen the charts on how to determine your cap size. If you are still in doubt look for videos that show how to do this. It’s easier than trying to read the steps. There are many good instruction videos out and cap size charts are easy to find.
8. (For wig Newbies) ALWAYS—line up your wig with your natural hairline.
If you don’t line up your wig with your natural hairline, your wig will never look natural. That’s why it’s so important that each time you put on your wig, you take the time to line it up properly.
To correctly line up your wig with your natural hairline:
- First, put your wig on your forehead just above your eyebrows.
- Next, slowly slide the wig back over your head, adjusting as you go, until the bottom of the wig hits the nape of your next.
- Last, slide the wig forward just a bit until it hits your natural hairline, and secure it in the way you have chosen.
If you have been wearing wigs for a while you have your preferences in place most likely. You love or don’t love heat-friendly wigs; you can’t go without a lace front maybe; you must have a mono top or rooted color—the list goes on. Each wig type, fiber, cap, style, has its own footprint. You may well know the good and the challenges for each type. But whether you must have human hair, heat friendly or not, there always seems to be one question: How do I take the shine out of synthetic wigs without washing them so much? Also, know as:
How to Make a Synthetic Wig Look Real
- In addition to the other things mentioned before (picking one with blended colors, rooted if you like that, there are some additional things you can do while waiting on that shine to go away through washing. *Apply some dry shampoo or talcum powder to the wig but use a light hand at first. You can always add more if needed but it’s hard to take it out without having to wash your wig if you overdo it. And of course, washing your wig more than necessary is something you will want to avoid.
So, until next time --- keep your wigs looking “real” not wiggy. And stop & smell the flowers!